The first trailer for Joker understandably has DC fans buzzing, as this film about the iconic DC Comics villain is attempting something bold and unprecedented in the character's 79 years of existence:an origin story. That's a high-risk venture for Hangover director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix, who are setting themselves up to incur the wrath of DC fans, if they don't hit this nail squarely on the head.
One thing is for sure though: there's no way that Joker can simply stand on its own merits, as the character is such a deep part of the cultural zeitgeist that any new interpretation must be held up to all those versions that came before. So, even though the Joker trailer has just dropped (at the time of writing this) DC fans are already going in on comparing Joaquin Phoenix's Joker to his onscreen predecessors - most notably Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight.
Scroll down to get the full measure of DC fans' current movie Joker rankings:
Coringa do Coringa do— мe cнaмa de нarry poнa (@_wesleyalvs) April 3, 2019
Heath Ledger Joaquin Phoenix
e o e o
Batman do Batman do
Christian Bale Ben Affleck pic.twitter.com/QuruYYmH6o
Images of Joaquin Phoenix's Joker being compared to Heath Ledger's (or Jack Nicholson's, or Jared Leto's) have started flooding onto social media. On the one hand, it's good for Phoenix to be earning his way into such an esteemed and exclusive club. On the other hand though...prevnext
A New G.O.A.T.?
All this talk about Heath Ledger and how nobody is capable of surpassing his performance as the Joker will be silenced once #JokerMovie releases. Joaquin Phoenix is more than capable of outperforming Heath & I suggest you watch You Were Never Really Here if you doubt that.— Marshall (@LDR_Violence) April 3, 2019
Some DC fans are very angry that these comparisons of Phoenix and Ledger (and other Jokers) are being done, and are already proclaiming that Phoenix's Joker will earn the crown, once Joker hits theaters. Can't wait to see it.prevnext
This is my thought as well. Why anyone would even ATTEMPT this after Heath is beyond me.— April (@ReignOfApril) April 3, 2019
Some DC fans are so in love with Heath Ledger's Joker that they don't even think there's reason to ever feature the character in a another movie again.
Let’s never put the best villain in comic book history in a film again because Heath Ledger died https://t.co/juFYGipfo5— ? (@CianBoyling) April 3, 2019
...Thankfully, there are also quite a few fans who understand why that notion is utterly ridiculous, and that there's plenty of room for a new Joker to make his debut.prevnext
Not Worthy of Heath
We don't know how/when Heath Ledger became the patron saint of Jokers, but a lot of fans are certainly acting that way by asking condescending questions like this.prevnext
Not Worthy of Leto
Anyone still wondering why Marvel is kicking DCs ass in movies need only look at the joker trailer.— Roger C (@floplag) April 3, 2019
They had the perfect non Heath Ledger Joker in @jaredleto already set up with the perfect back story... and they did this.
Just as they ruined what they had in TVs arrowverse.
Bruh... What??? This is quite possibly *the* hot take of hot takes. Good luck finding support for it...prevnext
It's Not Heath = Hate It
Ahhhhh the narrating already putting me off ,Heath Ledger fucked this role up for everybody?? https://t.co/z1P7Ipp2Qs— Lil Fish ? (@ArtificialSteez) April 3, 2019
And clearly, some fans are not even going to bother giving Joaquin Phoenix's Joker fair chance.prevnext
The Contender We Need
The key to any Joker movie after Heath Ledger’s Oscars winning performance is finding someone who can make it their own and unique. I commend Jared Leto, but this, whether it works or not, is exactly the type of unique take that we need.— Jeff D: Endgame (@JeffDLowe) April 3, 2019
It's fair to say that few actors have the kind of gravitas to even come close to Ledger's Joker. It is equally fair to say that Joaquin Phoenix is definitely one of them.prevnext
Jokers > Batmen
Overall, I am very happy with the choices of actors to play The Joker.— sj (@sun2jay) April 3, 2019
Jack Nicholson was amazing, Heath Ledger was iconic, Jared Leto I haven't seen but would give him a try as well. And Joaquin Phoenix is more than a good choice. We have seen better Jokers than Batmen.
At the end of the day, we can all at least agree on this one, yes?prevnext
Heath Hates It
Heath Ledger probably rolling in his grave yes. https://t.co/ib4vbmJaJQ— Alison Hinds’ Daughter. (@Janaia_Clarke) April 3, 2019
The strangest fans are the ones who seem to have intimate knowledge of how Heath Ledger would feel about this whole Joaquin Phoenix Joker performance.prevnext
Joke's On YOU
Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix were friends. So, how about we stop with the extreme comparisons of their Joker performances and propping up one to shit on the other? It's disrespectful and tasteless.
Heath would be proud of what his peer has accomplished. pic.twitter.com/eEC36URDfw— Autistic Wrestling Fan (@TBroomey) April 3, 2019
Let's end with this little reminder of actual history, before the Internet gets lost in its own false reality. Ledger and Phoenix were two powerhouse thespians who actually respected one another. So is Phoenix's Joker an insult to Ledger's work, or an homage to his friend? The answer seems pretty clear.
The DC Movie Universe continues with Shazam on April 5th, Joker on October 4th, Birds of Prey on February 7th, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, 2020, and The Batman on June 25th, 2021.
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