Batman's nemesis, The Joker, gets some screen time in his own origin story movie, Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role.
Before the trailer officially dropped on Wednesday, Warner Brothers Pictures offered eager fans a special glimpse on Tuesday in Las Vegas during CinemaCon.
The Joker trailer is everything we expect it to be: dark, grimy, sinister and unnerving.
But fans couldn't help but notice elements from Joker that reminded them of another familiar classic.
Comparisons were drawn to Martin Scorsese's 1976 psychological thriller, Taxi Driver starring then 33-year-old Robert De Niro.
For reference, here is a trailer for Taxi Driver.
Taxi Driver - Trailerwww.youtube.com
In the trailer for Joker, we see the man – before he embraces his psychopathic tendencies – confiding in a woman who appears to be a psychiatrist.
"I used to think my life was a tragedy. But now I realize, it's a comedy."
Watch the trailer for Joker, below and see if it looks like a laughing matter.
JOKER - Teaser Trailer - In Theaters October 4www.youtube.com
At first glance you would think the word on the street in Gotham City is that Taxi Driver is getting a sequel.
Wishing thinking, I suppose. After all, fans of Scorsese's film have perpetually wondered if they were witnessing Travis Bickle's death dream at that film's conclusion.
But that is for the audience to interpret and not a sequel to tie up all the loose ends into a pretty bow.
But, I digress.
Here is what Twitter had to say about one of the most anticipated DC comics character films coming out this fall.
It sure feels like a film with Scorsese's stamp on it.
Maybe Joker's director Todd Phillips took his cue from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
Another cinemaphile saw a resemblance to Scorsese's 1982 satirical black comedy, King of Comedy.
#Joker https://t.co/4b3WOBSOXd— ᴊᴀᴄᴋ (@ᴊᴀᴄᴋ) 1554301362.0
Is Phoenix channeling Travis Bickle?
Right: Taxi Driver Left: #Joker Joaquin Phoenix going full Travis Bickle. https://t.co/cLIHJ0klWB https://t.co/AZsKw1p0Nn— Zack Sharf (@Zack Sharf) 1554298773.0
@ZSharf You laughing at me? You must laughing at me because I'm the only one smiling here. You laughing at me?— Joseph Perez (@Joseph Perez) 1554299696.0
luv how the Joker movie embraces its 20th century setting to the extent that it's like, "what could be creepier tha… https://t.co/tJowwTsKCA— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Gavia Baker-Whitelaw) 1554298664.0
Could it be a Taxi Driver reinterpretation?
I suspect that the Joker movie will hew close to "Taxi Driver, but with a clown" and generally be taken far too ser… https://t.co/2cmi1MlsQP— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Gavia Baker-Whitelaw) 1554298122.0
@thedextriarchy i am cautiously optimistic. i think t's gonna benefit a lot from just directly copying classic scorsese movies.— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Gavia Baker-Whitelaw) 1554299134.0
What better way to "ground" a superhero movie than by paying homage to Scorsese?
Phillips didn't have much to say about his movie other than the fact that it was a difficult topic to discuss without spoiling anything.
"I don't have a lot to say about the film, as it's still taking shape, but also because I want it to be a surprise. That said, there's been a lot of chatter about what this film is and what it isn't, and most of it hasn't been accurate."
"When the marketing department at Warners asked me the other day to describe the movie, I said, 'I can't.' They said, 'At least tell us the genre,' and I thought about it for a minute and said, 'It's a tragedy.'"
We will have to wait until October 4 to find out what made this clown turn to a life of crime.
Perhaps like Travis Bickle, the Joker "is a man who would not take it anymore."
I guess we all snap sometimes.