Jack Napier. The only name the fans of the comics and films have ever given to the Joker before he became the Clown Prince of Crime. With Todd Phillips taking on the daunting task of creating what will be seen by many as THE origin story of Batman’s other half, he had a choice to make and he chose the road less traveled. Phillips’ film, which doesn’t appear to have much in common with any source material or anything that came before it will not only define the origins of perhaps the greatest comic book villain, but it will also give him a new name and, perhaps, a new identity.
We have learned that Joaquin Phoenix’s character will begin the film as Arthur Fleck before the series of events that drives him to become the Joker. As we told you before, Phillips’ film will follow Fleck as he returns to a city on the brink. We believe that Fleck will return home to live with his aging (perhaps dying?) mother, Penny, in her apartment. It’s here that he’ll likely meet Sophie Dumond, the single-mother set to be played by Zazie Beetz, and begin his descent into madness described as the “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” Most comic fans have wondered about the Joker’s origins, specifically about what would drive a man to the depths of insanity where the Joker lives. It’s possible that this film gives us those answers.
Interestingly enough, a recent report indicated that Robert DeNiro, whose potential role in the film we first told you about here, had joined the film. If true, we can confirm that DeNiro will portray the role of late night-TV host Murray Franklin. We also know that Thomas Wayne will featured in the film, described as “cheesy, tanned” and rich-looking (remember this is from the Joker’s POV), and that he will be in his 60s. Could Thomas Wayne’s bastard become Bruce’s lifelong enemy?
Fleck’s mother was described as “very attractive in her youth“, “obsessed with her former employer” and unable to believe “this is what her life has come to.” Could Phillips’ origin story be setting the stage for a deeper connection between Bruce and the Joker than we could have ever imagined? While it’s just a theory, and a crazy one at that, it’s possible that Penny once worked for the Waynes and that Thomas is the father of her son. Perhaps an interview with Wayne on the Murray Franklin show incites the dying Penny to spin the tale of her son’s true parentage. Again, that’s JUST A THEORY. For all we know Franklin could be his father or his father could be another character who is irrelevant to the story, but we do know that the confluence of events of him returning home to a failing city will drive him to madness and those events might do just that.
Joker is set to film in New York from September 10 through the end of November and will be in theaters October 4, 2019.
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