Joker Movie Loses Alec Baldwin as Bruce Wayne’s Father

Alec Baldwin will no longer play Bruce Wayne's father in the upcoming Joker origin movie.

Well, that didn’t take long. The upcoming Joker movie, which takes place in the 1980s and tells the story of how a failed comedian became the most feared criminal in Gotham City has added, and then lost, a key piece of Batman history in the space of 48 hours. Alec Baldwin had been announced on Monday as Dr. Thomas Wayne, the father of the Dark Knight himself, Bruce Wayne, joining a cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix as the title character, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz.

With “scheduling” issues apparently to blame, the actor has already bowed out of the role, telling USA Today, “I’m no longer doing that movie…I’m sure there are 25 guys who can play that part.” Of course, if THR‘s details about the version of Thomas Wayne the movie is looking for are correct, you can see why Baldwin’s assessment might be wrong. Apparently, the Joker movie’s Thomas Wayne is “a cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump.” Hopefully they have this wrong, because not only is this joke already not funny (Baldwin’s SNL Trump impression has been stale for over a year), it flies in the face of Batman mythology that shows the elder Wayne as a pillar of the community and an inspiration to young Bruce.

A tweet from the actor indicates some impatience with the whole process, and perhaps indicates that maybe he didn’t realize what kind of take on the role the producers were looking for when he signed on…

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The ill-advised Trump parallels aside, Baldwin would have been a perfect choice for Bruce Wayne’s father, in part because at one point he would have made a perfect Batman, himself. Instead, he played Batman’s literary/spiritual father as the lead of the (underrated) 1994 adaptation of The Shadow. Imagine an alternate reality where the defining Batman movie of the 1980s was directed by Joe Dante, starred Baldwin as Bruce Wayne, and John Lithgow as the Joker. We’d be living in a very different world. OK, maybe not, but it would have been cool.

What’s more, one of the many ways in which the Batman prequel du jour, the Gotham TV series, repeatedly goes off the rails is its overbearing insistence on jamming in tons of winking references to the ghost of Batman future at every possible moment. While Dr. Thomas Wayne is a prominent Gotham City citizen, and it would make sense for him to show up in some capacity in a movie like Joker, the character hopefully won’t be used to illustrate that the man-who-would-be-Joker already had a long standing hatred of the Wayne family because the good doctor stiffed him out of a cab ride or something. Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie was the first (and only) iteration of the legend to cast a pre-Joker gunman as the murderer of the Waynes, and hopefully that isn’t making a return here.

We have more info on the Joker movie right here.

Joker is scheduled for release on October 4, 2019. The full schedule of upcoming DC superhero (and villain) movies can be found here.

Mike Cecchini is the Editor in Chief of Den of Geek. You can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @wayoutstuff.

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