SCREENSHOTS: Watch Joaquin Phoenix in Disturbing 'Joker' Trailer

The movie is due in theaters this fall

“My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face,” says Joaquin Phoenix’s character in the long-awaited trailer for Joker. “She told me I had a purpose: to bring laughter and joy to the world… Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?”

The world won’t let the failed stand-up comic smile, and he eventually cracks and chooses a life of crime. The trailer shows Phoenix’s character talking to a therapist, creepily giving his mother a bath, and being assaulted on the streets and subways of Gotham.

“I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it’s a comedy,” Phoenix’s character adds.

The movie is a standalone film that is not part of the DC Universe. Joker is due in theaters on October 4th.