With the recent success of Todd Phillips’ Joker, one has to wonder what is going to happen with the Joker that exists in the connected DC universe? You know, the one that will hopefully face off with Robert Pattinson’s Batman at some point?
From everything I’ve heard and read regarding Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, Arthur Fleck isn’t the actual Joker and instead serves as a possible inspiration for the Joker we all know and love. Either way, it’s also been reported that the recent Joker film will kickstart a series of films based on DC’s Black Label that will be separate from the connected universe.
So Phoenix’s Joker appears to be out of the question. What about Jared Leto’s Joker?Please no. That’s all I’ll say about that.
It’s been reported that Leto was not happy with Warner Bros when he found out they green lit another Joker film not starring him as The Joker.
The reports even go as far to claim that Leto tried to get Phillip’s Joker cancelled. He’s also come out recently and said he probably will never play Joker again. Oh darn…
Sounds like the only option is to reboot and recast! That’s where I come in.
This was a fancasting that took serious thought and, honestly, was a bit of a challenge because of how complex the character is. Alas, I believe I have put together a solid little list. Hope you all agree!
Yes the one and only, Pennywise the Dancing Clown! Right at the top of the list is an actor with plenty of experience in playing mentally unhinged and downright terrifying characters. Bill Skarsgard may actually be the most perfect actor possible to take on this role. The question is, would he want to?
Playing Pennywise took some sort of toll on him. And we know the Joker is mentally/emotionally demanding role (R.I.P. Heath Ledger). If he was willing, then DC and Warner Bros better not hesitate. The working relationship is already there from the IT movies. There are other roles Skarsgard has been, but Pennywise is close to The Joker mentally. Skarsgard’s performance as the evil clown is terrifying and downright disturbing.
Elements to his performance as Pennywise can easily be transferred over to The Joker. Again, a role like that on top of Pennywise may prove to be too much for one man to handle mentally in his lifetime. But if he were up for it, there might not be a better actor out there more perfectly suited than Skarsgard for this role–a match made in demented heaven.
Here’s an actor with a lot of experience in comic book adaptations. Dan Stevens is probably most well known in the geek community for his role as David Haller in the FX’s X-Men-centric show, Legion. Stevens has been in other high-profile projects like A Walk Among the Tombstones opposite Liam Neeson, the titular character in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
As you can see, Stevens’ would be a tough actor to typecast as his roles are all fairly different and his genre of films are all over the board. His role as Haller in Legion convinced me that he could handle a role like The Joker. Haller is the mutant son of Charles Xavier and suffers from a mental illness in the form of dissociative identity disorder (also known as multiple personality disorder).
Stevens does such a fantastic job portraying Haller’s manic and unpredictable tendencies. His character comes off as mentally unhinged, all because of Stevens’ performance. The Joker obviously has some issues mentally and Stevens is already well versed in playing that kind of character.
A slightly out-of-the-box casting pick here, but I mean come on…just imagine the classic, iconic Joker makeup painted on Crispin Glover’s face and then try to tell me he wouldn’t absolutely nail the look.
Now I know what some will say, “it’s not just about the look” and while I agree, the look is still absolutely crucial. However, Glover is no slouch in the acting department. The man has put together quite an extensive and diverse resume during his career.
The thing about Glover is that, and I mean no disrespect to him, he just looks like a villain. Certain people have certain looks. He could be the nicest guy in the world, but he has that villainous look about him.
It’s clear casting directors have noticed that as well because he’s played an awful lot of villains throughout his career in films like Charlie’s Angle Full Throttle, Alice in Wonderland, Epic Movie (as a demented Willy Wonka), and even in family affair such as Like Mike. The Joker and Glover, while definitely out of the box, seems like a pairing that has a lot of potential.
Sharlto Copley has one of the most unique sounding voices and accents in the business. It gives all of his performances an added “umph” because the accent is so thick and powerful. He could simply be saying “Hello, how are you?” but the uniqueness and forcefulness of his voice can make even the most harmless of phrases sound unsettling. He would definitely have to reign in the accent for this role as The Joker isn’t South African (as far as I know), but that wouldn’t hinder Copley’s ability to deliver in this role.
It also helps that Copley has plenty of experience in playing the villain thanks to roles in Elysium and Oldboy. Those roles really showed Copley’s range and versatility as an actor. His role in Elysium saw him as a crazed and borderline psychotic part robot bounty hunter tasked with hunting Matt Damon, while his role in Oldboy saw a less physical but more emotionally tormented villain.
Between those two roles, Copley showcased his ability to play the maniacal and borderline psychotic with extreme effectiveness while also showing his emotional range and depth. Roll all those qualities and skills into one and you have an actor who can really nail every aspect of The Joker.
A second out-of-the-box choice? What?! Two in one article? To be honest, less obvious choices may actually be the way to go when casting a character like The Joker. Look at Heath Ledger. Nobody expected that casting. Evan Peters, however, would definitely be less surprising as Heath if he were to be cast in this role. American Horror Story fans know exactly what I mean. Like Skarsgard, this would come down to Peter’s willingness to take on a mentally and emotionally demanding role like this.
Peters starred in all of the first eight seasons of FX’s hit show American Horror Story. The ninth and most recent season, AHS: 1984, is the first season without Peters as he declined to return this season to take a break citing the mental toll all the different, twisted roles has taken on him. If you watch the show, you can see the validity because Peters has played some truly deranged and unhinged characters throughout the seasons.
It’s solely because of AHS that I’m convinced Peters would crush this role. He consistently showed his range and depth as through these roles as well as his ability to effortlessly adapt to whatever kind of character he is playing. Now that he’s no longer Quicksilver in Fox’s X-Men series, in addition to his (much deserved) sabbatical from AHS, his schedule should be pretty open.