Watch the first trailer for the Joker movie put on a happy, not at all alarming face

Superhero origin stories are played out and that just makes the Joker movie's first trailer feel even more fresh (and frightening). The trailer gives us an extended look at how a man named Arthur Fleck goes from a failed stand-up comic to sociopathic criminal, and it may even give you a little sympathy for the poor devil.

The Joker movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as Fleck, a down-on-his luck Gotham City resident who cares for his elderly mother. He brings in money as a sign-spinning clown by day and sits in his underwear and writes jokes at night, but mostly people seem to mock him and beat him up. Through it all he forces a smile to stay on his face until something goes really wrong - the trailer doesn't show us what finally tips Fleck past the breaking point. At least he seems to be genuinely happy once he goes full Joker?

The Joker movie exists as its own standalone story, separate from the DC Expanded Universe and Jared Leto's face-tattooed portrayal of the Joker. That said, Bruce Wayne will appear in the film and you briefly see him in the trailer - he's the little kid (played by Dante Pereira-Olson) who Arthur puts a smile on at about 1:45 in. Looks like he has a few decades to go yet before he becomes the Batman. Bruce seems to be a pretty somber kid so I suspect his parents are already dead, but who knows - maybe Arthur Fleck will take care of that too. You can see the whole sad story yourself when the Joker movie debuts on October 4, 2019.

Check out our list of DC Extended Universe movies to see what else is on the way in 2019 and beyond. Or see what's coming this week in our latest Release Radar video right here.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.