The Evolution of The Joker
Last week we got to see a new photo of Jared Leto’s Joker in the upcoming Suicide Squad. The crazed face. The green hair. The terrifying grin. Familiar signs of the DC character but with the added tattoos; it makes the look slightly different to the previous portrayals.
Which made me think about the other Jokers we’ve seen on the big screen.
The first one that all comes up is Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989). Along side Michael Keaton as Batman, he was the crazed criminal that would be come an iconic villain in the Batman world. The garish purple suit and orange shirt made him stand out in the very dark and dull colours of the Gotham cityscape. His make up was on point as was his acting.
In this one I do believe you don’t really get to explore the darker side of Gotham and the character but he does make the film entertaining – I still think Keaton is a little flat in comparison.
But then the following sequels tarnished the whole Batman world. Until Christopher Nolan’s reboot.
The Joker didn’t reappear until The Dark Knight in the form of Heath Ledger. However the unfortunate death of Ledger after the film pushed the focus more on him than the film. His acting throughout, for me is flawless – completely unhinged, psychotic genius, who has no plan other than to cause chaos to the public of Gotham. Unlike Nicholson, Ledger is unkempt, messy, almost tramp like at points. The make up is falling off, the hair greasy and slick back. It completely fits the persona of the Joker he portrays; a dog chasing a car. He took the character to a whole new level, giving it more depth and more crazy, which I think it needed. It gave the film a great villain and it’s a shame that’ll never be reprised.
So then we skip to 2015 and Jared Leto is announced as The Joker in The Suicide Squad. Nothing much was said or announced; apart from various posts from Leto himself (getting those long locks cut off, blonde hair). Then an initial photo appeared that showed him with a camera, a little nod to the Batman comics themselves. Then came the latest one. No hint on how the character will be portrayed or any other plot details but from the crazed look on the face, he is definitely not going to be sane.
At this point Ledger is still my favourite with Nicholson right behind. I am intrigued about Leto’s interpretation and how this will be perceived by everyone else. So here’s hoping this wont be a serious joker.