If you think about many adaptations in the screens of cinema of the legendary figure Batman, you cannot avoid the image of the Joker. The ultimate villain from Gotham City has been chasing the dark avenger for decades. This figure caught the great sympathies of the audience. So there are no surprises that the Joker takes its place in the Batman universe with a certain regularity. That also applies to the various Batman films generating considerable sales in theatres since the 1980s. It is noticeable that the portrayal of the supervillain almost always turned into an acting event.
The beginning of the Joker fame has begun with the Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson. When director Tim Burton created his first Batman movie, the actor with the demonic grin was considered the ideal match for the role. The flick became a worldwide success. For a long time, Nicholson was considered a clear Oscar favourite. But in the end, he was only nominated for the Golden Globe. Initially, this should also prove to be an obstacle for his successor. Christoper Nolan had already breathed new life into the film series with Batman Beginnings. In the second part, the Joker made a big appearance for the first time.
Heath Ledger’s interpretation caused enthusiasm from the start. Jack Nicholson seemed forgotten. The fans demanded a nomination for the Oscar, but the talented actor’s tragic events changed everything. While the film broke all records at the box office, Ledger’s triumph at Oskar was also unstoppable. He won the award posthumously. At this point, fans were sure that Heath Ledger’s portrayal was the best. But that should prove to be a mistake.
A New Approach
The film project originally called Arthur was supposed to top off the representation of the Joker once again. Joaquin Phoenix was responsible for this. He showed the development of a sick man into a supervillain. The success of the film, shot with little money, exceeded all expectations. After winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the flick also entered the running as an Oscar favourite. He got no less than eleven nominations. In the end, it was enough for two awards. In addition to the best film music, Joaquin Phoenix won the award for best leading actor. That made him the second actor to take home the coveted statuette for the same role.
But there is also no rule without exception when it comes to the representation of the Joker. In this case, it was Jared Leto and his portrayal of the crime king in Suicide Squad. The action flick brought another utterly new interpretation. But this was far too over the top and went down mercilessly compared to its predecessors. As if that weren’t enough, Jared Leto will appear in the new version of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. If you believe the trailer, the actor looks completely different in the role. He is more like the main actor from the cult film The Crow. Whether this time will be enough for artistic success is questionable, but we cannot rule out further attempts at the moment.