Alec Baldwin drops out of Joker origin movie

Joker loses Alec Baldwin just days after casting him as Thomas Wayne

Earlier this week, it was announced that Saturday Night Live star Alec Baldwin was set to star in Joker, an upcoming origin movie centred around Batman’s make-upped and maniacal nemesis. But now, the actor has revealed that he has dropped out of the project.

Talking to USA Today, Baldwin claimed that scheduling issues were to blame but added that he was certain the role will get snapped up by another actor soon enough.

“I’m no longer doing that movie,” he clarified. “I’m sure there are 25 guys who can play that part.”

While that may be true, it’s hard to imagine anyone else but Baldwin playing the character considering his description. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Baldwin was cast as Thomas Wayne, Batman aka Bruce Wayne’s father, with sources telling the publication that the script penned him as “a cheesy and tanned businessman,” not unlike Donald Trump.

When it comes to SNL, Baldwin is best known for his purse-lipped impersonation of the current US president so chances are, he would’ve nailed it.

Regardless, the film is going ahead, with Todd Phillips (The Hangover Trilogy) on board to write and direct. Joaquin Phoenix will appear as the eponymous villain, while American Horror Story‘s Frances Conroy, GLOW‘s Marc Maron and Deadpool 2‘s Zazie Beetz flesh out the cast.

Robert De Niro will also star.

Ahead of production kicking off in September, it has been reported that the Warner Bros film will be “darker and more experimental in tone and content” than previously DC Comics-inspired outings. It will also be created on a much smaller budget – somewhere around the $55 million mark – and be more of a crime thriller than your typical superhero movie.

Joker is released in on October 4 2019.