Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Movie Rumored to Feature Batman's Father

A Joker origin movie is gearing up to begin production this fall, with Joaquin Phoenix taking on the role of DC's most iconic villain. While the Clown Prince of Crime will certainly be the main character of the movie, it sounds as though another prominent figure from Batman lore will also have a significant role.

According to Hollywood insider Jeff Sneider, Thomas Wayne will be featured in the upcoming Joker origin story.

During a new episode of Collider Movie Talk, Sneider was asked about Robert De Niro, who has been rumored to have a role in the Joker origin film. Sneider noted that De Niro likely wouldn't be playing a major icon from Batman canon, but that there would be a role like that available for someone else once casting gets started.

"As for De Niro's role, I don't think he's playing some canon type character," Sneider said. "I think he's playing like a local TV host or something like that, who's maybe broadcasting about the Joker. I'm not entirely sure. I do know that one character who has a big role in this is Thomas Wayne."

One of the most important aspects of Batman's backstory is the tragic loss of his parents. As every Batman fan knows, Bruce and his parents were walking home through the streets of Gotham when a man attempted to rob them at gunpoint. Thomas tried to stop the man, resulting in the death of both himself, and his wife, Martha.

The only time we've really been able to see Thomas flourish as a character is in the pages of DC's Flashpoint event series. In an alternate version of our world, the altercation ended with Bruce's death, leading Thomas to become a much more violent version of Batman. In that same storyline, Martha turns out to be the Joker.

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We can assume that this Joker movie doesn't take place in the Flashpoint Universe, so it's likely that Thomas Wayne's role will be that of a business man in Gotham City. The movie takes place in the '80s, and will feature the Joker's descent into madness. Since Thomas will be present for this, it's possible that Bruce will still be a young boy in the movie, and Batman won't yet exist.

Do you think Thomas Wayne will show up in the Joker origin movie? What other Batman characters are you expecting to see? Let us know in the comments!