A familiar face in the comedy world was going to join the DC universe—until he dropped out.
Days after Warner Bros. cast Alec Baldwin as Batman’s father in the upcoming Joker movie, the actor confirmed that he is no longer doing the film. Thomas Wayne’s role in the movie is apparently going to be a 1980s-type Donald Trump businessman, as opposed to the classic physician and philanthropist from Gotham City, whose death ultimately caused Bruce Wayne to become a vigilante.
Let me state, for the record, that I have NOT been hired to play a role in Todd Phillips’ JOKER as some Donald Trump manque.
That is not happening.
— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) August 29, 2018
The cast features Joaquin Phoenix as the starring role, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, and Frances Conroy. Baldwin is a three-time Emmy winner and is known for playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock.
Joker—separate from the untitled standalone Joker movie with Jared Leto—will be darker and more experimental in tone, similar to a crime drama. The film begins production on Aug. 10 and will be out in theaters on Oct. 4, 2019.
And in other Batman news, reports say that Ben Affleck, who plays Batman on the big screen, could lose his role as the superhero due to steep insurance costs.
The actor checked himself into rehab last week for the second time in just over a year and the third time in the last two decades, according to The Wrap. Warner Bros. could replace Affleck because his insurance costs could drive budgets for the movie upwards of millions of dollars. Almost all studios require insurance for their actors, but the price tag is larger if the risk is greater for situations that could result in the cancellation or suspension of production.
Robert Downey Jr. dealt with similar issues because of past legal and substance issues, but has since evolved into one of the most respected member in Hollywood. “Insiders suggested that Affleck may have to follow Downey’s example and pursue lower-budgeted indie films for a while before insurers will bet on him for major studio releases at a reasonable rate,” according to The Wrap.
This story was updated on August 30 to include the news that Baldwin will no longer appear in the Joker film.