Joker Script Doesn’t Name The Killer Of Batman’s Parents

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It’ll be 2020 in a few days and that means awards season is about to hot up. Of course, one film that everyone will be keeping an eye on is Joker. Todd Phillips’ experimental and unconventional take on the villain’s origins was one of the major hits of 2019, picking up rave reviews, generating a ton of controversy and ending up as the first R-rated movie to join the billion-dollar club. And now, as part of its awards season push, Warner Bros. have released the script online.

You can check it out in full here, but the sequence describing the death of the Waynes is particularly interesting. Here’s how it plays out:

“FROM BEHIND, FAMILY IN THE SHADOWS see the guy’s eyes go wide behind the mask, pointing his gun, music swelling–

PUNK: (shouting) Hey Wayne! You get what you fucking deserve.

And the punk shoots the man. Reaches out and grabs something off the woman’s neck before he shoots her as well. Both fall to the ground dead. Revealing their young son standing behind them–

CLOSE ON EIGHT-YEAR-OLD BRUCE WAYNE, closing his eyes as blood sprays across his face. He opens his eyes and looks up scared at the man in the “Joker” mask who killed his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne.”

If a sequel introduces Batman, this moment is obviously going to play a key part in his psychology. Rather than his parents being killed by a random mugger, they were instead murdered by a rioter directly inspired by Arthur Fleck – creating a personal animosity between the two. The fact that the killer was wearing a Joker mask during the murders should also make this particular Bats especially unhappy around clowns.

It’s also interesting that the killer is just a random ‘punk.’ There’s been a long tradition in Batman comics that the killer of the Waynes is Joe Chill. This punk may yet turn out to be Chill (or another significant character), but the screenplay cleverly leaves the killer’s true identity up in the air.

I guess we’ll see what happens with the inevitable Joker sequel (or sequels). One hurdle they’re going to have to clear if they want Batman in the movie though is the age difference between the two characters. Arthur Fleck is in his thirties in the movie, while Bruce Wayne is nine or ten. It could definitely be fun to see a late teens inexperienced Dark Knight go up against a Joker hardened from his years inside Arkham, though.

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