Robert Pattinson’s Variety cover story includes the actor’s first thoughts on becoming the latest actor to take on Bruce Wayne/Batman, but it’s a moment retracted from the published interview that is causing a stir with comic book movie fans (via ScreenRant). Variety New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh writes: “At one point in our conversation, [Pattinson] offers a mundane comment about Joaquin Phoenix, who stars in Joker (a movie he hasn’t seen yet), before asking to retract it. ‘Oh shit,’ he says, adding that he’s not accustomed to thinking about spoilers.”
Pattinson goes on to tell Setoodeh: “I definitely should not say that. I’m so used to pretty art-house movies, where you can watch the movie three times and still not know what it’s about.”
Pattinson’s retraction means there is no telling what the actor said about Joaquin Phoenix, but that’s not stopping fans from theorizing that a plan might be in motion to have Pattinson’s Batman crossover with Phoenix’s Joker. Phoenix is playing the infamous Batman villain in the Warner Bros. fall tentpole “Joker,” which world premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival to strong acclaim for Phoenix’s performance. Variety notes that Pattinson’s spoiler concerned a comment about Phoenix specifically and not the overall “Joker” movie, which has led some fans to believe Pattinson knows there’s a grand plan involving Phoenix and his own’s comic book movie future.
“Joker” director Todd Phillips has already expressed interest in returning to make another movie with Joaquin Phoenix as the title character, more or less confirming the new movie ends with Phoenix’s villain alive in Gotham City. “I would do anything with Joaquin Phoenix, any day of the week,” Phillips said. “There’s nobody like him. If he was willing to do it, and if people show up to this movie, and Warners came to us and said, ‘You know what? If you guys could think of something…’ Well, I have a feeling that he and I could think of something pretty cool.”
Phillips’ “Joker” would appear to lay the groundwork for Bruce Wayne to be introduced considering, Brett Cullen is playing Thomas Wayne in a supporting role. If Thomas Wayne exists in the world of “Joker,” then there’s a good chance young Bruce Wayne also exists or will exist in the future.
Another sign fans are pointing to is that both “Joker” and Pattinson’s “The Batman” do not exist in the larger DC Extended Universe (DCEU), which includes films like “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman.” Jared Leto debuted as the DCEU’s Joker in “Suicide Squad.” Warner Bros. has outright confirmed “Joker” exists outside the DCEU, while Deadline reported that “The Batman” will focus on a younger Bruce Wayne (hence Pattinson’s casting) and have no ties to the DCEU Batman that was played by Ben Affleck in “Batman v Superman” and “Justice League.” That both films exist outside the DCEU opens the door to Pattinson and Phoenix crossing over at some point, although Warner Bros. has confirmed nothing on the matter.
“Joker” opens in theaters October 4 after additional festival screenings at TIFF and NYFF. Pattinson’s “The Batman,” directed by Matt Reeves, will be released June 25, 2021.