Alec Baldwin Will Play Batman's Dad in the Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie

Baldwin at the 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Baldwin at the 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF

It’s a day ending in “y,” which means we’re about due for some bit of news involving a movie about the Joker. Today the prize wheel lands on Joker, the Joaquin Phoenix-starring origin movie, with this casting announcement: Alec Baldwin will play Thomas Wayne, also known as Batman’s father.


As the Hollywood Reporter reminds us, director Todd Phillips’ exploration of the Clown Prince of Crime’s rise to villainy has already cast Robert De Niro, Mark Maron, and Deadpool 2 breakout star Zazie Beetz in supporting roles. And, of course, we already knew that Joker will represent a darker, grittier, more noirish, lower-budgeted take on the comic-book character than we’re used to seeing—“with Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy as the tonal watchwords,” THR notes, helpfully searing that mishmash into our already-confused brains.

But the description of Baldwin’s version of Thomas Wayne might be the weirdest thing that’s emerged from Joker yet:

This being a movie project that will veer off-center from the traditional Batman canon, sources say the script paints Thomas Wayne as a cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump.

This isn’t a stretch for the actor; Baldwin, of course, has perfected his Trump imitation since before the 2016 election in repeat guest spots on Saturday Night Live. Still, you have to wonder exactly how a Trump type is going to fit into Joker—especially considering the character is best-known for being murdered and sparking the seeds of Batman in young Master Bruce. Any guesses, theories, or wild hopes, please share them below. Together we can get through this.

io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.



I have a theory, and it’s too crazy to be true but I’m wildly intrigued if it’s the case: I think the film is an Elseworlds tale of a world where the Waynes didn’t die, so Batman, technically, never happened.

Maybe the whole pitch is how a Joker could still occur in a city that would likely only have become more corrupt, even warping the “noble” Wayne family.

It also answers the age issue which, if this is pre-shot Thomas Wayne, then it’d just be bizarre to see a much older Joker that would be in his, what, sixties when Bruce dons the cowl?