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Joker: First Poster Teases Trailer Coming Tomorrow

Put on a happy face — we've got the very first poster for Joker, plus confirmation that a teaser trailer is coming tomorrow. 

Director Todd Phillips, the man at the helm of the forthcoming Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix, headed to Instagram on Tuesday, April 2 and unveiled the movie's inaugural one-sheet. 

Its background a gradient of jet black to swampy green, the poster depicts Phoenix in character as Arthur Fleck, a struggling stand-up comedian who resorts to a life of crime after he fails to turn his punchlines into profits. Only Arthur's face, neck, and part of his arm are shown in the poster — all turned up toward what's likely a stage spotlight shining down on him. He wears traditional clown makeup — white foundation, circles of blue around his eyes, black paint to darken his eyebrows, and a wide, unnatural smile in a deep shade of red — and an almost haunted look in his eyes. Swiped across his chin, underneath his nose, and on the high points of his cheekbones is what looks to be blood. (Who's blood? Who's to say?) The top of the poster features the film's presumed tagline — "Put on a happy face" — as well as its release date of October 4. 

In the caption of the post, Phillips promised that there's more where the poster came from: "Teaser trailer tomorrow. #JokerMovie."

If someone who knew nothing about Phillips' vision for Joker were to see this one-sheet, they would probably assume that the film was a horror or thriller pic — and that's exactly what Phillips wants. From the dark color palette to the unsettling makeup to the blood smeared around Arthur's face, this first poster for Joker truly captures what Phillips ventured to do with the film: tell a gritty origin story detailing what drove the man who would become the Clown Prince of Crime to snap, while also crafting a character study of Arthur Fleck, a man "disregarded by society," as well as a "broader cautionary tale."

Phillips' take on the Joker and Phoenix's depiction of the famous DC Comics character are unlike anything we have ever seen before, and this piece of pre-release promo reflects that. It isn't a typical comic book movie, but rather a unique approach to the Joker and an intimate exploration into what can permanently alter a person's psyche. Actor Marc Maron, who appears in Joker as a character called Ted Marco, previously described Joker as a "very interesting approach to this world," "more of an origin story and a character study of a mentally ill person that becomes the Joker." He added, "It's more of an intimate and gritty movie with a very specific scope. It's going to be really interesting to see how it comes out."

Studio Warner Bros. has kept a tight lid on details about Joker –  including how exactly its many characters like Zazie Beetz's Sophie Dumond and Robert De Niro's mystery talk show host will fit into the story — and this poster, while visually appealing, doesn't offer any extra information. Thankfully, though, the wait for the first official in-motion look at Joker is super short. Check back with Looper tomorrow, April 3, to see the Joker teaser trailer as soon as it drops. 

Joker will open in theaters on October 4.