Come this fall, the Joker will come to life again, but he won’t be part of the Dark Knight’s story or share the limelight with another caped superhero. Joaquin Phoenix will bring a new face and psychosis to one of the world’s most colorful comic book villains in the Joker’s first standalone movie. Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck (not Jack Napier), a failed standup comedian whose descent into darkness is quite literal as he becomes increasingly insane amid violence and mental illness in Gotham City, as well developing a serious love of clown makeup. Loosely based on the riveting 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, The Joker movie should prove to be about as dark and disturbing as the story can get based on the latest teaser trailer. Director Todd Phillips, who helmed the Hangover trilogy, has surely shifted humor gears to write and direct Joker. Also, Phoenix appears perfectly cast for the film, and we’re all sure to have nightmares of clowns in our future as a result. We also can’t unsee the man in his baggy tidy whities. The movie opens in theaters nationwide October 4th.

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