It's been a busy week for Todd Phillip's planned Joker Origin Movie this week. Joaquin Phoenix was finally confirmed to star as the title character, and with a potential 2019 release date in mind, DC fans won't have to wait long until they see the actor take to the screens as the fifth person to take on the role in live action. Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto had all previously lent their talents to the part.
Regardless of what fans may think about a potential origin feature (there's been a long running debate regarding whether the character even needs one in the first place), there's no denying that it's interesting to contemplate. Speculation hotted up considerably in the wake of reports saying that it would take partial inspiration from The Killing Joke's flashback sequences, with the film potentially even being set in the eighties, and though the project is also set to be a self-contained venture, it now looks as though it'll tie into Batman's wider lore too.
In a conversation featured in Collider Movie Talk (relayed by Comicbook.com), Jeff Sneider claims that none other than Thomas Wayne will play a pivotal role in the film. Bruce Wayne's father isn't believed to have associated with any of Joker's aliases in the comics, so if he is to play a key part, it would mark a fairly large departure from the source material.
Sneider also moves to quell speculation surrounding Rober De Niro's involvement in the project, saying that while the actor is set to star in some way, he won't be playing any famous character from Batman's comics.
"I think he's playing like a local TV host or something like that, who's maybe broadcasting about the Joker. I'm not entirely sure. I do know that one character who has a big role in this is Thomas Wayne."
Could this be teeing up a potential rendezvous between the Clown Prince and Bruce's parents - potentially in Crime Alley? Perhaps, but it illustrates that the project isn't afraid to mess around with the mythos at the very least. Whether that's a good or a bad thing remains to be seen, but with the Joker being such a popular villain, it's likely to pay-off either way.