We’re gradually getting more details about the Todd Phillips-directed Joker, which will reportedly break many established comic book movie conventions. The trailer, which you can see above, showed us perhaps the most grounded take to date on Gotham City. The footage also suggests the film will be more of a character study that’s adjacent to the DCEU, rather than tying into its new series of films and other properties.
According to a new theory from ScreenRant, though, Joker may pull off a major twist, in that Joaquin Phoenix won’t actually be playing the Clown Prince as we know him. The theory brings up some intriguing points, including that Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck is simply too old to become Batman’s arch-nemesis in the future.
If we look at the 1980s setting for Joker, and Fleck being nominally middle-aged in that period, then he’d be hard pressed to be the Joker in the future. Furthermore, Bruce Wayne in the movie is just nine years old, making the age gap difficult to reconcile.
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Other points raised by the theory is that the story behind Joker is somewhat removed from any of the established origins for the character, including Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, despite some surface similarities. In addition, the idea that Phoenix’s Fleck will act as an inspirational figure to others in Gotham City is one that’s been explored to varying degrees of success on Fox’s Gotham, where we saw multiple Jokers emerge from a cult that grew over the series.
At any rate, we don’t have too long to wait for Joker to answer some of these questions, with the movie slated for an October 4th release. Over the next few years, we’ll also learn about whether Phillips’ film will connect to the new crop of DCEU entries, from Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to The Batman, The Suicide Squad and beyond. For now, though, we look forward to what will, at the very least, be a distinctive lead performance by Phoenix.