We here at Neue are interested to see just who YOU think is the best Joker of all time.
This article was first published a few days before the Brunei premiere of ‘Joker’ (2019).
Do check out the trailer below to see Joaquin Phoenix fully immersing himself in the character of a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City.
‘Joker’ is at the very top of my MUST-WATCH list of movies this October.
Even though I’ve been told that Batman would not be making an appearance in this movie, I’m still dead set on watching this.
Where will YOU be catching this movie in Brunei?
He is latest actor to portray one of the most iconic villains of all time.
Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, a man living in near-poverty with his mother (Frances Conroy), struggling to make ends as a clown-for-hire in Gotham City set in the 1980s.
Don’t expect ‘Joker’ to take a page from the comics, as the writers of the movie have been quoted as saying in various interviews that they did not take “anything” from the comics.
In one interview, writer and director Todd Phillips said that the plan behind the movie was more about creating an origin story about Arthur Fleck and less about what Joker fans might have seen before.
“We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me,” he said. “We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man.”
Phoenix did reportedly lose about 23kg (about 50 pounds) for the role. (Now that’s commitment!)
Other actors who have portrayed Joker in live-action movies include the late Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight, 2008), Jack Nicholson (Batman, 1989) and Jared Leto (Suicide Squad, 2016).
His portrayal of the Joker in the 2008 movie ‘The Dark Knight’ ranks among the all time great screen performances.
Ledger died on January 22, 2008, at the age of 28, in New York from an accidental overdose of prescription medication and sleeping aids.
The role of the Joker would win him a posthumous Oscar for his work in 2009.
Suffice to say, Ledger’s portrayal will forever be considered one of the greatest performances given in a film, and he set the benchmark at a nearly impossible height for future actors. (What do you think?)
And contrary to what many rumours suggest, Ledger’s sister, Kate, said her brother “wasn’t depressed about (portraying) the Joker”.
In fact, she went so far as to say “it was the absolute opposite”, adding that he “had an amazing sense of humour, and I guess maybe only his close family and friends really knew that, but he was having fun”.
In the 1989 movie ‘Batman’, Jack Nicholson puts on a colourful portrayal of the Joker. He scored a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) and a BAFTA nod for Best Supporting Actor in 1990.
Nicholson will go down in the pages of history as being the very first “Movie Joker” responsible for introducing the maniacal Batman villain to mainstream audiences and a new generation of fans. (Side note: Cesar Romero did play a live-action version of Joker on TV in the early 1960s.)
Nicholson’s was the first ever cinematic adaptation of Joker.
I admit when I saw Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker back in 2016 when I saw ‘Suicide Squad’ back in 2016, I cringed.
You see, I saw the Joker more as a “wannabe gangster” more than anything.
But who am I to judge? After all, Suicide Squad was a box office success, grossing US$746.8 million worldwide, against a production budget of US$175 million.
There’s no denying it though Leto fully immersed himself in the role.
He’s known to be a very serious method actor.
In fact, it’s widely reported that Leto stayed in character for the entire filming of ‘Suicide Squad’.
Will Smith, who portrays the character ‘Deadshot’ in the movie, said Leto was so in character as Joker that he never once broke from his role, even after the cameras were off.
He said: “I’ve never actually met Jared Leto. We worked together for six months and we’ve never exchanged a word outside of ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’ I literally have not met him yet. So, the first time I see him will be ‘Hey, Jared. What’s up?’ He was all in on the Joker.”