Batman is one of the most coveted roles in cinema, with any actor lucky enough to be selected to inherit the cape and cowl experiencing an instant surge in popularity and name value, unless of course you’re George Clooney, who was forced to go out of his way to rehabilitate his fledgling big screen career after starring in one of the worst comic book movies ever made.
Michael Keaton and Christian Bale both became much bigger stars after tackling the part, while the same could end up happening to Robert Pattinson should The Batman live up to its undoubted potential, although Ben Affleck was already a global A-lister before he made his DCEU debut.
Securing the role of the Joker is arguably an even bigger get, though, especially when you look at the caliber of talents to have played the Clown Prince of Crime previously. Joaquin Phoenix’s Best Actor win for Todd Phillips’ twisted psychological thriller a decade after Heath Ledger’s posthumous Best Supporting Actor victory saw Mr. J become just the second character in history to have two different actors snag Oscars following screen legends Marlon Brandon and Robert De Niro each going home with a prize for playing Vito Corleone in the first two Godfather movies.
Jack Nicholson and Jared Leto, meanwhile, had already won Academy Awards before they even donned the face paint, and the DCEU’s Jester of Genocide has now broken a record by becoming the first name to appear as the Joker in two live-action movies, following his well-received cameo in the epilogue of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Of course, Ben Affleck is setting a Batman record with his fourth outing in The Flash, so it’s only fitting that his onscreen archenemy reaches a similar milestone as well.