Batman / Batman Joker

Is Arthur Fleck the Joker in the Batman?

Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is the central character of the 2019 movie ‘Joker’. The movie has sparked many debates and discussions among fans and critics alike.

One of the most popular debates surrounding the movie is whether Arthur Fleck is actually the Joker in the Batman universe. Let’s explore this question in detail.

The Origin Story of Arthur Fleck

The movie ‘Joker’ portrays Arthur Fleck as a failed stand-up comedian who lives with his mother and suffers from a neurological disorder that causes him to laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate times. He faces constant bullying and discrimination from society, which eventually pushes him over the edge.

Comparing Arthur Fleck to Other Versions of The Joker

The Joker is a well-known villain in the Batman universe, with several different versions portrayed in various movies and TV shows. Each version has its own unique traits that make it distinct from others.

  • Heath Ledger’s Joker: This version of the Joker, portrayed by Heath Ledger in ‘The Dark Knight’, was a calculated, intelligent mastermind who wanted to cause chaos and destruction in Gotham City.
  • Jack Nicholson’s Joker: Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker in 1989’s ‘Batman’ was more eccentric and flamboyant than other versions.

Differences Between Arthur Fleck and Other Versions of The Joker

Compared to other versions of The Joker, Arthur Fleck’s portrayal is much more grounded in reality. He doesn’t have any superpowers or advanced technology at his disposal. He also doesn’t have any grand plans for causing chaos or destruction in Gotham City.

Instead, Arthur is a victim of society who snaps after being pushed too far. His actions are driven by his personal struggles and the way he’s been treated by other people. This sets him apart from other versions of The Joker who are often portrayed as villains with a clear motive and agenda.

The Connection Between Arthur Fleck and The Joker

Although Arthur Fleck’s portrayal is different from other versions of The Joker, there are still several connections that link him to the character.

The Name ‘Joker’

In the movie, Arthur is referred to as a ‘joker’ several times. This is likely a nod to his eventual transformation into the iconic character.

The Makeup

Arthur’s signature makeup, which includes a painted white face and red lips, is similar to other versions of The Joker.

The Laugh

Arthur’s uncontrollable laughter is similar to The Joker’s trademark laugh in other versions of the character.


So, is Arthur Fleck really The Joker in the Batman universe? While there are certainly connections between the two characters, it’s ultimately up to interpretation. Some fans believe that Arthur could eventually become The Joker in future movies, while others think that this version of The Joker exists only within the confines of this movie.

Regardless of whether or not Arthur Fleck is truly The Joker, Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the character has been praised for its depth and nuance. His performance has helped make ‘Joker’ one of the most talked-about movies in recent years.