Todd Phillips Explained That Huge Batman Twist In Joker
The director of Joker has explained just why that big Batman twist is there.
Despite severing itself from the traditional DCEU canon ahead of its release, Joker surprised fans when Arthur Fleck's (Joaquin Phoenix) mother Penny (Frances Conroy) told him Thomas Wayne, father of Batman Bruce Wayne, was also his dad.
It was an idea seemingly debunked later in the film when Thomas (Brett Cullen) denied the claim and Penny, who was said to have been diagnosed with delusional psychosis, was revealed to have adopted Arthur and hadn't had an affair with Thomas as she'd claimed.
However, Joker later revealed a picture of a younger Penny with 'Love Your Smile. TW' written on the back, leading fans to believe Penny was telling the truth and Arthur/Joker may very well be Batman's half-brother.
It's an intriguing idea, which is exactly why director Todd Phillips avoided answering the question of Arthur's true identity.
"I liked leaving the idea of Arthur being Thomas Wayne's son ambiguous," he told Empire.
"Part of the fun is that question being out there. What would that change if Joker is somehow a blood relation to Bruce Wayne? Part of the movie is a search for identity. Arthur's idea is to fit in and belong somewhere.
"So this idea of Arthur not knowing who his father is, where he came from, if he was adopted, what the story was, was another element in his search for identity."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.