With so many renowned takes on Batman’s most famous villain, any actor stepping into the role of the Joker is going to burdened with some weighty expectations when it comes to both looking and acting the part. Fortunately, the first reactions to seeing Joaquin Phoenix in green hair and makeup have generally ranged from cautiously optimistic to thrilled.
When it was first announced that Heath Ledger would be playing the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight, the doubters responded in droves, making it all too ironic that many still consider this version to be the high water mark for the character’s big screen portrayals. With that in mind, it was never a given that Phoenix’s portrayal for next year’s standalone movie wouldn’t be met with a wave of cynicism, making it a fairly encouraging sign that many Twitter users seem willing to give this star a chance:
It’s an “Elseworlds” Joker origin movie. Set in the 80s. No Batman. I think it looks interesting and I’m looking forward to it.
— Jeremy Conrad (@ManaByte) September 21, 2018
Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker!
No. One. Is. Ready!! the ending!! This is already an instant classic! pic.twitter.com/v57sIsEAe2
— Armani (@armani_salado) September 21, 2018
— Mark (Nation of Nerds) (@nationofnerds) September 21, 2018
— KC Walsh (@TheComixKid) September 21, 2018
Of course, even putting Ledger aside, there are still plenty of other takes on the Joker that Phoenix will inevitably be measured up against. So far, however, it seems to be the consensus that this latest depiction could well hold its own against Phoenix’s forebears, and even surpass that other Joker currently appearing in movies:
All the current, live action Joker’s! God damn they all look so perfect in their own ways, and I’m 10000% sure Joaquin Phoenix is gonna give a performance worthy of joining the elite group of actors to have played Mistah J! pic.twitter.com/wUgoTZ39AG
— dennis (@cookiedusterden) September 21, 2018
— Nеdward Brock Jr. (@carbo_knight) September 21, 2018
— House of Lak-El (@multiTASKmedium) September 21, 2018
I dunno about this new Joker who doesn’t have the word “damaged” tattooed on his forehead. How am I supposed to know whether he’s damaged or not now?
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) September 21, 2018
As a couple of the above tweets reflect, there are a lot of fans out there who wouldn’t be too upset if Jared Leto’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime never made another movie, but for better or worse, the Suicide Squad star looks to have at least a couple more DC flicks in him, including the upcoming Suicide Squad 2.
But while it was only recently announced that the aforementioned sequel now has a completed script, Phoenix’s Joker pic is already well into the process of filming, and is set for release on October 4th, 2019.