This week, in a new interview, Robert Pattinson made an off-hand comment that led a number of DC fans to believe that his Batman might share a universe with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. The problem with that theory is the age difference between the two characters as established in the upcoming Joker movie. Phoenix’s Joker takes place in the early ’80s—meaning a modern day Batman would make Joker in at least his 60s. So, how exactly, could this work?
One Reddit fan has a pretty interesting theory for how Phoenix’s Joker—or at least the idea of him—could appear in a film with Pattinson:
From what we see in the trailers for The Joker, Joaquin Phoenix’s joker seems to be less of an evil murderous lunatic and more of a disruptive, revolution-causing agent of change. An agent of chaos, but chaotic good rather than chaotic evil. He is also, literally, a clown. We also see in the trailers that Bruce Wayne is just a child at this point. It will be at least 10 years until he becomes Batman (assuming he starts at the age of 18-20.). Joaquin Phoenix is 44 years old. His Joker is likely around the same age. There’s no way a 55-year old Joker could keep up physically with a Batman in his prime, and there is little indication that Joaquin Phoenix engages in physical violence in the movie, let alone organized crime. Also, in the latest trailer, protesters hold signs saying “We are all clowns”, and that people other than Joaquin are wearing clown masks.
I believe that in the movie The Joker, Joaquin Phoenix’s character will begin a huge social movement which will spiral out of control, bringing the corrupt and stagnant Gotham into a violent but equalizing upheaval. With Thomas Wayne as one of the figureheads of Gotham’s establishment, I think that the murder of the Waynes will be an indirect consequence of this movement. Also, it will be a decentralized movement similar to Anonymous, with no leader or organization. Thus “we are all clowns”. Another bit of evidence for this is that Joaquin requests to be introduced on a talkshow as “Joker”. He doesn’t want his name to be known, but rather be known as the figurehead and icon of his movement A more direct consequence, though, will be that further down the line, a younger man who believes in chaos, violence, and anarchy will take up the mantle of “The Joker”, using the old movement’s name and imagery to make himself and his goals clear. This will be the Joker who Batman eventually fights.
It’s a pretty interesting idea, making Phoenix’s Joker into a sort of an evil Guy Fawkes movement rather than a full-fledged adversary for Pattinson’s Batman. The only problem with this is that it would mean we’d have yet another Joker—literally our fifth in a decade. But, conceptually, it’s a pretty cool opportunity to do something intelligent with whatever comes next.