Over the years, The Joker has had a number of different names, aliases and origin stories, varying across comics, movies and cartoons. But the DC character’s name in the upcoming Joker film is particularly notable.
The trailer for the film was released yesterday and right at the very start of it the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is referred to as Arthur. This in itself isn’t really that shocking, but his surname is a game changer.
That’s because his surname in the movie is Fleck – which, paired with Arthur, sounds a bit like… y’know?
Surely that’s clear enough, right? As in Affleck – Ben Affleck, who used to play Batman, the Joker’s arch-nemesis.
For some context, Affleck himself had originally signed on not only to reprise his role as the caped crusader, but also to write and direct the next instalment.
So what are we supposed to decipher from this? Could they be trolling the former Batman by pretty much naming the caped crusader’s foe after him? Or perhaps, if we’re being less cynical, it could be a sort of tribute to the actor? Or just maybe, if we’re being pretty naive, it could just be pure coincidence.
It seems like most people don’t think the name Arthur Fleck is a coincidence. Credit: Warner Bros.
Judging by the reaction on Twitter, it seems most people don’t think this is just a coincidence.
One person said: “There is some deep trolling going on when you give the real name of Batman’s greatest villain as A. Fleck.”
Another said: “The Joker’s name being A. Fleck has to be a joke on Ben Affleck, right? And yes, that’s the only thought I have about that movie.”
A third added: “Uh oh. It was just pointed out to me the joker’s name in this film is Arthur Fleck… A.Fleck… Affleck… Ben Affleck… Batman…”
The name Arthur Fleck was actually announced months ago, but the trailer drop seems to have opened many more eyes to the fairly blatant reference.
But while the actual Ben Affleck has stepped away from the Batmobile, he revealed to LADbible last month that he would be up for directing a DC Extended Universe film in the future.
He said: “I imagine it would be weird to step in and do another character.
“I can certainly imagine directing a movie, you know – if they [DC] would have me – if it was something I was passionate about.
“It’s not about like kind of closing doors on stuff, I just couldn’t figure out how I wanted to do that one [next Batman film], so it became time to let someone else take a crack at it.”
Joker will be released on 4 October.
Featured Image Credit: DC Films/Warner Bros.