Literally everything about Todd Phillips’ Joker has seemed bizarre, from the moment we heard that Martin Scorsese would be producing it to the story about extras being forced to pee on subway tracks, but one thing that has been particularly hard to pin down as been where it fits in the basic timeline of a Batman story. In a traditional take, The Joker rarely—if ever—exists without some kind of unintentional influence from Batman, whether it’s because he knocked a guy into a vat of chemicals or whatever, but everything we’ve seen from Joker has suggested that Batman simply won’t be in it.
Now, we have confirmation of that… technically. According to Comic Book, Dante Pereira-Olso—who played a young version of Joker star Joaquin Phoenix in You Were Never Really Here—has been cast as a young Bruce Wayne. That means this will more of a Gotham-esque timeline, except it’ll be set in the ‘80s and the Joker will already be a grown-up man instead of a deranged younger man. Alongside Pereira-Olso will be Douglas Hodge, who is playing Bruce’s longtime best friend Alfred Pennyworth. This doesn’t necessarily mean that kid Bruce won’t accidentally push Joaquin Phoenix in a vat of chemicals, thereby driving him insane and turning him into a criminal clown, but it seems unlikely.
Anyway, Robert De Niro and Marc Maron are also in Joker, because it’s gonna be a weird fucking movie.