Almost all of us who have seen ‘Joker’ by now, including me, were faced with the pretty obvious revelation as the 80s style title cards appeared, including the original Warner Media insignia from the same time, and a DC logo wasn’t anywhere to be seen. The same was also visible from the trailers, but the opening of the film put it out in bold letters for anybody still looking: the ‘Joker’ movie is in absolutely no way linked to the current continuity of DC films, and is a separate film existing on its own, exclusive of any cinematic universe.
Is There Batman in Joker?
‘Joker’ outwardly links to the Batman universe, tying in with major events that occurred in Gotham that lead to Bruce Wayne training and later assuming the mantle of the Batman, making Joker’s origin story tie-in with the canon source material. While there is definitely no Batman in this universe, there certainly is a Thomas Wayne, and a young Bruce Wayne crossing paths with the Joker.
After learning that Thomas Wayne might be his father, Arthur goes up to the Wayne Manor to confront him, but instead encounters young Bruce, and tries to make him smile through his tricks in a chilling scene. He is later able to make the acquaintance of Thomas Wayne at a theatre, who angrily dismisses him after punching him in the face, and tells him the truth about his mother’s mental illness, and how she was deluded to consider Thomas Wayne as the father of her child. Arthur soon discovers that he was adopted and had a history of abuse from her boyfriend. Cut to the final bits of the film when Joker’s act on TV has sparked a citywide revolution. One of the clown’s followers guns down the Waynes in an alley while the city around them burns, nicely tying into the pretty well known origin tale.
Will Joaquin Phoenix Star in Joker Sequel?
Both director Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix — who portrays the character to near perfection — have also been pretty vocal about the film being a standalone entity, intended as a singular character study rather than a franchise starter. “We have no plan for a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it”, said Phillips.
In fact, Phoenix even took issue with the inclusion of any and all comic book references and linkages that have been included in the film, including the obvious Batman tie-ups, and even saying the name Thomas Wayne. “Joaquin never liked saying the name Thomas Wayne. It would have been easier for him if the movie had nothing to do with any of that stuff”, said Phillips on Phoenix’s reluctance to comic book tie-ins to the film. That alone singularly rules out the appearance of Phoenix’s Joker or any ties with the film for Robert Pattinson’s and Matt Reeve’s upcoming solo ‘Batman’ film that will somehow be incorporated into the DCEU.
Joker Crossover in Future Batman Films: Theories
As of now, ‘Joker’ is hot for some Oscar buzz, with unanimous praises for the film pouring in from all directions, especially for Phoenix’s performance that is sure to fetch him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and Todd Phillips’ direction and tonal choices for the film. However, with the current state of the DCEU shrouded in uncertainty and the kind of films that the makers have decided to put out as opposed to canon sequels we could use (Man of Steel 2 being long overdue but nowhere in the water since Henry Cavill’s future with the DCEU too is uncertain), one wouldn’t be completely unreasonable to assume that WB and DC both would like to carry on with something that big and successful.
While we are pretty sure that a direct sequel picking up from where the first one ended simply won’t happen owing to Phillips’ and Phoenix’s assertion on the matter, there are definitely other directions that this could go in. Needless to say, most of these directions would simply stem from all the Batman references in the film, despite the idea of the caped crusader not even being born yet in the film’s timeline.
Possibly the most likely avenues considered here, and given the huge impact the Joker’s activities had on young Bruce Wayne, what we could have would be a spiritual successor to the film, focussing on Bruce’s state of mind as he grows up to subsequently don the cape and cowl. We have already had several of those origin tales, but if a dramatic, raw, gritty retelling of the story is undertaken as a character study for Bruce through the years, just as it worked for ‘Joker’, it could have some takers. However, regardless of whatever direction, if at all, WB and the makers decide to take any figment of the ‘Joker’ movie forward, Phillips and Phoenix don’t seem to be interested in the first place to be involved, and even averted to the idea of it. More so, this would also seriously put the chances for such a project happening in the future to an absolute minimal low.
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