This Joker Theory Explains What Was Really Going On in That Final Scene
While Todd Phillips's new Joker movie might have completely failed at making any sort of point or delivering any actual message, the film has become an absolute box office hit. This means, of course, that DC and Warner Bros. will almost definitely want to make a sequel even though Phillips has said it likely wouldn't happen. But, as we know, anything can happen if there's enough money involved! Plus, Joker might be better off with a sequel that introduces some sort of hope to this bleak nihilistic world created in Phillips's movie.
That said, the end of Joker seems to almost certainly set up for a sequel. We watch as young Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered in front of him—the first step in his transformation into Batman. We also see Joker incarcerated at Arkham Asylum, where he appears to murder his psychiatrist and make his escape.
A new fan theory suggests that this timeline might not be what it appears:
When Arthur was talking to the psychiatrist at the end and he said "I just thought of something funny","but you wouldnt get it" then a flashback to Bruce Wayne on the crime alley with his parents dead in the ground and I found it wierd why would Arthur find this funny.
What if that ending scene takes place in the future where Batman already exists and got the Joker put in Arkham but somewhere before that (or while inside arkham) Arthur discovered that Batman is Bruce Wayne and realizes he created Batman the day he became the Joker hence why he finds it funny.
In other words, the time jump at the end could be a little bit bigger. This final scene takes place further into the future when Batman is already trying to clean up Gotham—which would be at least 15 years later to put Bruce Wayne in his early 20s. Other Redditors have noted that Joaquin Phoenix's Joker does look noticeably older.
That would mean while he's incarcerated at Arkham Asylum, Joker figures out the identity of Batman. That's the funny thing he realizes, then kills his psychiatrist to make his escape and confront the antithesis to his absolute chaos and anarchy.
It's an interesting set up—one that would make the misery of Joker almost worth it. And, despite what Phillips said, a sequel to Joker with Batman in it would not be out of the question. Because money.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.