Joker Theory: Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Creates Batman

Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime in Joker could be responsible for turning Bruce Wayne into Batman in his universe. While Warner Bros. is still working on growing a cinematic universe of DC characters, they are also not going to be completely beholden to making all of their movies connect. This is especially true when a potentially great standalone film comes along. It’s still early in the process, but many have faith that Joker could be just that.

After initial skepticism about a Joker origin movie passed, the trailer for the Todd Phillips directed film showed just how this could work. There’s no connections to a larger universe or superheroes, as Joker looks to be a character driven piece about a man loosing his sanity. That all said, the movie will not be completely devoid of any connections to DC comics. Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) is set to play a major role, and a young Bruce Wayne appeared to be shown in the footage too.

Related: Why Joaquin Phoenix Is The Creepiest Joker

In the latest Screen Rant video, we lay out our theory that Joaquin Phoenix’s version of Joker may be the one who’s responsible for Batman’s origin. The theory would see Joker take several cues from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and Jack Nicholson’s version of Joker, but this film could make the connection between them even deeper. Check out the video featured at the top of this post for all the details.

Arthur Fleck and Bruce Wayne in Joker

Since previous versions of Joker have been responsible for the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, it would be surprising if Joker didn’t try to change up the mythology in some way. It has this ability thanks to being an Elseworlds-style film – standalone and not tied to any other films – and there have been theories for the last several months that a deeper connection between Joker and Batman will be made. Our theory leans into this, which would see Arthur Fleck (Joker’s real name for the movie) be the half-brother of Bruce Wayne thanks to Thomas having an affair with Mrs. Fleck.

But if this isn’t the case, then Joker could still subvert expectations with the setup that could be done for the future of this Elseworlds universe. Even though we may never actually see a sequel to Joker or another film set in the same continuity, it’s possible that Phoenix’s “Joker” will not even be the version of the villain that this universe’s version of Batman would fight. He amasses some form of a following based on all the clown masks featured in the film, so another version of Joker could be created in the future and take inspiration from Fleck. This latter option is far less likely to happen since a sequel or flash forward would be needed, but clearly Joker has several avenues to surprise fans with a new take on the Joker-Batman relationship.

MORE: Dark Theories About Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

Key Release Dates
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • DC Super Pets (2021) release date: May 21, 2021
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
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