We gotta keep in mind: This is a Scorsese flick. This means macho mobsters, brutality, grey on grey morality for the cops, etc. There probably wont be a chemical origin.
The trailers paint an individual with all the makings of a psychopath, but he isnt there yet.
First he becomes a proletariat revolutionary, who operates much like a mobster.
Arthur runs afoul with the mobsters benefitting from the status quo and reality ensues. I would rate the Glasgow smile as a very likely addition to Arthurs appearance at some point. Maybe even a mob hits tattood makeup as a mockery of his intial clown disguise. Of course, this casts him right over the dispair event horizon, which drives him towards The Man Who Laughs.
Beetzs Quinn is probably going to have her own evolution as girl friend who likes Arthurs vision to insane co-mobster.
Arthurs mission, and fighting with the other mobsters leads to the deaths of the Wayne parents, sparking Bruce Waynes (offscreen) evolution into Batman.
No, the implications are super creepy.
The movie takes place around the 1980s / early 90s. The Joker is hinted at being a proletariat figure. Considering this is around the same period as the Burtons Batman, one of the shout outs could be Joker was responsible for the deaths of Waynes parents, like he was in that story arc.
If the Joker is forcing Bruce to smile in this scene, its likely his parents are already dead.
It gets exponentially creepier when you consider this Jokers wildly unhealthy relationship with his mother shown in the same trailer. I think thats all that needs to be said on this matter.
Either the Joker is there to more or less bully Bruce, or hes there to corrupt him.
Its terrifying in its own right: Batman in this arc has two likely origins...
- Born out of the rage against the Joker
- The evolution of a possible crazy Joker henchman (impressionable kid), into a crazy vigilante (Batman).
In this context, Batman is Bruces Joker-like identity, after having one bad day.
- The WMG headline is correct, but the circumstances around it are not.
The Dark Knight could make a short appearance in a manner similar to the Joker comic book by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. But only after a Time Skip, since Bruce is a young boy for the biggest part of the story.
- Jossed, but his existence has been guaranteed nonetheless due to a clown rioter killing Bruce's parents.
- Jossed. He's definitely the story's protagonist and survives the events of the movie. There is no Time Skip at the end.
- In some final confrontation, we'll get a Once More, with Clarity! montage of all the times Arthur had been beaten down by society. The kids who stole his sign and possibly kicked him in the balls didn't actually do anything that bad and it was Arthur who saw the whole thing as a metaphorical Groin Attack. His encounter with the rich guys on the subway was an Imagine Spot where his anxiety over his appearance led to him fantasizing them beating him up and humiliating him. In the end, Arthur will be driven even more mad and truly become the comics Joker we all know and love once he's told "Maybe it was just you, all this time."
- Semi-confirmed since his interactions with Sophie turned out to be delusions. Much of the film is up to interpretation so it is unclear if Thomas Wayne is depicted accurately.
- Another creepy option, is for his sanity slippage to be gradual, and he progressively tattoos the makeup on his face. Maybe even providing his own Glasgow smile by the end.
- He is a clown for hire by trade initially, and commits his first crime without premeditation.
- Semi-confirmed. The Wayne parents both die, but one of the clown mask crowd that got set ablaze by Joker's murder of Franklin Murray does the deed.
- Jossed. She's just his neighbor, and he fancies himself her boyfriend.
- Confirmed, although the Bat-cast has not been expanded beyond the Waynes, Alfred, and Joker himself.
Similar to the above, but to a further degree - there is no Gordon, no Thomas Wayne, there just regular people that this psychopath is forcing to participate in his delusions. If Batman does appear, it will just be another insane person who is playing into the same delusion, and the city becomes besieged by a pair of psychotics, playing out and feeding into each others dangerous delusions.
- Jossed. He gets interned at Arkham.
- Semi-confirmed since the film ends with him talking to a psychiatrist at Arkham and we are left uncertain as to how much of the film actually happened.
- Unlikely. TDK Trilogy Thomas Wayne is a Benevolent Boss, Joker's Thomas Wayne is verging on Corrupt Corporate Executive.
- Technically this could be viable, as the film is meant to be seen as a haze of truth and hallucinations combined. The Joker's status as an Unreliable Narrator helps, and one could also ascribe a touch of the trope to Bruce and Alfred's recollections of Thomas Wayne in the trilogy. Perhaps one could read him as some where in the middle of Benevolent Boss and Corrupt Corporate Executive, depending on who's viewpoint we have.
- Jossed. This is a different universe altogether. Todd Philips made it clear long ago.
- Jossed. He gets killed along with Martha under Bruce's eyes, as usual.
- Ultimately subverted. While Arthur's mom Penny was leading this on to Arthur, when he actually confronts Thomas, Thomas instead points out that Penny did work for him, but she was delusional. When Arthur goes to confirm it, not only is Thomas right, Arthur learns he's adopted. Granted, even with how older Thomas is, the idea of Arthur being his son seems highly suspect given how old Arthur is himself. Granted, the correlation is in that Thomas does indirectly lead to Arthur's last push into being Joker and Joker spurs Joe Chill to kill Thomas Wayne.
- To add to this, this killing might be similar to the Bernhard Goetz situation. Witnesses will report a "guy dressed as a clown" defending himself and Arthur will be seen as a hero, thus inciting copycats. This is where we get the clown protests in the subways and other parts of Gotham seen in the trailer.
- Jossed hard. He is, in fact, the one who kills her.
- Adding to that, her death will be caused by a heart attack out of worry from trying to defend Arthur from jerks similar to the ones from the subway, making him blame "society" for taking away the one person he cared the most in his life.
- Jossed. She dies by Vorpal Pillow, courtesy of Arthur.
- Jossed. His parents die, as usual.
- Jossed. The timeline on this doesn't match up, either.
- Jossed. Thomas and Martha Wayne both die, and their son survives.
- Unlikely that the character would include him possibly murdering his crush, who isn't her, and leave herself out entirely.
- Jossed; Arthur is the Joker. And she may very well be dead.
- Maybe confirmed? It's hinted that Arthur kills her, but it isn't shown.
- Unlikely, since the film depicts Arthur as delusional and features a blatant tease of Bruce being his future foe.
- Confirmed. But he doesn't say "Who's laughing now?"
- Confirmed. When his followers go nuts, one of them goes to kill the Waynes.
- Jossed. Different universe.
- Joker: So now you must be asking yourself, "Why, oh why, did Joker make us sit through two hours of his tragic backstory that never even happened?" Quite simple, really! To make it easier for me to get rid of you lot without any resistance. Why? Cause it's fun, that's why! And all it took was just a sob story complete with crocodile tears and you all fell for it hook, line, and sinker! Aw come on, don't be so blue! Here, how about a nice squirt to the face? That always gets em'! (sprays Joker gas) Whoops! Sorry! Looks like I forgot to change out the flowers this time! All jokes aside, I hope you all had a great time sitting through two hours of tragedy and woe, all for it to end the same for all of you! And before I leave ya, let me say some nice parting words: Shame ol' Bats won't be here to save you. (does his maniacal trademark laugh)
He's way, way too specific in his denial to Arthur in the bathroom. All he has to say is that he never slept with Penny and that would be that. And yet he chooses to layer on the entirely separate and irrelevant detail of him being adopted in addition. Why and how in the hell would the owner and Director of a massive international conglomerate like Wayne Enterprises at all be so aware of the private life of a low-level employee (Wayne hardly even knows or cares about much higher-level people in his company, like the finance professionals Arthur killed), unless he had more to do with her than he's letting on? Furthermore the idea that Penny had a narcissist personality disorder flies in the face of the flashback showing she was battered by her 'boyfriend'. A real narcissist would never take physical abuse lying down as she did, so the medical record and the idea she imagined her relationship with Thomas is immediately suspect.
He isn't nearly smart enough. The other, smarter Joker may want people to think they are the same person and so under-estimate his intelligence.
- Adding to this, it could be that the real Joker is indeed Arthur Fleck; its just that the events of the movie turn out to be a story that he made up, and that the only real glimpse we get of the actual Joker is the one we see in Arkham at the end of the film.
- At some point shortly after the events of the film, the riot Arthur inspired will die down, and the rest of the city's elite will work to improve Gotham's state with increased charitable donations (much like how Alfred mentioned people responding to the Waynes' deaths in Batman Begins). As a result, while Arthur eventually either died in Arkham, was executed, or just became too old to do anything physically active, shortly after Bruce returns to Gotham and goes 'public' as Batman, someone of a similar age will be inspired by the tales of the old riots to take up Arthur's look, but take it to the next level to become the truly twisted, remorseless Joker we all Love to Hate (as opposed to Arthur, who could almost be sympathetic and is shown to have a degree of standards when he spares someone who was never cruel to him).
- Most likely, "Arthur Fleck" will be mentioned alongside "Jack Napier" as known alias of the Joker.
- Or, perhaps he will become Gaggy, a midget sidekick Joker had in the comics back in the Sixties. His name even sounds a little like Gaggy. A possible story for him: Gary decided it would be best to join a traveling circus and get away from the madness in Gotham. He was doing well with the circus as a midget clown. He became enamored of a young acrobat named Mary Lloyd. Mary thought of Gary only as a friend and was really in love with another acrobat named John Grayson. On the day Gary decided to confess his feelings to Mary she cut him off with "Oh, Gary, I have the best news! John asked me to marry him! Isn't that wonderful? Hey, are those flowers for your new act or something?" He was invited to the wedding, but instead went to a seedy bar to drown his troubles. A couple of drunks decided it would be fun to pick on the midget. A lanky figure comes over, slaps his hands on the drunks' shoulders and says "Hey, cut it out, guys!" The two drunks wince and touch where the guy slapped them. One asks "What's the big idea sticking me with a nee...." then suddenly breaks down in hysterical laughter, as does the other. They fall to the ground dead with hideous grins on their faces. "I always liked you, Gary." says Arthur. "Buy you a drink?" And an evil friendship is renewed.
- As nice as this sound, I highly doubt Sophie's daughter survived the movie.
- Why not? As previous scenes have shown, Arthur Wouldn't Hurt a Child, and unlike the rest of of his possible victims, Sophie's daughter never wronged him in any way.
- Keep in mind, at that point in the movie, Arthur becomes more and more violent, so it's not impossible.
- Why not? As previous scenes have shown, Arthur Wouldn't Hurt a Child, and unlike the rest of of his possible victims, Sophie's daughter never wronged him in any way.
- The Joker could've just walked out of Sophie's apartment with no further trouble from him only for Sophie to lose her life in the riot that consumed Gotham. Her death would still be tied to Joker that way, while recognizing how she was someone he wouldn't hurt (at least back then).
- The cinematographer states Sophie survived the film.
- Could be interesting; however Lex Luthor might not be the one. He's generally rich and privileged, making it less tragic. Some better options might be Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Red Hood, Deathstroke, Two-Face, or Mr. Freeze.
- The film can be based on the version who grew up in Suicide Slum and killed his Abusive Parents to collect the insurance money he needed to start LexCorp.
- Ah, but Lex Luthor being rich and privileged would work for him as a Contrasting Sequel Protagonist/Contrasting Sequel Antagonist. He can be played sympathetically by taking nods from portrayals such as the Silver Age's Superboy and Lextor (where he becomes a legit hero to a planet, starts a family, only to lose it all in a series of events that significantly include Superman) stories, Smallville, and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel (calling attention to how terrifing Clark is as both an alien and as something mankind can never reach, show him genuinely caring for his sister Lena, seeking to build the future if only through his way).
- Geez, and also take into consideration that there are interesting Dc Comics supervillains outside of Batman's Rogues Gallery. There are people who could fill up a film easily such as Brainiac, General Zod, Manchester Black, Mr. Mxyzptlk, the Ultrahumanite, Vandal Savage, Parallax, Gorilla Grodd, Maxwell Lord, Giganta, Black Adam, Doctor Light, Circe, ... Also notice that the Joker film really bent the traditional Joker out of shape to do this movie. By this standard, Luthor or any other antagonist could be given an unorthodox background as well to make an interesting standalone film.
- So did Murray never die? Or was it a follower who killed Murray in reality?
- It's possible Arthur sneaked onto the set and shot him while under a delusional state.
- I think this is confirmed, actually.
- This is actually supported by a subtle clue: In the "real" version of events, the Waynes went to see "The Mark of Zorro". In the Joker's version of events, they saw "Zorro, the Gay Blade," a parody of Zorro movies.
- Plus, how exactly does a mentally ill, lower-class single woman manage to become a prime candidate for adopting someone?
- Sadly, adoption centers aren't perfect. Even people who obviously shouldn't have children still somehow get to adopt. Same goes for people who are sponsors for foster children. Furthermore, Gotham is a corrupt city during the events of the story, so this shouldn't come off as a shock.
- If Arthur is adopted to begin with, then we have to consider the film is set in 1981 by which time Arthur is at least some 30 years old. This means he may have been adopted at latest around 1955. Perhaps the requirements to adopt weren't as stringent as today.
- "The chair said there are three."
- Let's get nuts: Arthur is the prelude to Ledger's Joker. It's hard to disentangle the events of Joker from Arthur's delusions, but let's say both the Joker riots and Arthur's five minutes of fame happened (though there may not be a direct link between the two). By Batman Begins, most people have moved on to newer problems, but Ledger's Joker looks back to them for inspiration. He even models himself on Arthur Fleck, adopting his lank-haired look and high voice, albeit injected with a great deal of his personal menace. For him, Fleck is the archetypal bad day, a reminder of the time Gotham society almost tore itself apart in line with Joker 2's beliefs. While there's a dramatic difference in the depiction of the Waynes' deaths between the two universes, Fleck's delusions of grandeur might suggest his tangential role in those events may have been nothing more than a joke he later tells himself as a form of internal revenge on the Waynes. So the version we see in the Nolanverse is the real one. On a meta level, this gives Joker a sequel of its own and unites the two most adjacent cinematic versions of the Joker, with a little nod to Gotham's multi-Joker backstory along the way.
- However, one major inconsistency remains: the death of the Waynes. In Begins, it was Joe Chill, dressed normally and just wanting Thomas' cash. In Joker it is still presumably Chill, though he is one of Joker's rioting followers who just shoots them dead out of an Eat the Rich philosophy. Although, the film is still set Through the Eyes of Madness, and thus you experience the same scene through two different viewpoints. Bruce's recalling of the murders is vivid, to the point - grounded and tragic in execution. Arthur's is set in the apex of the chaos, is much more dramatic and abrupt - slower, even, to give a sense of delirium. It is possible that Arthur miscalled the memory of the murder simply because he wasn't there to witness it firsthand, and thus he thinks that Thomas Wayne died in the midst of his "big night", as opposed to much later.
- Confirmed. Cinematographer Lawrence Asher revealed in an interview with /Film that Todd Phillips told him that Arthur did NOT kill Sophie.
- Jossed. The film makes it pretty obvious that Arthur's interactions with Sophie were hallucinations.
- Alternatively, it'll reverse the line, with Arthur trying to goad Batman into killing him, only for Batman to reply that it's not what Arthur deserves and says that he wants to help him.
- Yet another option: When the Joker has a Heel Realization, he will say "I get what I fucking deserve."