With The Batman starring Robert Pattinson fast approaching, one question reverberates through fandom. Will the Joker appear in The Batman? It’s an excellent question because while we’ve gotten our first looks at The Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman, Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime hasn’t yet been spotted. And though we still don’t have any word on that, we do have a suggestion for a riff on the character in a different verse… from an interesting source. Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Willem Dafoe has an idea or two about how the Joker’s character could evolve. His suggestion? An imposter Joker in Joaquin Phoenix’s universe.
Dafoe recently chatted with GQ and shared the following about his Joker thoughts:
There is something interesting about, like, if there was a Joker imposter. So it would be possible to have not dueling Jokers but someone that says to be the Joker that isn’t the Joker. And that kind of opens up the possibility of an interesting story, particularly if you had Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, and then you had someone who was either imitating or riffing off what he did. I fantasized about that. But other than that I am not talking to anybody [about it], you’re the first one.
According to the article, “for years, people have been telling him he’s the perfect man for the role [of Joker.] We can’t fault people for that. Dafoe looks like he’d nail the part. And that’s why the Joker has been on his mind.
A Joker inspired by the Joker? That’s meta worthy of the character. Dueling Jokers sounds fun too, a full Joker-verse, as it were. But something that’s more gritty and grounded works well for the character and franchise. What would an imitation Joker look like? Would he be a friend or foe? Would the Joker feel flattered or trespassed upon? In any case, it would be interesting to see come to life.
But, since Willem Dafoe only just shared his Joker vision, and there isn’t any news yet about a Joker 2 movie or about the Joker being in The Batman, the fantasy remains only that for now. Maybe one day we’ll see an imposter Joker on our screens. Fingers crossed and smiles on.