Despite being a green-haired comic book villain with a penchant for cackling maniacally and smearing his face in makeup, the Joker and Academy Awards success go hand in hand. Every single star to have played the Clown Prince of Crime on the big screen has either won an acting trophy before they took the role or scooped an Oscar as a direct result of their performance.
Jack Nicholson had nine nominations under his belt and one win each in the lead and supporting categories when he secured the paycheck of a lifetime for joining Tim Burton’s Batman, while Heath Ledger famously won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor trophy for his incendiary and instantly iconic performance in The Dark Knight.
Jared Leto, meanwhile, took home the same prize for Dallas Buyers Club four years before he split the fanbase in two with his divisive approach to Mr. J, while Joaquin Phoenix finally claimed Oscar gold at the fourth time of asking for Todd Phillips’ billion dollar smash hit. The evidence is clear, then, that Academy Awards glory is directly tied to Batman’s archenemy in some fashion.
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If you’ll recall, there were reports making the rounds that Johnny Depp was under consideration to play the Joker in one of Warner Bros.’ many in-development comic book projects, and insider Daniel Richtman now claims that the 57 year-old still wants the role, saying that the actor believes that portraying the Clown Prince of Crime could win him an Oscar and presumably, rehabilitate his career.
“Depp really wants Joker role. While talks with WB have stopped, [they] may resume if he wins trial and he thinks it could get him an Oscar,” says Richtman.
Of course, history has shown that he might be right in that assumption, but the obvious stumbling block is the studio, who have only just fired him from Fantastic Beasts 3 and more than likely won’t entertain the idea of hiring Depp for a while yet. At least, not until the next trial takes place and they see the outcome, like Richtman says.