×

Alec Baldwin Joins Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ Film as Batman’s Father

Warner Bros. has hired Alec Baldwin to appear opposite Joaquin Phoenix in its “Joker” origin film, playing the role of Thomas Wayne, the father of Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne.

Variety first reported that Phoenix was in talks to play the Clown Prince of Crime. As soon as his deal was finalized, the studio gave the greenlight to a September start date with a budget in the moderate $55 million dollar range.

Todd Phillips (“The Hangover” franchise) is on board to co-write and direct. Jared Leto will not appear in this Joker film. Leto played the Joker in 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and is expected to be back for the “Suicide Squad” sequel, along with another standalone Joker movie that will be separate from Phoenix’s Joker project.

Scott Silver is a co-writer with Phillips on the Joker origins film, which will delve into how the Joker became a criminal mastermind. Robert De Niro is portraying a talk-show host who plays a part in driving Phoenix’s character to go mad. Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron are also starring.

The Thomas Wayne character was introduced in 1939 in Detective Comics as part of the story of Batman’s origins. He was a physician and philanthropist to Gotham City who was murdered with his wife in a street robbery, serving as the inspiration for his son Bruce Wayne to fight crime as Batman.

Popular on Variety

Baldwin is up for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for playing Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” after winning the category last year. Baldwin can be seen in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman.”

Baldwin is repped by CAA. The news was first reported by Deadline.

More Film

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Reports Mixed Fourth-Quarter Results

    AMC Entertainment has reported mixed fourth-quarter results, which saw revenues rise 2.4% to $1.45 billion, despite a 4.4% drop in U.S. attendance to 62.3 million. The exhibitor, owned by Dalian Wanda Group, announced a fourth-quarter loss of $13.5 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $170.6 million, due to $84.3 million of expense related to [...]

  • 'Straight Up' Review: James Sweeney's Gay

    'Straight Up': Film Review

    There’s a tradition in movies, as vital as a hypnotic action scene or a swooning love scene, of dialogue so witty and nimble and rapid-fire that it comes at you like something out of a stylized dream. I first encountered that brand of high-velocity verbal jousting in “A Hard Day’s Night,” and later on in [...]

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    French Film Magazine Cahiers du Cinema's Staff Quits Over New Ownership

    The future of iconic French film publication Cahiers du Cinéma is in question after the outlet’s entire staff quit in protest over the brand’s new ownership. The 15-member editorial staff has spoken out against a perceived conflict of interest posed by the Cahier’s owners — a group of bankers, tech entrepreneurs and film producers that [...]

  • John Singleton Victoria Mahoney Spike Lee

    In Honor of Black History Month, a Look at Black Directors Who Made History

    In 2019, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reported that 2018 was a historic year for black filmmakers, noting a “record high when it came to hiring black directors.” The report reflected a significant change, showing the push for diversity both behind and in front of the camera. Though the numbers are increasing, the report also [...]

  • Benh Zeitlin Wendy Movie BTS

    Benh Zeitlin Goes Old-School With Stunts and Puppets for His Peter Pan Film 'Wendy'

    It has taken eight years for Benh Zeitlin to deliver the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2012 feature debut “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” But you could say the idea for “Wendy,” which reimagines the classic “Peter Pan” from the viewpoint of his female friend (played by first-time actor Devin France), has been percolating far longer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content