Joker director Todd Phillips has cast the next actor to play Bruce Wayne on the big screen, but it isn’t any of the A-list names we’ve heard bandied about in recent months. Instead ‘Master Bruce’ will be played by young Dante Pereira-Olson, who played a young version of Joaquin Phoenix‘s character in You Were Never Really Here. Phoenix, of course, is playing the title character in DC’s gritty, ’80s-set reimagining of the Batman character.
In other Joker casting news, Douglas Hodge will play Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler who keeps a close eye on his young charge. Brett Cullen was previously cast as the boy’s father, Thomas Wayne, after Alec Baldwin pulled out of the project. The rest of the ensemble includes Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Marc Maron, Frances Conroy, Glenn Fleshler, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham, who recently revealed exclusive details of his role to Collider.
ComicBook.com broke the news of Pereira-Olson’s casting, though it’s unclear how large a role Bruce Wayne will have in this story, which for the first time will focus on the villainous Joker — the moniker adopted by failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck (Phoenix). I suspect this casting is more about establishing Bruce Wayne in the world of Joker, rather than setting him up to play a larger part down the line, since this film is expected to be a one-off and is unlikely to lead to any sequels.
I don’t know about you guys, but Joker is easily the comic book movie that I’m most excited to see, if only because it’s avoiding the all-too-forced idea of a connected movie universe. In exchange for working with a modest budget (a reported $55 million in this case), Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver have been given creative freedom to reinterpret an iconic character, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what he comes up with. We’ll all get a look when Warner Bros. releases Joker on Oct. 4, 2019.
Those who haven’t seen You Were Never Really Here should definitely rectify that right away, while Black Mirror fans will recognize Hodge from the “Black Museum” episode. He also gave Jennifer Lawrence a tough time in the underrated thriller Red Sparrow.