A gritty origin story about Batman's archenemy, the Joker, is making its way to theatres, and it looks equal parts terrifying and tragic. This time around, Joaquin Phoenix is playing the villain, Arthur, in his early days, long before he met Batman. Judging from the final trailer, above, he appears to be putting a uniquely sad spin on the character people have seen played by everyone from Jack Nicholson to Heath Ledger.
According to the studio, Joker's story will pick up with the character in Gotham City in the early 1980s prior to his life as a criminal mastermind, resulting in an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." Phoenix stars in the film alongside Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy (as Arthur's mother), and Robert De Niro (who plays a talk-show host who has a hand in driving Arthur toward a life of crime). The final few seconds of the new footage — "Can you introduce me as Joker?" — will no doubt send a chill down your spine.
Watch the trailer (and teaser below) for Joker before it arrives in theatres on Oct. 4, and then check out the full cast.