(LOS ANGELES) — Warner Bros. has unveiled the first teaser to Joker, its stand-alone look at the origins of the Batman villain, played by Joaquin Phoenix.

The footage shows the Oscar nominee as sad sack Arthur Fleck, who through the course of the film, becomes Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime.

Set to Jimmy Durante’s cover of “Smile,” the tone from director Todd Phillips is decidedly dark, and shows Fleck’s sad attempts to “bring laughter and joy to the world,” by adopting clown makeup — and getting beat up repeatedly for it.

“Is it just me,” Fleck asks in voiceover, “or is it getting crazier out there?”

It is, and so is he — the preview ends with Joker nearly fully realized, causing mayhem on a subway train.

And yes, we hear him laugh for the first time.

Deadpool 2‘s Zazie Beetz, Glow‘s Marc Maron, Agent Carter‘s Shea Wigham, and yes, Robert De Niro, also star.

Joker opens October 4.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.