From an outside perspective, director Todd Phillips has had an easy time adding A-list talent to his upcoming standalone Joker movie. It's impressive enough that Joaquin Phoenix is set to play the lead, but the roster also includes Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, and Zazie Beetz. Now we have word that yet another big name is coming on-board, as Alec Baldwin is reportedly attached to play Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's father.
This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter, though it's paired with an interesting twist. While most iterations of Thomas Wayne have seen him as a noble and heroic figure and prominent businessman, Joker will apparently be going in a different direction. Rather than using any of the adjectives above, the trade says he will be "a cheesy and tanned businessman" - with a direct comparison drawn to a 1980s-era Donald Trump. This in mind, one has to wonder how the production may have been inspired by the actor's turn as Trump on Saturday Night Live.
Rather than being a part of the DC Extended Universe - where the Clown Prince of Crime is played by Jared Leto - this Joker movie will be an "elseworld" story that tells an origin story for the titular psychopath. Stylistically and tonally, the movie will be taking inspiration from Martin Scorsese classics Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, and it's not entirely clear how Batman will be involved. That being said, if Thomas Wayne is a significant living character in the story, that means it must be set when Bruce Wayne is just a child, meaning that the Caped Crusader may not have a part in the expected villainous transformation, as he classically has in the comics.
Alec Baldwin is certainly no stranger to major franchises - as evidenced by the fact that you can currently see him on the big screen in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. That being said, this will be the first time that he has ever played a part in a comic book movie. Back in the late 1980s he was among the actors considered for the lead in Tim Burton's original Batman movie, but that role, of course, wound up going to Michael Keaton - and now nearly 30 years later he's preparing to play the superhero's father.
Joker is still in pre-production, which could mean that there will be plenty more casting announcements on the way. Filming is scheduled to start up this fall in New York, and Warner Bros. has already pinned the film for a fall 2019 release - set to come out on October 4th next year. This film very much has our curiosity, so stay tuned for all the latest updates about the project as they come in.