Joker Gets a Name in Upcoming Origin Movie

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There are new reports about what’s to come in the upcoming Joker movie, including some background information (and resultant theories) about the Clown Prince of Crime.

It will star Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic villain and be directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame; Martin Scorsese is said to be producing. According to previous reports, filming may begin in September it will have a relatively small $55 million budget, putting Warner Bros. in a fairly secure position for such a controversial movie.

Not much was known about the plot of the film before now, except that it will portray the pre-Joker as a failing comedian and be set during the 1980s. Side characters include a single mother named Sophie Dumond (Zazie Beetz is in talks) and someone played by Robert De Niro; more to follow on him.

According to The Hashtag Show, Phoenix’s character is named Arthur Fleck. Aside from his career troubles, he is also dealing with the fact that his mother, Penny, may be dying. (Frances McDormand turned down a chance for this role.) De Niro’s character, meanwhile, is said to be a talk show host named Murray Franklin.

Further reports describe Penny as having once been attractive, currently upset about her life and obsessed with her former employer. This has already generated one fan theory: said boss could be Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne, who some reports say will be important in the movie. If that’s the case, one wonders if the Caped Crusader’s relationship with the Joker will turn out to be a Cain and Abel situation.

Much of this is speculative, though, because it is hard to say what this Joker origin movie could be about. The comics have deliberately been vague about his backstory; even when the famed Killing Joke provided one, the Joker admitted that it’s only ONE possibly memory that his insane mind has provided. The Dark Knight movie followed suit, though Tim Burton’s Batman did provide something more concrete.

Whether or not these reports are true, many fans reject the very idea of giving the Joker a firm origin, so the people behind his film have their work cut out convincing them. For now we will have to wait for some sort of confirmation to find out what exactly they have in store.

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