Before we get started with what you can expect to see in this movie and what we all want to get out of it, here’s the trailer heard ’round the world–10 million in less than 24 hours.
That’s Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix (Her, The Master), and directed by Academy Award nominee Todd Phillips (War For Planet Of The Apes, The Hangover Trilogy). This movie is the first time we see The Joker as the leading man of any movie– his story arc without the Caped Crusader hunting him down.
After I watched this trailer, I smelled Oscars. It looks like Gotham is going to “have a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns.” The movie is scheduled to hit theaters October 4, 2019 featuring newcomer Zazie Beetz (‘Domino’, Deadpool 2) and movie legend Robert DeNiro.
What To Expect?
There is almost as much mystery on expectations for Joker as who he really is. The movie will be set in the ’80s and follow Arthur Fleck as we see him slowly devolve into the crazed clown we know (and mostly love). It looks like he will play a failed stand-up comedian who turns to the life of crime. That’s it. Except for a couple of observations from the trailer:
Bruce Wayne’s Family
I know: “What is Joker without Batman or at least a Bruce Wayne cameo?” Well, it is confirmed we will see Bruce Wayne as a child as this movie. From what has been said about the trailer, this is the young Mr. Wayne, as Joker is reaching through the gates of Wayne Manor. We will see what kind of impact Bruce and his family plays in Arthur’s life.
This will also be the first time we get an in-depth look at Arkham Asylum. We saw glimpses and nods to it in The Dark Knight and Batman Forever, but never like this. There is so much to explore with Arkham Asylum. So many characters and villains who could be roaming those crazy halls. Arkham was obviously a big part of the Joker’s history repeatedly being locked up there by Batman himself. Even though in the trailer its shown to us as ‘Arkham State Hospital,’ you can bet we will hear the name ‘Arkham Asylum’ muttered a few times throughout the film.
While it is confirmed that we are getting a new iteration of the Joker never before seen on any screen or in comics. We can see Phillips is relying heavily on the Killing Joke Joker for references. We can see in the trailer Arthur Fleck is enjoying his time at the local comedy club then hit with one of the creepiest laughs ever as he just sits there by himself. Inspired by the graphic novel by Alan Moore, we could see how public humiliation caused Arthur to snap and become “The Clown Prince Of Crime.”
We also may see the rise of the Jokerz, the street gang run by Joker himself. We can see in the trailer several bystanders standing in front of Wayne Hall, wearing masks and makeup. We also see a bunch of shots of people passing bye in masks, so to say that The Joker is going to have a presence on Gotham City is an understatement. Who knows we might see him try and take over Gotham and lead an army of The Jokerz straight through city hall, we can only hope though.
While we are all waiting to still find out how he got those scars, we can expect to see how The Joker became himself. Whether he is pushed into a vat of acid or gets booed off stage, we will have another answer to how The Joker came to be. While looking inside his mind and learning why he does thing things he does, it will be fascinating to discover how he gets this hatred for Bruce and his family.
What We Want To See!
Joker is obviously doing things we never have seen in a movie centered in Gotham. It is showing new locations and unveiling characters like never before. Through all the movies, we see the casual look around Gotham, but only the main areas like Wayne Manor, City Hall, or the Batcave. There is so much more to Gotham — iconic areas and locations, like Chinatown, Ace Chemicals, Gotham Docks. They are all an essential part of who Batman and the Joker are, and what Gotham City is in the actual comics.
The Iceberg Lounge
The Iceberg lounge is a frequent gathering spot for some of the most notorious criminals in Gotham City, and occasionally the clown himself will stop by for a drink or two. It is owned by Oswald Cobblepot, and could begin a huge comic arc for Batman and The Penguin. Cameo or a drinking hole, this would be a site to see. Who knows, we might see our own Joker buying his first gun from the Penguin himself.
Besides Arkham Asylum, Blackgate is one of the most well-known spots for the criminally gifted in Gotham. You probably guessed it by now, this place is also essential to Joker’s character, as we have seen him there quite a few times now. Even though he spends most of his time over at the coo-coo house at Arkham Asylum, his biggest story arc of “The Long Halloween” takes place in Blackgate. If we are shown this, we may bank on seeing other criminals, like Zsazz, Cluemaster, Clayface, and Calander Man.
Ace Chemicals is constantly referred to in comics, live adaptations, or the video games. In most origin stories for Joker, Ace Chemicals was were it all started. Whether he fell by accident, or was pushed by Batman into a vat of chemicals it usually started here…
It was how The Joker became deformed, got his green hair, pale white face and began to learn about his alter-ego. Whether or not we see the Joker fall into a vat of acid, it would be nice to reference back to canon origin. It was also a critical part in the “Death Of A Family” story arc. If this is were the base of operation, the Jokerz will be there, as will, endless possibilities of evil.
The Wayne Backstory
There is no denying that Joker relies heavily on Batman for most of his story arcs, and is one of the only reasons he wants to live. There will be some nods to the Wayne family in the movie. Even in the trailer, we see Thomas Wayne come up on TV for a minute, which looks like he is a guest on DeNiro’s characters show. It would be cool to address in this movie why the Joker hates them and what little Bruce Wayne has to do with the Joker. In some story arcs, the Joker knows Batman’s true identity, so to see him interact with them and possibly even young Alfred Pennyworth would be very intriguing. Possibly in this movie, it could be Arthur Fleck who kills Bruce’s parents, which could be a big twist often speculated in comics.
This will be a major turning point for the character in a fashion we have never seen before. Joaquin has some big shoes to fill with names like Heath Ledger (who gave the best villain performance ever), Jack Nicholson, and even the animated genius of Mark Hamill. There are some big expectations on him (actually Leto lowered it a little bit).
When October 4 rolls around, prepare to be blown away because the Clown Prince of Crime is coming your way with a story that is going to be told in way never seen before. Will it be refreshing? Should it borrow the amazing arcs from the comics never seen on screen before?
Yes! While you wait, just ask yourself, “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”