Joker Batman meeting isn't happening

If you’re looking for some sort of dark, depressing, psychologically taut new DC cinematic universe to be built around Joaquin Pheonix’s upcoming turn as Joker in Joker and Robert Pattinson’s take on Batman — you’re out of luck. Joker director Todd Phillips categorically denied that the two would ever meet when asked by Variety: “No, definitely not.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After years of trying to play catch up with the MCU in creating a cinematic universe and failing miserably, DC and Warner Bros. are beginning to take a different approach. The studio still has plans for a connected universe, but they’ll also be producing more one-offs like Joker that take a beloved comic character as the subject matter and build a film around them. This allows them to take riskier approaches on their characters and multiple ones at that.

“Oddly, in the states, comic books are our Shakespeare it seems, and you can do many, many versions of Hamlet,” Phillips said on future appearances of the villain. “There will be many more Jokers, I’m sure, in the future.”

Joker has been getting accolades after premiering at both the Venice Film Festival, where it took home the Gold Lion top prize and TIFF, where it screened this week, but it’s also stirring up controversy. The film opens to the public on Oct. 4, 2019.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a film critic with more than a decade of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He runs the website Flixist.com and will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.

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5 Comments

  1. Can the success of The Joker strengthen the DC Black Label? I think so.

  2. It’s superman returns and Batman begins all over again.

  3. The upside of them not doing a Cinematic Universe is that they’ve stopped trying way too hard to make Marvel’s lightning strike the same bottle twice.

    The downside is that I legit would have loved to see the version of the Joker they seem to legit be making square off against Robert Pattinson as Batman.

  4. I haven’t seen the new Joker movie and probably won’t until it’s available for home viewing. I’m sure it’s a good film, possibly a great one. But with no ties to the DCU outside of ostensibly setting it in “Gotham” (which for all intents and purposes is really New York) and some references to Arkham Asylum, is this really a Joker film, or is it just another “homage” to Taxi Driver with Travis Brickle in clown makeup this time?

    I mean, that could be pretty good. But it’s not the Joker.

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