'Joker' Movie Casts Young Bruce Wayne And Alfred, Continues To Baffle Us

Director Todd Phillips is currently shooting Joker, his gritty, mid-budget supervillain movie with Joaquin Phoenix playing Arthur, a failed comedian who eventually becomes Gotham City's Clown Prince of Crime. This isn't a Batman-centric project (it's technically not even in the same continuity as other Warner Bros. superhero movies like Batman v Superman or Justice League), but that's not stopping Phillips from incorporating his own pipsqueak version of Bruce Wayne and his loyal butler into his movie.

Two New Joker Movie Cast Members

ComicBook.com brings word that Dante Pereira-Olson and Douglas Hodge have been cast in Joker, playing young Bruce Wayne and middle-aged Alfred Pennyworth, respectively.

Wait, Who?

If you're wondering who the heck those actors are, you certainly aren't alone. Pereira-Olson played a younger version of Joaquin Phoenix's character in You Were Never Really Here, while Hodge has been in things like Black Mirror,  The Night Manager, and Penny Dreadful. But in this case, the actors themselves aren't nearly as important as the odd fact that these characters are going to appear in this movie at all.

Why This Matters

Throughout its development process, Joker has often been compared to The Killing Joke, a famous (and somewhat controversial) Batman graphic novel that depicts a version of the Joker's origin story. In that story, Batman is instrumental in the transformation of the failed comedian into the Joker: the comedian is roped into participating in a crime, Batman shows up, and the comedian leaps into a chemical drainage system to avoid him.

Dante Pereira-Olson is a young child. Unless Warner Bros./DC really go off the rails and decide to depict a pre-teen Batman, he's not going to be suiting up in this movie. That means you can pretty much scratch off the possibility of Batman factoring into the creation of the Joker in this movie. So with that in mind, how are young Bruce and middle-aged Alfred going to appear here? We already knew Bruce's father Thomas Wayne was going to appear in this movie, so will Joker be responsible for murdering Bruce's parents? That was a dramatic departure from the comics when director Tim Burton did it in the 1989 Batman movie, so perhaps Phillips and company are looking for an equally dramatic departure of their own here.

And please, whatever you do, make sure not to confuse this with Pennyworth, the Epix TV series that just cast Jack Bannon as a young, sexy Alfred. That's a separate non-Batman-but-kinda-Batman-related project that's coming soon. It's very important that we keep all of this straight. (Ron Howard voice: "It isn't.")

Joker is set to hit theaters on October 4, 2019.