The first Joker trailer arrived today and promised a DC movie like no other. Cutting away all the excess comic book mythology – including Batman himself – it’ll tell the origins of the Clown Prince of Crime in a way fans have never seen before. Still, this is a DC effort so there’ll certainly be easter eggs and allusions to other characters from Batman’s world. For instance, Thomas Wayne will be played by Brett Cullen, as glimpsed in the trailer.
There may also be a nod to a fellow supervillain hidden in the promo, too. Reddit user P0re noticed an intriguing bit of graffiti on an elevator wall behind Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck in one clip. Though the significance of the word before it’s hard to decipher, fans will instantly pick up on that green question mark. Could Edward Nygma be lurking somewhere in this version of Gotham City?
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The potential reference gets more convincing when you realize that the shot takes place inside Arkham State Hospital, which Arthur is shown to visit. This establishment is surely a reimagined Arkham Asylum, the madhouse that’s typically the home away from home for Dark Knight foes like the Joker and the Riddler. Hopefully we’ll get more of these fun callbacks to the famed comic book rogues gallery in the film. I’d like to think they’re all out there in this universe having their own gritty origins stories. Watch out for a spinoff film about the Condiment King played by Daniel Day-Lewis.
For a pic that’s ostensibly standalone, the Joker trailer sure did a good job of alluding to a wider universe. On top of Thomas Wayne’s cameo and this Riddler easter egg, fans are also thinking that kid Fleck interacts with could be a young Bruce. And, though an original tale, there’s generous helpings of The Killing Joke in the storyline, too. Suffice it to say, there’s much for fans to look forward to when Joker hits on October 4th.