The trailer for Director Todd Phillips' Joker is here, and the iconic Gotham villain is now played by Joaquin Phoenix.

But unlike previous Batman stories featuring the Joker's evil tricks, this film takes a closer, more dramatic look at the man behind the mania. If you'll recall, the closest we got to maybe understanding how some Jokers are born, while others are made, was in the late Heath Ledger's portrayal in 2008's The Dark Knight. The role earned Ledger widespread acclaim and posthumous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Judging by the trailer, Joker's storyline and Phoenix's version of the titular character further tease out that "monsters are made." We watch Phoenix's Joker attempt to live a normal life and add humor to the world, per his mother's advice to "smile and put on a happy face." These scenes are both humanizing and disturbing. In various shots throughout New York City, he is tormented in public when dressed as a clown. But through one sadistic smile in creepy clown makeup, we learn that the Joker's world will soon unravel.

Watch the trailer for Joker, below, which comes out October 4, just in time for the onslaught of Halloween frightfests.

Photo via YouTube

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