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Joaquin Phoenix is the latest to play the giggly, smiley DC Comics villain in the standalone film Joker, releasing on October 4. But we don’t have to wait that long to see him as the colorful psychopath, with the trailer just releasing today (April 3).

Before he became a criminal mastermind, the Joker went by Arthur Fleck. We learn from the trailer, Fleck works as a street promoter, dressed as a clown. And is also an aspiring standup comedian. He narrates the below clip for us, saying his mother always tells him to “smile and put on a happy face.”

One doesn’t have to be a film major to pick up on the foreshadowing.

We know the Joker as an arch nemesis of Batman in the comics and earlier on-screen adaptations, but there’s no mention of the superhero in the above. But, we can look for Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father. And Douglas Hodge will star as Alfred Pennyworth, the family’s butler/confidant. It appears 2019’s Joker happens before Batman becomes Batman (since his father is still alive).

We’ve seen multiple incarnations of the Joker, going back to the 1960s Batman TV series starring Cesar Romero:

Jack Nicholson stepped in for the 1989 film version:

The late Heath Ledger made the character his own in 2008’s Dark Knight:

In 2016, Jared Leto gave it a go in Suicide Squad:

Dare we ask, who has done the Joker best? 

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By Brigid Brown