The screenplay for Joker has been released online, to aid in consideration for awards season. And one of the first things we noticed when flipping through it? The man who (spoilers?) shoots Thomas and Martha Wayne in the movie's final act is not named. He is one of a number of nameless "punks" in clown masks seen in the final scenes. And while that is certainly the way it played out onscreen, we had wondered whether Joe Chill -- the most common shooter of the Waynes in the comics and other media -- would be name-dropped in the screenplay, even though he was not in the film itself.
The character could also have been named Jack Napier, we guess, which would have been a really fun way to mess with expectations. In the 1989 Batman movie by Tim Burton, Napier (the Joker's pre-acid bath criminal identity) was responsible for killing the Waynes as a kid, effectively creating a scenario where he "created" Batman before Batman "created" him by dropping him in the acid. In Joker, the idea that Joker created Batman is still true -- albeit slightly less directly, since it is not Arthur Fleck but one of his copycats who takes aim at Thomas and Martha Wayne outside of a movie theater during a riot.
A sequel to Joker is supposedly in the works at Warner Bros. now. In the film, which just hit digital video on demand services, Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, who descends into madness and emerges as the clown-faced killer known as the Joker. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron.0comments
The film proved polarizing with critics. ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis calls the film a masterpiece is his 5-star review, writing, "Whether or not Joker is a social commentary on issues such as poverty or mental illness, a new and mysterious take on the best known DC Comics villain, or just another unforgettable piece of cinema which producer Martin Scorsese [was] attached to, you’ll need to see to believe it and, even then, you still might not believe it."
Upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.