The DC film follows Phoenix’s portrayal of Arthur Fleck as a clown and struggling comedian in 1981 Gotham City who seems to have fallen on tough times.
After Fleck becomes depressed and frustrated due to his professional and personal letdowns, he breaks before becoming the mad, made-up villain who seems to head into some very dark territory.
“You don’t listen, do you? You just ask the same questions every week. ‘How’s your job? Are you having any negative thoughts?'” Fleck says to his therapist in the trailer. “All I have are negative thoughts.”
The trailer also shows a talk show host (played by Robert De Niro) mocking Fleck, which then leads into his transformation into the supervillain.
The rest of the trailer includes chaos, cars crashing, clown masks and evil laughter.
WATCH: ‘Joker’ teaser trailer
Of course, the comic-book character, previously made popular by actors Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Cameron Monaghan and Jared Leto, has alternated between camp humour and outright sadism. Here, Phoenix seems to be delivering the latter.
Todd Phillips’ The Joker also stars Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, Shea Whigham, Frances Conroy, Bill Camp, Brian Tyree Henry and Glenn Fleshler.
The Joker will play at a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival before it arrives in theatres on Oct. 4.
Watch the final trailer in the video above.
— With files from Chris Jancelewicz