Oh, it’s…..a Joker movie. Where’d that come from? Perhaps it’s because the Avengers have been occupying our attention these past few weeks, but the sudden appearance of a trailer for Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime, kinda snuck up on us.

Arthur Fleck, a small-time stand-up comedian, dreams of hitting it big. But the world keeps knocking him down. Both literally, and repeatedly. As the stress takes its toll and his sanity starts to slip, Arthur finds comfort in the farcical. He starts walking around in face paint, cracking dark jokes, and the maniacal laughs begin….

Those out of the “loop” may be wondering….is there an official origin story for the Joker? The answer is no, not really. In the comics, no one knows where Joker came from and it’s really for the best, as the unknown is creepier. He’s had his own stories, of course, all of which have turned out to be lies. The various movies the character has appeared in have all come up with different takes. “Arthur Fleck” is no more Joker’s established real name than “Jack Napier” or “Joe Kerr” is.

But this movie isn’t even intended to be part of the current DC movie continuity anyhow. After several disastrous steps (thanks, Snyder), WB has shifted strategy in regards to its superhero universe. They will now let directors tell their own super-stories, whether they fit into the larger picture or happen in their own stand-alone universes. The Joker of “Joker” will only appear in this movie. (Unless it’s a huge hit; then it’s sequel time.)

Warner Bros’ Joker will be taking over theaters October 4.