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Joker movie casts Brett Cullen to play Thomas Wayne

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Sep 17, 2018, 5:39 PM EDT

Well, that was fast. No sooner did we learn that Alec Baldwin had to drop out of playing Thomas Wayne in Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker movie due to scheduling conflicts than The Wrap revealed that Brett Cullen has been cast as Batman’s father in the standalone film.

Coincidentally enough, Cullen is no stranger to films set in Batman’s Gotham City, having played a congressman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. The veteran character actor has also played such roles as Barton Blaze in Ghost Rider and Goodwin Stanhope on the ABC series Lost.

Apparently, this version of Thomas Wayne isn’t terribly nice, according to a report from Also, this version of the character will play an as-yet undisclosed role in Joker’s origin. We’re not 100% sure what either of these tidbits mean, apart from the fact that it sounds like Phillips’ film will stray from most canonical interpretations of these characters. (This certainly confirms previous reports that Joker will not be part of the current DCEU continuity.)  

And oh, yeah, a young Bruce Wayne will also appear in the film. (Wait — does this mean we’ll be seeing scenes in which Thomas is anything but a kind, supportive figure during Bruce's early years? Is that what means when they say Cullen will play “a less friendly iteration” of the character? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.)

Cullen joins as cast that includes Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, Deadpool 2's Zazie Beetz, and Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s eponymous archenemy. 

Joker is set to hit theatres on Oct. 4, 2019.