Two days ago, Alec Baldwin was poised to be joining Warner Bros.’ highly curious Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix. Now that’s no longer the case. At the time, it was widely reported that Baldwin had signed on to play the role of Thomas Wayne, a part that was previously offered to Viggo Mortensen, who declined. Additionally, THR cited sources who revealed that this version of Thomas Wayne would be a “cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump.” Suddenly the casting of Baldwin made more sense, as Baldwin famously portrays the U.S. President on Saturday Night Live.
But this afternoon, Baldwin took to Twitter to state “for the record” that he has “NOT been hired to play a role in Todd Phillips’ JOKER as some Donald Trump manqué,” stressing that is “not happening.” Folks were split as to whether this meant the Trump part of the character was untrue, or whether Baldwin was denying the casting altogether.
It appears it was something of the latter, as USA Today reports that Baldwin has pulled out of the film, citing “scheduling” issues and adding that he’s sure “there are 25 guys who can play that part.”
This has been a wild 48 hours, and it’s unclear what exactly went down. Production on Joker is expected to begin next month in New York, with Phoenix portraying a wildly different iteration of the clown prince. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beets (Atlanta), and Marc Maron have already been cast in the Warner Bros. film, so it wasn’t as if Baldwin was slumming it. Clearly Phillips is aiming high for this particular role, and it’ll be interesting to see who eventually lands the part.