Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his performance as the Joker, Joaquin Phoenix is a three-time nominee.
Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his performance as the Joker, Joaquin Phoenix is a three-time nominee.

Heath Ledger would have been proud of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker: DC fans react to trailer

DC fans are reacting to the first trailer for Joaquin Phoenix’s upcoming Joker movie, making comparisons to Heath Ledger’s groundbreaking take on the iconic Batman villain.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON APR 04, 2019 01:35 PM IST

DC fans have reacted to the recent trailer for Joaquin Phoenix’s upcoming Joker film, drawing favourable comparisons to the late Heath Ledger’s take on the iconic Batman villain. Phoenix will portray a 1970s, Martin Scorsese-inspired version of the character, in a film directed by the Hangover’s Todd Phillips. Ledger would have turned 40 today.

“Heath Ledger would be PROUD.” wrote a fan on Twitter. “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,” wrote another.


“It’s really smart to treat the character as more sympathetic & present us with a slow decay & erosion of his mental state over time. I understand that a #Joker origin story goes against the core tenets of the character in many ways. But if they’re gonna do it, this is the way,” wrote journalist Brandon Katz. He continued, “All I ask of the fandom is that we hold ourselves to a higher standard and not spend the foreseeable future constantly comparing Joaquin Phoenix’s #Joker to Heath Ledger’s Joker. I think we can all agree how exhausting that will get.”

One fan, sharing old photos of the two actors off set, wrote, “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.” They continued, “Heath would be proud of what his peer has accomplished.”

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Ledger died just months before the release of The Dark Knight, in which he won great acclaim for his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime. Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for his performance, which is often considered to be among the greatest screen villains of all time.

Phoenix is a three-time Oscar nominee. The actor, who was in contention to play Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, told Collider in an interview, “I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I’m gonna work on always.”

He continued, “There is something very appealing about… working with Todd on this particular project. It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”

Also read: After Shazam, the DCEU no longer needs Batman and Superman

The Joker trailer has been viewed 11 million times on YouTube and more than 12 million times on Twitter. The film is scheduled for an October release.

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