New Theory Suggests Joaquin Phoenix Isn’t Playing The Real Joker


If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck, and by a similar line of reasoning, most of us have assumed that the main character of Joker is, in fact, the Joker. Still, there’s no denying that Todd Phillips’ upcoming film has a very different story in mind for the Clown Prince of Crime from any of the villain’s previous screen outings, and in a new post from CinemaBlend, the case is made that Joaquin Phoenix’s character might not be “the real Joker” after all.

The theory essentially rests on the fact that Arthur Fleck is several decades older than Bruce Wayne. While Phoenix just turned 44 last month, Dante Pereira-Olson (who’s playing the young Wayne) couldn’t even pass as a teenager, meaning that when this kid grows up to be Batman, Arthur will probably be at least in his 60s. From here, the conclusion is drawn that perhaps Arthur isn’t the Joker that we all know as the Caped Crusader’s longtime foe, but rather his predecessor, inspiring the real Clown Prince who will emerge a couple of decades later.

It’s not the strangest conclusion to draw, but for the time being, the simpler explanation is surely that Phillips and his team are simply reworking the DC timeline for the sake of telling a new and original story. After all, the movie is called Joker, not Prototype Joker, and between the Jared Leto version currently engaged in a more traditional setup in the DCEU and Gotham pretty much pulling this exact trick already, there’s certainly room for Phoenix’s standalone film play with the formula a little.

Besides, seeing how Arthur Fleck is dressed just like the Joker, acts like him, and presumably ends up taking the familiar pseudonym, what exactly stops him from qualifying as “the real Joker.” That he isn’t fighting Batman? That seems a little arbitrary.

In any case, we’ll see if Joker’s title has been a red herring this whole time when the film hits theaters on October 4th, 2019.