Shocking Joker theory says he’s the illegitimate son of Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne spotted in trailer

A fan theory suggests that Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck from the upcoming Joker movie could be the illegitimate child of billionaire Thomas Wayne, father of Bruce Wayne, aka the Batman.
Arthur meets Bruce Wayne in a still from the Joker trailer.
Arthur meets Bruce Wayne in a still from the Joker trailer.
Updated on Apr 10, 2019 02:06 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent

A Joker theory suggests that Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck is the illegitimate son of billionaire industrialist Thomas Wayne, which makes him the brother of Thomas’ son, Bruce Wayne, who grows up to become Batman.

Fans have also spotted an appearance by the young Bruce in the trailer, which has gone largely unnoticed. At around the 1:45 minute mark, Arthur puts on a large clown’s nose and appears to be interacting with a child across a wall. The next shot shows Arthur and the child, now face-to-face, divided by an iron gate (which could be at Wayne manor). Arthur then sticks his hands into the child’s mouth and forces him to smile, a move that he previously employs on himself. This child is Dante Pereira-Olson, who has been cast as Bruce Wayne.

Arthur meets a young Bruce Wayne in a still from the Joker trailer.
Arthur meets a young Bruce Wayne in a still from the Joker trailer.

While the Batman might not feature in Joker, it has been implied in the trailer that the Wayne family plays an important role. Thomas himself has been compared to a Donald Trump-esque figure, with political ambitions. He is played in the film by Brett Cullen, but it is widely believed that the role was initially offered to Alec Baldwin, who does a famous impression of Trump on Saturday Night Live.

Thomas Wayne pushes his political campaign on TV in a still from the Joker trailer.
Thomas Wayne pushes his political campaign on TV in a still from the Joker trailer.

It was previously theorised, based on inside information about some of the characters, that Arthur might be Wayne’s illegitimate son, thereby adding a new dimension to the Joker-Batman dynamic. The Hashtag Show quoted a source as saying, “Fleck’s mother was described as ‘very attractive in her youth’, ‘obsessed with her former employer’ and unable to believe ‘this is what her life has come to.’”

The trailer shows Arthur and his mother’s uncomfortably close relationship - we see shots of them dancing together and him bathing her - and portrays Arthur as a meek, bullied manchild, who takes to a life of crime after suffering years of abuse and neglect.

Arthur bathes his mother in a still from the Joker trailer.
Arthur bathes his mother in a still from the Joker trailer.

It has also been reported that Warner Bros is waiting on how fans react to Joker before deciding whether or not they want to tie it in with director Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman film, which is reported going to feature a young Bruce, and will have a noir tone.

Joker is directed by the Hangover’s Todd Phillips, and also stars Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, and others. The film is slated for an October release.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021