The upcoming Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix is set to include depictions of both Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth.
Per The Hollywood Reporter (via Comicbook.com), Dante Pereira-Olson has been cast as a young Bruce Wayne, long before donning the black cowl and becoming Batman. Pereira-Olson and Joaquin Phoenix both starred in the recent film, You Were Never Really Here.
Douglas Hodge, a British actor who starred as Sir Robert Loxley in the 2010 adaptation of Robin Hood, is set to play the Waynes’ loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth. Brett Cullen is set to play Bruce’s father Thomas Wayne following Alec Baldwin leaving the role. Other stars set to appear in the film include Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Glenn Fleshler, Marc Maron, and more. The film is currently in production and is being directed by Todd Phillips.
Joker will take place years before the emergence of Batman. Brett Cullen’s role as Thomas Wayne implies that Bruce’s parents will have a major part in this movie. Creating a connection between the Joker and Bruce Wayne before his parents were murdered is an interesting angle. The early images of Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker also promise a new take on every aspect of the infamous villain.
Alfred and Bruce had a special bond even before the loss of the Waynes. Adding the Joker as a presence in Bruce’s life from before Batman expands their connection as well. It has been suggested that the Joker cannot exist without Batman. But this film could explore if the opposite is true.
Joker will tell a new take on the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin during the 1980’s in Gotham City. Previous versions of the Joker’s origin have been told in Batman: The Killing Joke and other comics. But this new film promises that fans “haven’t seen how the Joker becomes the Joker,” at least in this incarnation.
Joker arrives in theaters in less than a year, on October 4, 2019.