New Joker In Town: Originality & The Norm

Many have questioned, opposed, or praised the new announcement that Joaquin Phoenix has been casted as the next Joker in the new untitled Joker origin installment. The first picture of Phoenix as the character of Arthur Fleck surfaced onto the internet via director Todd Phillips’ instagram on Sunday morning.

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This comes after the unpopular role of Jared Leto’s Joker hit theaters in, Suicide Squad (2016). Many thought the performance wasn’t done properly and that Leto didn’t understand how the role of the Joker was supposed to be played. A good review of Leto’s performance can be found here.

It brings to question the mass of remakes, reboots, and series happening in film. It seems as if we can’t go one week without seeing a trailer for a new remake. Where has originality gone? Many have claimed originality is dead and I have to agree with them. Yes, there have been great original movies that have come out in the recent years, some examples being, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonlight, Get Out, and Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. However, compared with remakes, it seems original screenplays have been thrown out the window. This will be the first Joker origin movie, but it’s also playing into the clump of superhero movies that have been reigning the box office for years. Where does originality and the norm combine? This could be a prime example. With the success of the Batman franchise over the past five decades, many fans of the superhero will more than likely flock to theaters to watch this (me included). While at the same time, they’re getting a new look into the hero’s most famed villain. A new background into the origin of the Joker. This could be a chance to combine the two and spark the originality that Hollywood has been drained from for years. Will it work? We’ll have to wait until it comes out next year to see if Phoenix’s portrayal is one to be matched with Ledger’s, or one to flush down the toilet with Leto’s.

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3 thoughts on “New Joker In Town: Originality & The Norm”

  1. I did not know about this till now. as a diehard Batman fan, I feel there needs to be a reboot to the Joker character as Jared Leto made made the greatest Batman villian of all time and one of the most iconic characters in comic book history into a gothic like Joker. I truly hope DC and Warner Bros. find a better Joker but in my opinion no tops Heath Ledger in Dark Knight or the animated voice work of Mark Hamill as the Joker.

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  2. The thing about the Joker is that there’s three of them. Three separate characters to portray. The Original Joker was just a gang leader, no real mental illness or tragic backstory or obsession with batman. The second, the “Silver age” Joker, came from a time when comic books aimed more to kids, and they couldn’t let the Joker kill anyone, so he was a wacky clown who used side show tricks, smoke and mirrors, and laughing gas to rob banks. The modern Joker is the psychologically tortured one who think’s he’s necessary for Gotham to survive and that he and Batman are two sides of the same coin. The silver screen Joker was done well in the 60’s TV show, Jack Nicholson portrayed the Mobster original Joker quite well in Tim Button’s take on the character. Jared Leto seemed to attempt a hybrid of this and the modern Joker and it didn’t work out well. And of course Heath Ledger will always be know for doing the modern, psychological Joker justice. My question is, which one of these do you think Phoenix will play? Which do you think he’d be best at?

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