Warner Bros. on Wednesday morning released the trailer for Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the titular character in a standalone origin story about one of Batman's most iconic enemies.
The trailer begins with a shot of the Joker sitting in a therapist's office, where he's asked, "Does it help to have someone to talk to?"
"My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face," he responds.
The next few shots showcase the Joker's beginnings and the violence that likely led to his insanity. The Joker — narrating in a voiceover — continues, talking about his mother, Penny Fleck, played by Frances Conroy.
"She told me I had a purpose," he says, "to bring laughter and joy to the world."
The innocent-looking Joker we see in the beginning slowly begins to change when he — taking his mother's advice — tries to spread joy.
While working he gets his sign stolen by a group of kids.
And they waste no time humiliating him on the street.
"Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?" he says, as a shot of him facing away from the camera with his back contorted appears and creeps in closer, signaling a transformation.
While a cover of "Smile" plays — made eerier as the trailer progresses with shots of the Joker applying his makeup for the first time — we're also shown a series of shots that help round out the stellar cast, including Zazie Beetz, star of Atlanta and Deadpool 2 and the upcoming Lucy in the Sky.
There's also Beetz's Atlanta costar Brian Tyree Henry, who recently starred in the Oscar-nominated film If Beale Street Could Talk.
And two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro.
Joker was directed by Todd Phillips, the man behind the Hangover trilogy.
The film hits theaters on Oct. 4, 2019.