Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) gets beaten, publicly humiliated and reprimanded by a mom in a dark preview without comic book flourishes.
“All I have are negative thoughts,” Fleck tells a counselor.
Director Todd Phillips’ take on how Fleck becomes Joker tracks him from a struggling comic who idolizes a talk show host played by Robert De Niro, to a vicious bozo who torments Gotham City. Especially Batman.
“This will not be the last Joker movie ever made,” Phillips told the Los Angeles Times. “It might be the last one Joaquin and I do, but someone else is going to come along and do another one, just like with Spider-Man. So if you don’t like this one, don’t worry — it’ll get reinvented again.”
“Joker” opens Oct. 4.