Director Todd Phillips’ original, standalone origin story “Joker” explores the world of—and according to—Arthur Fleck. Indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, Arthur is a man facing the cruelty and outright scorn of society, along with the indifference of a system that allows him to spiral from vulnerability into depravity. A clown-for-hire by day, he strives to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds that the joke always seems to be on him. He’s out of tune with everyone around him, as evidenced by his uncontrollable, inappropriate laughter, which gains momentum as he attempts to contain it, exposing him to further ridicule—and even violence.
Arthur, who devotes himself to caring for his fragile mother, seeks out every father figure he’s never had, from wealthy businessman Thomas Wayne to TV host Murray Franklin. Caught in a cyclical existence teetering on the precipice of reality and madness, one bad decision brings about a chain reaction of escalating, ultimately deadly, events.
Three-time Oscar nominee Phoenix (“The Master,” “Walk the Line,” “Gladiator”) stars in the titular role alongside Oscar winner Robert De Niro (“Raging Bull,” “The Godfather: Part II”) as Franklin. The film also stars Zazie Beetz (“Deadpool 2”), Frances Conroy (TV’s “American Horror Story,” Hulu’s “Castle Rock”), Marc Maron (TV’s “Maron,” “GLOW”), Bill Camp (“Red Sparrow,” “Molly’s Game”), Glenn Fleshler (TV’s “Billions,” “Barry”), Shea Whigham (“First Man,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Brett Cullen (“42,” Netflix’s “Narcos”), Douglas Hodge (“Red Sparrow,” TV’s “Penny Dreadful”) and Josh Pais (upcoming “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Going in Style”).
Oscar nominee Phillips (“Borat,” “The Hangover” trilogy) directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Oscar-nominated writer Scott Silver (“The Fighter”), based on characters from DC. The film is produced by Phillips and Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born,” “American Sniper”) under their Joint Effort banner, and Oscar nominee Emma Tillinger Koskoff (“The Wolf of Wall Street”). It is executive produced by Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada, Aaron L. Gilbert, Joseph Garner, Richard Baratta, and Bruce Berman.
Behind the scenes, Phillips is joined by director of photography Lawrence Sher (“Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “The Hangover” trilogy), production designer Mark Friedberg (“Selma,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), editor Jeff Groth (“War Dogs,” “The Hangover Part III”), and Oscar-winning costume designer Mark Bridges (“Phantom Thread,” “The Artist”). The music is by Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Sicario: Day of the Soldado”).
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, in Association with BRON Creative, a Joint Effort Production, a Film by Todd Phillips, “Joker.” It will be in theaters nationwide October 4, 2019 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.