No matter how successful Joker or The Batman might become, director Todd Phillips doesn't see Joaquin Phoenix's version of the villain ever colliding with Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader. One of the biggest critiques with the way the DC Extended Universe has been developing is that Warner Bros. seems more focused on those possible team-ups than on the standalone films themselves, but with that strategy being what led to the disappointment of Justice League, Phillips' comments seem to echo the approach to these characters that made both Wonder Woman and Shazam! so successful. Another reason the two won't cross paths is likely due to the intense, R-rated nature of Joker.
"No, definitely not," Phillips confirmed with Variety when asked if his take on the Joker would meet Pattinson's Batman.
Few superhero and supervillain rivalries are as well-known as the feud between Batman and the Joker, making it difficult to think that the pair will never meet one another. While Phillips might not see his version of the Joker meeting Pattinson's Batman, that doesn't mean he doesn't see any version of the Dark Knight colliding with the villain, with it also being possible that a different iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime could collide with Pattinson's Batman.
Fans have a few more weeks ahead of them before Joker lands in theaters, but it's already earning some serious buzz, which includes taking the top prize at the Venice International Film Festival. While the character has seen multiple live-action appearances over the years, Phillips pointed out that what drew him to the project was that we had never fully seen his origins.
“I love the complexity of Joker and felt his origin would be worth exploring on film, since nobody’s done that and even in the canon he has no formalized beginning," Phillips previously explained. "So, [co-writer] Scott Silver and I wrote a version of a complex and complicated character, and how he might evolve...and then devolve. That is what interested me—not a Joker story, but the story of becoming Joker.”
Phillips added, “One of the themes we wanted to explore with the movie is empathy and, more importantly, the lack of empathy that is present in so much of Arthur’s world,” Phillips said. “For example, in the movie you see the difference in the way little kids and adults react to Arthur, because kids see the world through no lens; they don’t see rich versus poor or understand a marginalized individual the way adults do. They just see Arthur as a guy who’s trying to make them smile. It’s not inherent, we have to learn how to be unaccepting of others and, unfortunately, we usually do.”
Joker lands in theaters on October 4th. The Batman is slated to debut on June 25, 2021.
Are you disappointed that the characters won't meet? Let us know in the comments below!