From the very beginning, both Warner Bros. and director Todd Phillips have made it clear that this October's Joker, headlined with an allegedly awards-caliber performance from Joaquin Phoenix, exists entirely on its own. It was designed from the ground up to be a self-contained, one-off Joker movie, not the beginning of a new Joker within the DCU. You know it. We know it. And yet, that has not stopped some fans from rabidly speculating that Phoenix's Joker might one day encounter Robert Pattinson's Batman (soon to make his debut in Matt Reeves' The Batman).
That rumor started making the rounds last week, in the wake of a highly-readable interview conducted with Pattinson that kinda-sorta-didn't-really suggest that such a thing might happen. Well, if you're one of those speculative fans, director Todd Phillips has some bad news for you: in a new interview with Variety, Philips says "Definitely not" when asked if these two particular iterations of the character will ever meet.
“Oddly, in the states, comic books are our Shakespeare it seems, and you can do many many versions of Hamlet. There will be many more Jokers, I’m sure, in the future.”
Yeah, this sounds right. Reeves' forthcoming Bat-movie is rumored to include a chunk of Batman's rogues' gallery, and it's possible the Joker might appear there - or, indeed, in any future Batman movies directed by Reeves - but if so, it will not be Phoenix's Joker (who, it's worth noting, would probably be over 70 years old based on the timeline established in Phillips' film).
Could Leto Joker make an appearance? Seems possible, we suppose, but highly unlikely. Leto's take on the character was, ah, not extremely popular, and without seeing a frame of Reeves' film we're pretty sure the Leto Joker Aesthetic probably won't be of a piece with whatever Reeves is creating. In truth, we'd be surprised if we ever saw Leto playing Joker again.
Anyway, there's the news, directly from Todd Phillips' lips to your ears. Or your eyes. You know what I meant. Joker hits theaters on October 4th.