Late last month, Alec Baldwin wasted everybody’s time by signing on to Todd Phillips’ Joker as a supposedly Trump-esque take on Thomas Wayne (the father of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne), and then dropping out a day or so later with a dismissive comment about how any actor could play the role. Now, Warner Bros. and Phillips have found such an actor, with ComicBook reporting that Brett Cullen has been tapped to play one of DC Comics’ most famous murder victims. If Cullen’s face looks familiar in the context of a Batman movie, it could be because he popped up in The Dark Knight Rises as the unnamed congressman who gets played by Catwoman.
ComicBook notes that the version of Thomas Wayne we see in Joker won’t be particularly familiar to comic book fans, partly because of that whole “Trump-esque” thing and partly because he’ll supposedly be playing some role in star Joaquin Phoenix’s transformation from a boring, normal guy to Gotham’s premiere clown-themed super-criminal. Also, Phillips’ Instagram post from over the weekend gave the Joker’s real name as “Arthur,” seemingly confirming a rumor that also claimed Arthur’s sickly mother had been in a relationship with her “former employer”—strongly implied to be none other than Thomas Wayne. That Hashtag Show, which originally reported the rumor, took this to mean that Wayne could secretly be Arthur’s father, meaning Phillips’ Joker might be the half-brother of Bruce Wayne (who will supposedly appear in this movie as a “very young” kid).
Basically, if you haven’t already, get ready to throw out any preconceived assumptions you have about the Batman mythos.