Warner Bros.' Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic comic book villain has cast Dante Pereira-Olson as the young Bruce Wayne, and Douglas Hodge as Alfred Pennyworth. After debuting the Joker in the DCEU via Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. will re-conceive the character in a grittier and more realistic form for their upcoming origin film directed by Todd Phillips. In addition to Phoenix as the Joker, the cast includes Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Shea Whigham and Marc Maron.
Recent set photos have given fans an early glimpse of Phoenix's Joker, while also teasing certain other classic Batman elements, including the Batmobile. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but leaks have given fans enough clues to partly piece together how the movie will tackle the most famous of all comic book bad guys and his early origins. The film has also become embroiled in a small controversy after reports that extras were locked in a subway train during a shoot and were forced to relieve themselves on the tracks.
As Joker continues to shoot, ComicBook reports on a pair of new cast additions that bring even more familiar Batman characters into the fold. First up, ComicBook says that Dante Pereira-Olson has joined the cast in the role of young Bruce Wayne. Additionally, the website reports that Douglas Hodge has also joined the cast as Batman's famed butler Alfred Pennyworth. Brett Cullen was previously added to the cast as Bruce Wayne's father Thomas, and indeed there have already been leaked photos of Cullen on the set.
A veteran character actor, Hodge has appeared on numerous TV series including Penny Dreadful, The Good Wife, The Night Manager and Skins. Hodge has recently been getting more film roles as well, appearing in the Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller Red Sparrow and the Jon Hamm action-drama Beirut. Pereira-Olson meanwhile has kicked off his young career with roles in Happy!, Mozart in the Jungle and Jessica Jones. Coincidentally, Pereira-Olson also has had a chance to play a young version of Phoenix, portraying the youthful incarnation of Joe in 2018's You Were Never Really Here.
With Joker's plot being kept hush-hush, there's no way to know how the Waynes and Alfred will fit into the story. In Batman lore, Bruce's parents were gunned down in front of him, in an incident that helped propel the lad on the path to becoming a masked vigilante. That seminal moment has been depicted in several Batman movies over the years, and indeed in 1989's Batman, Tim Burton messed with canon by having future Joker Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) perpetrate the murder himself (instead of random mugger Joe Chill as in the comics). Is it possible that Phillips' Joker will take a page from Burton's book and have Phoenix's character murder Thomas and Martha?
It's already been largely confirmed via leaked information that Joker will position the titular character as a mischief-maker taking on the ultra-rich of Gotham during the greedy '80s, a scenario that will naturally place him at odds with billionaire Thomas Wayne. But it remains to be seen how much of established Batman mythology Phillips will incorporate into the movie, and how much of the story will come out of his own imagination.
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
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- Birds of Prey (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020