As the holiday season kicks off in earnest, The CW is giving fans lots to be thankful for by releasing all sorts of first-looks at the upcoming "Elseworlds" mega-crossover event. We've now gotten peeks at each of the three installments, complete with new faces, old faces and familiar faces in new contexts. Batwoman's first official Arrow-verse video provided a few sneak peeks at Gotham City's Arkham Asylum, and possibly teased the presence of a certain Clown Prince of Crime. Check out this potential Joker for yourself.
This promo starts off brilliantly enough, with Ruby Rose's Batwoman standing atop a tall Gotham City building at night, with the city's lights all around. It's an iconic image that pops up Grant Gustin's Oliver Queen questions Other-Cisco's Batman belief system. It's a solid way to set up this new sector of the Arrow-verse where Batman hasn't been present in years. But guess what has been present? Arkham Asylum and its mentally fragile inmates.
Those inmates will apparently be let loose to run amok, and at the :04 second mark of the teaser, one of those particular inmates can be seen leaping through the air. It's timed with a high-pitched cackle coming through the sound mix, as well as Gustin saying the word "legend.". But is this actually THE Joker?
The lightness of this guy's hair makes it seem possible that there could be some green tint to it, which could be a hint. Plus, he's the only inmate who makes the radical decision to go leaping off of Arkham Asylum's exterior stairs while holding a nightstick in his mouth, rather than just walking down them without drawing excess attention to himself. Sayyy, The Joker loves drawing excess attention to himself!
Knowing the limitations that all DC TV shows have when it comes to The Joker, his arrival in the Arrow-verse crossover is not the most likely occurrence. At this point, there's the Joaquin Phoenix standalone Joker origin movie, and there are still plans for Jared Leto to reprise his twisted take on the villain. Plus, Gotham's final season is going heavy on setting up the possible introduction of its own REAL Joker, as opposed to Cameron Monaghan's psycho siblings Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska.
As well, The CW's Arrow-verse has had to step aside in the past in order to avoid using comic book characters with a future in feature films, such as Harley Quinn and Deadshot. However, Marc Guggenheim did get permission from the higher-ups to bring Superman into the crossovers for the first time, finally letting him mix it up with other heroes beyond those on Supergirl. So perhaps there's less of an issue with branding confusion these days, paving the way for Joker to exist on at least one Earth.
It was basically impossible to try and recognize the person doing the Joker-esque leaping, but we do have an idea about that cackle. As the crossover episodes were in production, Stephen Amell teased that he'd been asked by the director to laugh less hysterically. So perhaps the creative teams found ways like that to directly point to Joker's existence without ever actually showing him or giving him a name.
I can't imagine that Arrow-verse fans will be introduced to Gotham City without any of Batman's major villains having a presence in some form or another. (Stuffed penguins, perhaps?) Sure, Jeremy Davies' John Deegan, who will be responsible for all the identity swapping shenanigans, is technically the comic villain Doctor Destiny. But anyone a bit higher up in the rogues gallery rankings is also welcomed.
The Arrow-verse crossover will kick off on The CW on Sunday, December 9, with an episode of The Flash on a special night. That will be followed by Arrow on Monday and Supergirl on Tuesday. And it's already time to start planning your winter hiatus viewing, so be sure to tap into our fall TV schedule and our midseason premiere schedule.