Published on: Monday, June 3, 2019
We're still a few months out from the release of Joker, the film from director Todd Phillips in which Joaquin Phoenix takes on the role of Batman's arch-enemy. But it's already sparking controversy among DC fans with a possible plot twist that would add a whole lot more than just a name to the Joker's origin story.
Citing a "source close to the production," We Got This Covered reported on May 27th that Joker might be set to include a contentious curveball: the Clown Prince of Crime and his superhero nemesis Batman are actually related.
The film will apparently establish this personal connection by revealing that Arthur Fleck — the real name given to the Joker in the upcoming movie — is actually the product of an affair that Bruce Wayne's father Thomas, played by Brett Cullen, had with Arthur's mother.
For those of you keeping score at home, that would mean that the Joker is Batman's half-brother. This isn't the first time this rumor has cropped up. We saw it last year, along with other hearsay that has since proven to be true, including Robert De Niro being cast as the talk show host Murray Franklin. If that's the case here, it seems like a pretty logical way for Joker to connect itself to some version of the larger Batman mythology.
We've known for a while that Cullen's Thomas Wayne was going to be depicted as a more antagonistic character than most moviegoers might expect considering previous incarnations of Batman's dad, and the plot twist even makes sense from a casting standpoint. The part of young Bruce Wayne will be played in the film by Dante Pereira-Olson, a child actor who previously played the younger version of Phoenix's character in 2017's You Were Never Really Here. Hey, if one casting team thought they looked alike, the Joker gang might have, too.
Though the Joker has never been revealed as the half-sibling of Bruce Wayne in the comics, the Dark Knight has been previously portrayed as having a villainous brother. Back in 1974, Thomas Wayne Jr. was introduced in the pages of World's Finest #223 as the older brother Batman never knew he had. As the comic explains, Thomas Jr. had been hit by a car as a baby, and the resulting brain damage led to him being raised in Willowood Sanitarium rather than Wayne Manor. The Waynes never got around to telling their other son about him before they were murdered in Crime Alley, so Thomas Jr.'s return came as quite a surprise to Batman, especially since Junior was being manipulated into murdering people with razor-sharp boomerangs. He then got his body taken over by the ghostly superhero Deadman, who used it to get a job at the circus. Keep watching the video to learn more about how a controversial Batman twist may occur in Joker film!
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