They say that a hero is only as good as the villain he’s up against, and whilst Batman has a plethora of underworld criminals vowing to take him down, the Joker will always be there to attempt to knock him off his perch.
Joaquin Phoenix is the latest in a long list of actors to don the white face paint as he portrays the Clown Prince of Crime in Todd Phillips 2019 film Joker.
So with anticipation reaching fever pitch in the lead up to the release, we have taken it upon ourselves to rank some of the previous Joker actors, in order from worst to best.
5. Jared Leto
Leto’s interpretation of the character saw him adopt a gangster approach which in itself was unlike anything we had seen before. And for the best part, it didn’t really click!
Leto was overshadowed by Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie), and his lack of screen time pretty much summed up his performance as the Joker.
Leto had created a lot of hype ahead of the Suicide Squad movie and unfortunately he was unable to live up to it.
4. Cesar Romero
Whilst many will associate Romero’s appearance as the Joker with his legendary moustache, others will agree that it was Romero who set the tone for how to portray the character.
His signature hysterical laugh and high pitched voice gave the character a very unique style.
With his performances stemming back 50 years, it is hard to ignore just how marvellous Romero’s portrayal of the Joker really was for its time.
3. Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson was the true MVP of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie, far overshadowing Michael Keaton who played Bruce Wayne.
Nicholson is a phenomenal actor and his ability to put his own twist on the Joker was certainly felt within that movie.
From the outlandish costume to his more criminal approach to the character, Nicholson was able to overcome the clown moniker and bring out the dark side of the character like nobody else had at that stage.
2. Mark Hamill
Whilst Hamill will be universally recognised for his incredible work in the Star Wars series as Luke Skywalker, there is no argument that he will also always receive recognition for his vocal work as the Joker in the Batman: The Animated Series, and throughout the Arkham Asylum video games.
Hamill was able to capture the personality of the Joker to a tee, and pulling on inspirations of Hannibal Lecter made the Joker a dark and demented figure within the series.
1. Heath Ledger
Ledger’s performance was so mesmerising that it is near on impossible to have him anywhere other than at the top of this list. Ledger transformed the Joker from a comedic villain to a misguided, unpredictable and terrifying maniac during The Dark Knight, which was released six months after his unfortunate passing.
The small intricate details (the licking of his wounds) that Ledger highlighted in the movie almost made you feel sorry for him, but after pulling at your heartstrings he would then undertake something so vile that death to the character would of been too kind.
Itt will certainly take some performance to knock him off the top spot.
Put on a happy face on 4th October when Joker hits UK cinemas.