Batman and The Joker: they go together like chocolate and peanut butter… if peanut butter was always trying to kill chocolate. In any case, we’ve seen these two forces battle each other countless times over the decades, but now we’ve reached a new era where their film history is concerned.
Joaquin Phoenix is playing a drastically different version of the Clown Prince of Crime in the Joker movie arriving next month and Robert Pattinson has succeeded Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader for The Batman. While until now there hasn’t been any indication that these two projects would cross over, now fans are speculating if there might actually be something in the works due to a recent Pattinson interview.
Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh noted that while speaking with Robert Pattinson, the actor made a “mundane comment” about Joaquin Phoenix, before asking that what he said be retracted, adding “Oh shit” and saying how he’s not used to thinking about spoilers. As he put it:
I definitely should not say that. I’m so used to pretty art-house movies, where you can watch the movie three times and still not know what it’s about.
Now there are folks who are wondering if Robert Pattinson’s backtracking means that Joker and The Batman will somehow tie together, and in one way that would make some sense. Joker is a standalone movie unconnected to the DC Extended Universe, and while nothing is officially confirmed yet, there’s been chatter that The Batman is following suit, as opposed to Robert Pattinson being a younger version of Ben Affleck’s Batman. And, naturally, both movies are/will be tonally dark, though Joker is more of a mix of Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, while The Batman will be a noir-driven story.
However, the one thing that makes a Joker/The Batman crossover unlikely is timing. Joker is set in 1981, and while Bruce Wayne will be a character in the movie, he’s only a child and both his parents are still alive, with Thomas Wayne playing a particularly role in the movie. So Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck is becoming The Joker without any Batman involvement, but that also means if this young Bruce grows up to become the Robert Pattinson Batman, Phoenix’s Arthur will be in his 70s. The hero and villain are usually much closer in age.
Besides, with Joker still a month away from being released to the public, we don’t even know if Arthur Fleck will make it out of the movie alive. Joker director Todd Phillips has said that he and his team “didn’t follow anything from the comic books,” so anything goes. But who knows? Even if Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker dies or is permanently incapacitated, maybe his chaotic crime spree inspires another to fill his shoes, and that’s the Joker Robert Pattinson’s Batman will fight someday.
Regardless of whether this crossover is a legitimate idea or not, it’s not like The Batman is lacking in villains to use. Gotham City’s shadowy protector arguably has the greatest rogues gallery in superhero history, and according to reports, we could see as many as six adversaries in The Batman, including The Penguin and Catwoman.
While we won’t have much longer to wait to see how Joker unfolds, many official details on The Batman are being kept under wraps. War for the Planet of the Apes’ Matt Reeves wrote the script and is directing, and Greig Frasier will be the cinematographer.