Fight Club may be a perfect origin story movie for Joker, specifically Heath Ledger's version in The Dark Knight. On the surface, the two films may not seem to have much of a connection. The first is a 1999 film directed by David Fincher with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton starring as The Narrator and Tyler Durden respectively. The latter is a 2008 comic book movie sequel directed by Christopher Nolan starring Christian Bale as Batman.
While Fight Club and The Dark Knight strike different tones, the movies do have a similar aesthetic to them and even deal with comparable thematic ideas. One of Tyler Durden's main goals in Fight Club is dismantling the system that he lives in, with his final plan a mass bombing of credit card companies to wipe away all debt. Meanwhile, Joker cripples Gotham city with bank heists, murders of government officials, and turning the city's heroes into villains. In fact, Fight Club could even work as an origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime.
As discussed in the latest Screen Rant video, Tyler Durden's story in Fight Club is an almost perfect Joker establishment. At the center of this is the characters' split personalities. This is a major twist for Tyler, and while The Dark Knight never confirms it for the Joker, it is an idea that the comics. Certainly, The Dark Knight's Joker could arguably fit the description with how he constantly changes the story of how he got his scars.
The markings that give him a permanent smile are also something that could line up between Tyler and Joker's stories. Since Joker gives a few different explanations for the scars, it's possible that none of them are the truth and he's concealing it. The end of Fight Club sees Tyler shoot himself in the mouth, splitting his cheek. Repairing the damage to his face could be what gives him this smile.
There are more similarities between Tyler and Joker - such as both being agents of chaos or their taste in women - but, of course, they don't quite answer how Fight Club would work as a prequel to The Dark Knight. Those who believe this theory suggest that Tyler was in a coma following the gunshot wounds and, while he thought he was removing the dark side, it actually fractured his mind even more and resulted in him embracing a life of crime as Joker.
As fun as it may be to connect the two movies together, though, there is zero actual evidence suggesting this is what Nolan wanted to do, or that he even took inspiration. That said, it is still a fun theory for Batman fans. Those eager for an actual origin movie for the DC villain will get Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix this fall.