30 Rock and Saturday Night Live star Alec Baldwin will be playing Thomas Wayne in the Todd Phillips directed Joker movie. As fans of DC Comics known, Thomas Wayne is the father of Bruce Wayne/Batman. A well-known surgeon and philanthropist, the murder of Thomas Wayne and his wife, Martha, leads the young Bruce to become Batman. The role of Thomas Wayne was most recently played by The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Baldwin’s interpretation of the character will reportedly be very different from his comic counterpart. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Baldwin’s Thomas Wayne will be a cheesy businessman akin to Donald Trump in the 80s. Warner Bros., the studio producing Joker, has yet to comment on Baldwin’s casting, but Jeff Sneider, a source close to the production, says that the role of Thomas Wayne will be very prominent in the film.
Baldwin joins an already star-studded cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker and Deadpool 2’s Zazie Beetz as an oppressed young mother named Sophie Dumond. Frances Conroy, Robert De Niro, and Marc Maron round out the cast in currently undisclosed roles. Phillips’ Joker movie will be set outside the continuity of the DC Extended Universe, which currently has Jared Leto playing a punk gangster version of the Clown Prince of Crime. As such, fans are uncertain as to how closely the film will follow the continuity set by the comics. Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman also changed the storyline of the Joker character. While previously unnamed, Burton’s Joker was a gangster named Jack Napier. Napier, prior to becoming the Joker, murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne in a mugging gone wrong.
Joker is being described as a dark character study rather than a true comic book movie. An origin story, the film will follow Phoenix’s character as a struggling comedian. Set in the 80s, the film will show the character’s descent into becoming the Clown Prince of Crime. Phoenix himself has praised Phillips’ vision for the film, saying that it transcends genres and serves as a unique piece of film-making. Joker is rumored to start production on September 10 in New York City, with the film being released on October 4 of next year.