Joker Theory Suggests the Movie Sets up Flashpoint Batman

With the film festival circuit in full swing and Joker dominating all discussion, it seems like every DC Comics fan is attempting to figure out how the spinoff film focused on Batman's greatest foe ties into the ongoing cinematic narrative. And while director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix insist the film is simply a standalone character study, there are others who must find a way to the ongoing DC Universe. One fan theory suggests that the movie could tie into a classic storyline that fans have been dying to see on the big screen.

While there's no indication that Joker could feed into a future DC Comics movie, even Matt Reeves' The Batman, one fan thinks it could be stealthily setting up the Flashpoint universe. Here's how:

Joker movie theory: Flashpoint dark reality from r/FanTheories

For all intents and purposes, Joker is looking like it will be a standalone affair, and that Phoenix is done playing the title character after this film. While there are rumblings about a possible sequel, there's no word from either Phillips or Warner Bros. Pictures that such a project is in the works.

But if they did decide to incorporate Phoenix's take on the Joker into a shared DC Comics universe, Flashpoint would be the perfect way to do it. But Phillips might have other ideas in mind, as his origin story doesn't exactly fit into the style of typical superhero movies.

"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," explained Phillips. "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."

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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 premieres in theaters on October 4th.