Joker and Batman come together as a package deal. As each other’s arch-nemesis, rarely, you would ever see one without the other in any storyline. However, there is always a first time for everything. Joker was released in 2019 and was a huge hit becoming the world's rated R movie. Most people expected it to follow a superhero-type storyline, however, it very much seems to be set in a real-world where other superheroes and supervillains don’t exist.
Based loosely on The Killing Joke comic book following the origin story of Arthur Fleck AKA The Joker. In it we watch Arthur Fleck, a clown with mental health issues slowly turn from a victim into the clown prince of crime. Now that there is a new dark depiction of Batman on the horizon, everyone is naturally curious as to whether the two are stand-alone films, or whether The Batman and Joker could exist in the same world.
There is no official confirmation from studios that the two exist in the same universe, however, both the trailer of The Batman and the Joker film does give some fans a reason to think otherwise.
The Joker Gang
In the trailer of The Batman, we see the caped crusader face off against a group of people with white face paint, painted smiles, and eye make-up mimicking a darker depiction of the Joker’s face. One of the gang has a wide smile that even mimics Heath Ledger's Joker smile with the cut lips and it also resembles similarities to the Joaquin Phoenix version at the end of the film when he paints a wider smile on his face in his own blood after a car crash.
In Batman Beyond, we see the future of Bruce Wayne as he retires. Within this universe, the Joker is long gone however he has left a legacy of Joker Gangs who are essentially thugs that paint themselves like The Joker and cause chaos across Gotham. When we match that with the riots and gang that Joaquin Phoenix’s depiction creates. It doesn’t seem impossible to conclude that Joker could exist within Matt Reeves Batman’s universe.
Batman’s Vengeance On The Joker
One of the most eye-catching parts of The Batman Trailer is the way we see Batman fight a member of (what we believe to be) the joker gang. To call it brutal would be an understatement considering you actually hear Batman breaking the thugs' skull! When asked who he is though, as opposed to saying the expected “I’m Batman” line.
He instead says “I’m Vengeance”. This level of brutality, along with the direct need for vengeance could very well be a form of his revenge for the death of his parents. In the comic books, Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed by common crook Joe Chill. However, towards the end of Joker we see that instead, Thomas and Martha Wayne are killed by one of Joker’s followers. Is there a link because they exist within the same universe?
Despite these threads that seem to connect the two films, there are a few reasons why it is extremely unlikely that the two exist in the same universe together.
Time Difference Between "Joker" and "The Batman"
Although many people believe that Joker could in fact be a prequel for The Batman, the time differences between the two films make the probability of the two existing simultaneously highly unlikely.
Based on the movies that are playing on the movie marquee theatre, it seems that Joker was set in 1981. Within the film, we also see a cameo of the Wayne family including a young Bruce Wayne between the ages of 8 and 10.
According to Batman Year One, Bruce Wayne comes back from traveling the world to become The Batman at age 25, after another 15 years, not only would the Joker be in his late 50’s or early 60’s which seems to be old compared to a Batman who is just starting, but also it doesn’t seem to match the era that The Batman Trailer is set in.
The Batman looks like it’s set in a darker version of the present-day where we see that he has access to gadgets such as flat-screen TVs and monitors that wouldn’t have been available in 1996.
Yet simultaneously, no matter the time that Batman is set, he always seems to have advanced gadgets that put him several years ahead of the technological curve. This is shown in many of the comics and even in the DC animated series and movies such as Batman Mask of The Phantasm in which many of the villains wear clothes and drive cars that you would most likely find in the 1940s and
Batman has modern-day computer equipment etc Therefore it wouldn’t be impossible for The Batman film to be set in the late ’90s. However, it is still highly unlikely. So fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for a Batman Vs Joker film anytime soon.
The Batman is due to hit theatres on March 4, 2022. It’s extremely exciting to see the first stand-alone Batman film since The Dark Knight Trilogy which began back in 2005! 16 years is simply too long to wait! Do you think Joker and The Batman exist in the same universe?