Known for his performances as Donald Trump on comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” Alec Baldwin is to play wealthy businessman Thomas Wayne in DC’s October 2019 supervillain origin story “Joker.”
Inspired by the award-winning Alan Moore graphic novel “Batman: The Killing Joke,” the Warner Bros’ DC Comics adaptation explores the origins of Batman’s twisted nemesis, Joker.
Alec Baldwin is the latest to join the dark character-oriented drama which, in addition to Joaquin Phoenix as the title character, has already recruited Robert De Niro (“The King of Comedy”), Frances Conroy (“American Horror Story”), Zazie Beetz (“Deadpool 2”) and Marc Maron (“Glow”).
Conroy is expected to play the mother of a struggling comedian (Phoenix’s Joker character), with De Niro providing a flip on his “King of Comedy” role, appearing not as a hopeful comedy club star, but instead the talk show host that shames him.
Beetz would be Joker’s love interest while Maron comes in as a talent agent.
Baldwin played Boston police officer and organized crime specialist Captain Ellerby in Martin Scorsese’s mob thriller “The Departed,” and, up until July, Scorsese was involved with “Joker” as one of its co-producers.
According to comic book tradition, Batman’s parents were shot and killed in a back alley confrontation with a Gotham City criminal, sowing the seeds for young Bruce Wayne’s eventual transformation into the famous masked vigilante.
But instead of portraying Thomas Wayne as a successful surgeon, patient businessman, and diplomatic, principled philanthropist, The Hollywood Reporter describes the “Joker” incarnation of Batman’s father as “a cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump.”
The film is to be directed and co-written by Todd Phillips, best known for “The Hangover” trilogy, and writer-director of true life gun-running caper “War Dogs.”
Joaquin Phoenix picked up Oscar nominations for his turns in Roman empire epic “Gladiator,” Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line,” and cult-of-personality drama “The Master.”
He appears as Jesus Christ in “Mary Magdalene,” which awaits a North American release date following March and April debuts internationally, and co-stars in September’s western “The Sisters Brothers.”
Baldwin, who returned to the “Mission Impossible” franchise through July’s “Mission Impossible – Fallout,” has the comedy “Drunk Parents” and animated adventure “Arctic Justice” among upcoming projects.
Future work includes a role as Enzo Ferrari in sportscar business biopic “Lamborghini,” the New York crime drama “Motherless Brooklyn,” and NBC’s live action TV movie adaptation of 1992 military legal drama “A Few Good Men.”