Creepy ‘Joker’ trailer released with Joaquin Phoenix starring as villain

LOS ANGELES — Smiling may be the theme of the first trailer for Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” but it’s anything but smile-inducing.

The disturbing teaser, set to a somber cover of Nat King Cole’s “Smile,” released on Wednesday shows Joaquin Phoenix’s character’s transformation from a momma’s boy to the Clown Prince of Crime.

“I used to think that my life was a tragedy,” Arthur says. “But now I realize … it’s a comedy.”

“My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face,” he says in a voiceover as he gives his mom a bath.

“She told me I had a purpose to bring laughter and joy to the world,” he adds as his character is shown being terrorized and assaulted while dressed like a clown and working as a sign spinner on the street.

Footage from the film debuted during Warner Bros.’ presentation at CinemaCon on Tuesday evening.

The movie hits theaters on Oct. 4.

Article originally posted by nbcnews.

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