The Suicide Squad Director Reveals His Favorite Joker Actor

While the COVID-19 pandemic has various businesses shutdown or operating in a limited capacity and people are urged to practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, The Suicide Squad director James Gunn has been helping fans pass the time by answering fan questions on Instagram. Fans have asked him a number of interesting things, including which actor is his favorite when it comes to portrayals of iconic Batman villain the Joker and as it turns out, it's not just one actor to fit that bill for Gunn.

In the Instagram Q&A, Gunn revealed that he was having a hard time choosing a favorite, but there were two that stuck out: Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix.

"I have a hard time choosing between Ledger and Phoenix," Gunn said.

When it comes to DC fans, there are likely many that would have a similar choice and it's one that makes sense for a variety of reasons, the fact that Ledger and Phoenix portray two very different takes on the antagonist being one of them. Ledger played the Joker in Christopher Nolan's 2008 The Dark Knight with his version of the Joker being one that was, in some respects, more visibly close to the comic book character, complete with his Glasgow smile not to mention this direct antagonizing of Batman in terms of the story.

Phoenix portrayed the character in Todd Phillips' 2019 Joker, offering up an everyman sort of take on the character in Arthur Fleck, a downtrodden comedian who eventually more or less snaps and becomes Joker. In that film, Batman doesn't really factor, making it a somewhat unique take on the Joker character and general themes associated with him. The different takes on iconic villain aside, the performances by both Ledger and Phoenix are notable. Both actors won Academy Awards for their work with Ledger posthumously winning Best Supporting Actor and Phoenix winning Best Actor.

And when it comes to awards for Joker, there's at least one person who thinks that the film deserved to win more awards and accolades. Brett Cullen, the actor who played Thomas Wayne in the film recently said he felt like the film deserved a bit more.


"The movie, I thought should have gotten more accolades," Cullen said. "But some people thought it was disturbing. But it is disturbing, it's a movie about mental health."

What do you think about Gunn's comment? Let us know in the comments below.