The internet is currently debating whether Todd Phillips' Joker movie looks like an unnecessary origin story or an intriguing Scorsese clone. Regardless, at least it will finally bring the frustration of watching a Batman story where Batman is a small non-vigilante child to the big screen -- something TV viewers have been enduring for years, goddammit.
Sure, it's kind of weird that we're getting a gritty Joker backstory from the director of Old School and Starsky & Hutch. Though to be fair, Phillips' career path makes total sense, considering his first film was literally funded with the help of a murderous clown. In any case, we'll at last find out what pushed a mild-mannered comic into becoming a violent maniac. Judging from the newly released trailer, it has something to do with, um, getting kicked in the balls by random street toughs?
One odd detail to emerge is this version of the Joker's original name: Arthur Fleck. Fans were quick to point out that this could also be read as A. Fleck. Which sounds a lot like Affleck, as in Ben Affleck, our most recent Dark Knight. Sure, it could all be a coincidence, like maybe the filmmakers are big fans of Bela Fleck and that Dudley Moore movie about how hilarious alcoholism is. Or it could be a coded "f**k you" to the guy who recently unceremoniously left the franchise.
Traditionally, stories about the Joker don't even divulge his real name. Even his most in-depth comic book origin story, The Killing Joke, didn't assign a moniker to the struggling comedian. Of course, a notable exception is Tim Burton's 1989 Batman. While Burton could have cobbled together a name to similarly s**t on Adam West, instead he went with Jack Napier -- a reference to Jack Nicholson, as well as Alan Napier, who played Alfred back on the '60s series. The Napier alias has even popped up in the comics. So maybe one day Arthur Fleck will be similarly enshrined in the Bat-verse, adding more salt in the wound to the star of Reindeer Games.
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