Joker is a 2019 American psychological thriller film directed by Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver. The film, based on DC Comics characters, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker. An origin storyset in 1981, the film follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City. Joker was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Village Roadshow Pictures and Bron Creative, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.


Joker 2019 film: Theatrical release poster
Joker theatrical release poster

Produced by
  • Todd Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Directed by Todd Phillips
Written by
  • Todd Phillips
  • Scott Silver
Based on Characters from DC Comics
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Robert De Niro
  • Zazie Beetz
  • Frances Conroy
Music by Hildur Guðnadóttir
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Edited by Jeff Groth
Production company
  • Warner Bros. Pictures
  • DC Films
  • Bron Studios
  • Village Roadshow Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 31, 2019 (Venice)
  • October 4, 2019 (United States)
Country United States
Running Time 122 minutes
  • English
Budget $55-70 million
Box Office $543.9 million


In 1981, party clown Arthur Fleck lives with his mother, Penny, in Gotham City. Gotham is rife with crime and unemployment, leaving segments of the population disenfranchised and impoverished. Arthur suffers from a neurological disorder that causes him to laugh at inappropriate times and depends on a social services worker for medication. After a gang attacks him in an alley, Arthur's co-worker, Randall, lends him a gun. Arthur invites his neighbor, single mother Sophie, to his stand-up comedy show, and they begin dating.

While entertaining at a children's hospital, Arthur's gun falls out of his pocket. Arthur is fired and Randall lies that Arthur bought the gun himself. On the subway, still in his clown makeup, Arthur is beaten by three drunken Wayne Enterprises businessmen; he shoots two in self-defense and executes the third. The murders are condemned by billionaire mayoral candidate Thomas Wayne, who labels those envious of more successful people as "clowns". Demonstrations against Gotham's rich begin, with protesters donning clown masks in Arthur's image. Funding cuts shutter the social service program, leaving Arthur without medication.

Arthur's comedy show goes poorly; he laughs uncontrollably and has difficulty delivering his jokes. Talk show host Murray Franklin mocks Arthur by showing clips from the routine on his show. Arthur intercepts a letter written by Penny to Thomas, alleging that he is Thomas's illegitimate son, and berates his mother for hiding the truth. At Wayne Manor, Arthur talks to Thomas' young son, Bruce, but flees after a scuffle with butler Alfred Pennyworth. Following a visit from two Gotham City Police Department detectives investigating Arthur's involvement in the train murders, Penny suffers a stroke and is hospitalized.

At a public event, Arthur confronts Thomas, who tells him that Penny is delusional. In denial, Arthur visits Arkham State Hospitaland steals Penny's case file; the file says Penny adopted Arthur as a baby and allowed her abusive boyfriend to harm them both. Penny alleged that Thomas used his influence to fabricate the adoption and commit her to the asylum to hide their affair. Distraught, Arthur goes to the hospital and kills Penny. He enters Sophie's apartment unannounced. Frightened, Sophie tells him to leave; their previous encounters are revealed to have been Arthur's delusions.

Arthur is invited to appear on Murray's show due to the unexpected popularity of his routine clips. As he prepares, he is visited by his former co-workers Gary and Randall. Arthur murders Randall but leaves Gary unharmed for treating Arthur well in the past. En route to the studio, Arthur is pursued by the two detectives onto a train filled with clown protesters. One accidentally shoots a protester and incites a riot while Arthur escapes in the chaos.

Before the show goes live, Arthur requests that Murray introduce him as Joker, a reference to Murray's previous mockery. Arthur walks out to a warm reception, but begins telling morbid jokes, admits that he killed the men on the train, and rants about how society abandons the disenfranchised and how Murray mocked him. Arthur kills Murray live on television and is arrested as riots break out across Gotham; one rioter corners the Wayne family in an alley and murders Thomas and his wife Martha, sparing Bruce. Rioters in an ambulance crash into the police car carrying Arthur and free him. He dances to the cheers of the crowd and notices that he is bleeding from his mouth; he uses his own blood to paint a smile on his face.

In an interview at Arkham, Arthur laughs to himself and tells his psychiatrist she would not understand the joke. He then runs from the orderlies, leaving a trail of bloodied footprints.


  • Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck
  • Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin
  • Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond
  • Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck
  • Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne
  • Shea Whigham as Detective Burke
  • Bill Camp as Detective Garrity
  • Glenn Fleshler as RandallL
  • eigh Gill as Gary
  • Josh Pais as Hoyt Vaughn
  • Rocco Luna as GiGi Dumond
  • Marc Maron as Gene Ufland
  • Sondra James as Dr. Sally
  • Murphy Guyer as Barry O'Donnell
  • Douglas Hodge as Alfred Pennyworth
  • Dante Pereira-Olson as Bruce Wayne
  • Carrie Louise Putrello as Martha Wayne
  • Sharon Washington as Social Worker
  • Hannah Gross as Young Penny
  • Frank Wood as Dr. Stoner
  • Brian Tyree Henry as Carl (Arkham Clerk)
  • April Grace as Arkham Psychiatrist
  • Mick Szal as Woman on Subway
  • Carl Lundstedt as Wall Street Three
  • Michael Benz as Wall Street Three
  • Ben Warheit as Wall Street Three
  • Gary Gulman as Comedian
  • Sam Morril as Open Mic Comic
  • Chris Redd as Comedy Club Emcee
  • Mandela Bellamy as Mother on Bus
  • Demetrius Dotson II as Boy on Bus
  • Greer Barnes as Haha's Clown
  • Ray Iannicelli as Haha's Clown
  • Bryan Callen as Haha's Stripper
  • Peter Benson as Good Morning Host
  • Vito Gerbino as Street Kid
  • Adam James as Street Kid (as Adam Quezada)
  • Xavyer Ureña as Street Kid
  • Evan Rosado as Street Kid
  • Damian Emmanuel as Street Kid
  • Mike Troll as Clown Protestor
  • Jane Fergus as IBN Anchorwoman
  • David Gibson as WBC News Anchor
  • Tony D. Head as WGC Anchorman
  • Jeff McCarthy as NCB Anchor
  • Kim Brockington as NCB Co-Anchor
  • Troy Roberts as NCB News Reporter
  • Lou Young as ANC News Reporter
  • Michael-Scott Druckenmiller as Paramedic
  • Craig Austin as Paramedic
  • John Cenatiempo as Aftermath Police Officer
  • Danny Schoch as Aftermath Police Officers
  • Keith Buterbaugh as Band Leader
  • James Ciccone as Murray Franklin Band
  • Rich Campbell as Murray Franklin Band
  • Roger Squitero as Murray Franklin Band
  • Steven Elson as Murray Franklin Band
  • Graham Mabry as Murray Franklin Band
  • John Alldred as Murray Franklin Band
  • Alonzo Wright as Murray Franklin Band
  • Jack Wilkins as Murray Franklin Band
  • Richard Baratta as Murray Franklin Band
  • David Iacono as Flirting Man On The Bus
  • Umar Abrams as Gang Boy #4 (uncredited)
  • Jeannine Adornetto as Clown Rioter (uncredited)
  • Chris Angerman as MFS Booth PA (uncredited)
  • Michael Bascle as Protester (uncredited)
  • Victor Best Jr as Rioter / Protester / Villain (uncredited)
  • Elizabeth Bluhm as Protester (uncredited)
  • Alissa Bourne as Anna (uncredited)
  • Winslow Bright as Young Woman at Wayne Tower (uncredited)
  • Matt Bruzzio as Protester / Rioter (uncredited)
  • Jamaal Burcher as Hospital Visitor / Mfs Audience (uncredited)
  • Marko Caka as Gala Special Guest (uncredited)
  • Al Cardone as Theater Guest (uncredited)
  • Dj Nino Carta as Orderly (uncredited)
  • John Cashin as Arkham Patient (uncredited)
  • Jolie Chan as Street Worker (uncredited)
  • Jason John Cicalese as Protester / Rioter (uncredited)
  • Jim Cleary as Gala Attendee (uncredited)
  • Brendan Patrick Connor as Mr. Slotnick (uncredited)
  • Blaise Corrigan as Taxi Driver (uncredited)
  • Vincent Cucuzza as Police officer (uncredited)
  • Gino D'Cafango as Gala Attendee (uncredited)
  • Aynsleigh Dann as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Helen Darras as Protester (uncredited)
  • Alfredo David as 16-Year Old Protestor (uncredited)
  • Shamia Diaz as Protester (uncredited)
  • Brandon Essig as Protester (uncredited)
  • Isabella Ferreira as Flirting Woman On the Bus (uncredited)
  • Phiona C Foster as Nerdy Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)
  • Michael James Fry as Protester (uncredited)
  • Ryan Funigiello as Wayne Enterprise Junior Executive (uncredited)
  • Dennis Jay Funny as Gotham Citizen (uncredited)
  • Jason Gadino as Magician (uncredited)
  • Alexandra Lopez Galan as Protester and Gotham Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Matthias Sebastiun Garry as Arkham Patient (uncredited)
  • Victor Gaspar as Clown Masked Rioter (uncredited)
  • Brayson Goss as Gotham General Sick Kid (uncredited)
  • Johanna R. Griesé as Subway Rider (uncredited)
  • Robert Grondski as Protestor / Rioter (uncredited)
  • Larry Gurreri as Clown Face Protester (uncredited)
  • James P. Harkins as Thomas Wayne's Body Guard (uncredited)
  • Dontae Hawkins as Rioting Clown (uncredited)
  • Ben Heyman as Protestor (uncredited)
  • Sean Kilkenny as Protester / Rioter (uncredited)
  • Paul Kulis as MFS Audience (uncredited)
  • Charles Leahy as Protester / Rioter (uncredited)
  • Melanie Christine Leon-Soon as Gigi's Friend (uncredited)
  • Michael Lepre as Arkham Insane Patient (uncredited)
  • Bob Leszczak as Commuter (uncredited)
  • Mark Lotito as Wayne Tower Security (uncredited)
  • Adrienne Lovette as Middle Aged Woman (uncredited)
  • Justin Mahalsky as Murray Franklin Fan (uncredited)
  • Mary Kate Malat as Murray Franklin Intern (uncredited)
  • Branden Marlowe as Drunken Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)
  • Scott Martin as Homeless Derelict (uncredited)
  • Lana McLellan as Protester (uncredited)
  • Alexander Mercier as Clown (uncredited)
  • Loretta Anne Miller as Protester / Clown-Faced Rioter (uncredited)
  • Necole Milone as Gotham Resident / Murray Franklin Guest (uncredited)
  • Nathan Nauroth as Gotham City Pedestrian / Joker Goon (uncredited)
  • Mick O'Rourke as Screaming Man (uncredited)
  • Joe Ochman as Business Man (uncredited)
  • Joey Pedras as Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • David Valentino Penaga as Protester / Rioter (uncredited)
  • Rich Petrillo as Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)
  • Annie Pisapia as Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Celeste Pisapía as Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Jon Douglas Rainey as Businessman (uncredited)
  • Jivan Xander Ramesh as Bronx School Kid (uncredited)
  • Tamiz U. Rezvi as Clown Face Protester (uncredited)
  • Emmanuel Rodriguez as Protestor (uncredited)
  • Ray Rosario as Arkham Patient (uncredited)
  • Edward Sass as Protester (uncredited)
  • Keith Schneider as Gotham City Police Officer (uncredited)
  • Jesse Schratz as Gotham City Sick Kid (uncredited)
  • George Signoriello as Protester (uncredited)
  • Marie Smalley as Theater Guest (uncredited)
  • Todd Smolar as Henchman / Protester (uncredited)
  • Frank Sorgenti as Gala Guest (uncredited)
  • Frank Stellato as Buddy (uncredited)
  • Thomas W. Stewart as Subway Rider (uncredited)
  • Chuck Taber as Delivery Man (uncredited)
  • Zak Takowsky as Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Vincent Tumeo as Gala Guest (uncredited)
  • Frank Volpe as Gotham City Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Jaidon Walls as Kid (uncredited)
  • Julia Weldon as Protestor #1 (uncredited)
  • Alontae Myson Williams as Kid 3 (uncredited)
  • Alex Xenos as Gotham Elite (uncredited)
  • Lauren Yaffe as Pogo / MFS Attendee (uncredited)
  • Jaine Ye as Protestor (uncredited)


On August 25, 2019, Phillips released six brief teasers that contained flashes of writing, revealing the second trailer would be released on August 28. Filmmaker Kevin Smithcommended the trailer, stating he thought the film "would still work even if [DC Comics] didn't exist" and praising its uniqueness.Overall, Deadline Hollywood estimated that Warner Bros. spent $120 million on promotion and advertisements.


Joker premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2019, where it received an eight-minute standing ovation and won the Golden Lionaward. It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2019. The film was released theatrically by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 4, 2019 in the United States, and a day earlier in Australia and several other international markets.

Box Office

As of October 13, 2019, Joker has grossed $192.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $351.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $543.9 million.

Three weeks prior to its release, official industry tracking projected the film would debut to $65–80 million, with some estimates going as high as $90 million. The week of its release, Atom Tickets announced pre-sale totals for the film were outpacing those of Venom and It Chapter Two ($91.1 million debut), and that Joker was its second-bestselling R-rated film of 2019 behind John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

Joker opened in 4,374 theaters in North America and made $39.9 million on its first day, including $13.3 million from Thursday night previews, besting Venom's respective October records. It went on to break Venom's record for the biggest October opening, finishing the weekend with a domestic total of $96.2 million.