Following years of questionable casting in the DC Extended Universe, we finally have some truly interesting talents playing two of the biggest characters in comicdom. Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as the titular villain in Joker is already receiving rave reviews, and Robert Pattinson has been tapped to takeover for Ben Affleck in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. However, those fans hoping to see the two actors squaring off shouldn’t hold their breath if Todd Phillips is to be believed.
The director behind Joker was asked about the possibility of Phoenix’s Clown Prince of Crime meeting Pattinson’s Dark Knight on the Toronto International Film Festival red carpet. His answer was bluntly negative: “No. Definitely not,” he said with a dismissive smile as he walked away (via Variety).
By all accounts, Joker is a standalone character piece focusing on the psychological transformation of Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck. That’s not exactly the type of bad guy you’d expect as the antagonist of a tentpole summer blockbuster. Still, that doesn’t close the door on Pattinson facing a different version of Batman’s archenemy. (Though hopefully we’ve truly seen the last of Jared Leto’s take.)
As Phillips’ put it, “Oddly, in the states, comic books are our Shakespeare it seems, and you can do many many versions of Hamlet. There will be many more Jokers, I’m sure, in the future.”
Even if they never get together, these latest incarnations of the classic DC characters are highly anticipated on their own. We’ll get to witness Phoenix’s Joker on October 4th, while Pattinson’s first turn as Batman is expected in theaters June 25th, 2021. Rumors suggest he’ll be battling Penguin and Catwoman.