It’s a day ending in “y,” which means we’re about due for some bit of news involving a movie about the Joker. Today the prize wheel lands on Joker, the Joaquin Phoenix-starring origin movie, with this casting announcement: Alec Baldwin will play Thomas Wayne, also known as Batman’s father.
As the Hollywood Reporter reminds us, director Todd Phillips’ exploration of the Clown Prince of Crime’s rise to villainy has already cast Robert De Niro, Mark Maron, and Deadpool 2 breakout star Zazie Beetz in supporting roles. And, of course, we already knew that Joker will represent a darker, grittier, more noirish, lower-budgeted take on the comic-book character than we’re used to seeing—“with Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy as the tonal watchwords,” THR notes, helpfully searing that mishmash into our already-confused brains.
But the description of Baldwin’s version of Thomas Wayne might be the weirdest thing that’s emerged from Joker yet:
This being a movie project that will veer off-center from the traditional Batman canon, sources say the script paints Thomas Wayne as a cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump.
This isn’t a stretch for the actor; Baldwin, of course, has perfected his Trump imitation since before the 2016 election in repeat guest spots on Saturday Night Live. Still, you have to wonder exactly how a Trump type is going to fit into Joker—especially considering the character is best-known for being murdered and sparking the seeds of Batman in young Master Bruce. Any guesses, theories, or wild hopes, please share them below. Together we can get through this.