Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” broke through the pop culture zeitgeist in a huge way this week thanks to its CinemaCon buzz and the world premiere of its teaser trailer. The latter earned over 13 million views on Youtube alone in its first 24 hours. “Joker” finds Phoenix putting a tragic spin on the iconic Batman villain, and it’s one made all the more terrifying when mashed together with one of Phoenix’s other towering performances, Freddie Quell in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.”
Courtesy of film and television editor Nelson Carvajal (visit his website Free Cinema Now), the “Joker”/”The Master” mash-up trailer seamlessly brings together the two movies to create one singular experience of Phoenix’s psychological downfall. Both Anderson’s dialogue and Jonny Greenwood’s original score fit perfectly onto images seen in the “Joker” trailer. Greenwood’s discordant melodies in particular make “Joker” feel even more unnerving than Jimmy Durante’s rendition of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” used in the actual teaser.
“Joker” stars Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, an aspiring stand-up comedian in Gotham City 1981 who falls into a life of crime when his career ambitions don’t pan out as expected. The supporting cast includes Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, and Brian Tyree Henry. The role excitingly gives Phoenix his first big screen comic book character. The actor previously was in talks to lead Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”
“The Master” is one of two Anderson movies Phoenix has led so far, the other being “Inherent Vice.” Phoenix’s turn as Freddie Quell in “The Master” earned him his third Oscar nomination after “Gladiator” and “Walk the Line.” “The Master” is widely considered to be one of Phoenix and Anderson’s best efforts to date. Anderson has not announced a new feature following the release of “Phantom Thread” in 2017.
Warner Bros. is releasing “Joker” in theaters nationwide October 4. Watch the “Joker”/”The Master” mashup video below.