Joker: Evolution of iconic DC villain over the years, from 1960s Batman TV series to The Dark Knight

FP Staff

Apr 04, 2019 18:15:23 IST

Warner Bros released the official teaser trailer of Joker on 3 April. The film features Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role who is now the fifth actor to portray the Clown Prince of Crime.  The film is set in 1980s Gotham City and will serve as a prequel to Christopher Nolan's 2008 movie, The Dark Knight, it was earlier confirmed.

Joker: Evolution of iconic DC villain over the years, from 1960s Batman TV series to The Dark Knight

Joaquin Phoenix in a still from Joker. Screenshot from YouTube

Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker chronicles the origin story of the iconic DC villain, who suffered from a mental illness. Being constantly bullied drove him to turn to a life of crime and chaos. It has been described as "not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale."

Many popular actors have portrayed the Joker onscreen before Phoenix. This includes Cesar Romero in the 1960s, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto. Mark Hamill and Zach Galifianakis have also voiced the character in Batman: The Animated Series and The Lego Batman Movie respectively.

Cesar Romero in Batman (1966-68) and Batman: The Movie (1966)

Cesar Romero. Image from Twitter @MadDashiell

Cesar Romero. Image from Twitter @MadDashiell

Cesar Romero was the first to portray the Joker in the live-action series Batman and also Batman: The Movie. Romero's take on Batman's arch nemesis was a comical one and not the villainous and sadistic version the audience is used to.

Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989)

Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Image from Facebook

Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Image from Facebook

With Jack Nicholsan's portrayal, the character became darker and more evil in Tim Burton's reimagining. The Joker here is Jack Napier, who fell into a vat of acid and resurfaces with a grin permanently etched on his face.

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Kngiht. © Warner Bros

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Image from Warner Bros

With the blotchy make up, greasy green hair and a Glasgow smile carved across his face, Heath Ledger's version of the Joker is considered the best and most memorable till date.

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad (2016)

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. Image via Twitter

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. Image from Twitter

Jared Leto's version of the Joker in Suicide Squad saw him forego his signature mane and bushy beard for neon green hair, metal capped teeth and prison facial tattoos. However, the character was not as well received as expected.

Joaquin Phoenix's Joker also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron. The film is scheduled to hit cinemas on 4 October.

Updated Date: Apr 04, 2019 18:15:23 IST

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