It seems like every year we’re treated to a new Batman movie, but who will replace Jack Nicholson as the Joker?
“The Joker” is what people call the villain in Batman. You may know the character better by his other name, the “Dark Knight.”
Batman is one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, and many people have asked me who I think will play the role of the Joker in the upcoming Batman movie. It’s an interesting question because the Joker is so unique and has become such a recognizable part of the Batman mythology that it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing this iconic role. But since we haven’t really had a chance to know Jack Nicholson well, I thought I’d take a minute to discuss who I think should play the part of the Joker in the upcoming Batman movie.
Sidenote: This article is pretty much a Sidenote. The Sidenote is a short commentary included at the end of each article to provide additional information and context about what I discussed. In this case, it’s just a bunch of thoughts about who should play the Joker in the upcoming Batman movie.
The Most Popular Choice
If we look at the data from google trends, we can see that the Joker is among the most searched for characters in pop culture. In fact, he’s been beating out Batman and Spiderman for the #1 spot. Even more impressively, the interest in the Joker has increased by 80% since the last time I checked (which, for those interested, was just a couple of weeks ago).
“The Joker” isn’t just a popular character among the general public,” said Eric Moniz, Director of Marketing at Performics. “The 2019 edition of Batman is shaping up to be one of the most popular films of the year, and the interest in the character is at an all-time high.”
So what’s the most popular choice to play the Joker? Based on what I’m seeing online, it’s almost unanimous. Everyone seems to have a favorite actor or actress who could potentially play this iconic role. Here’s a short list, followed by my personal thoughts on who I think should play the part.
1. Jared Leto
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it again: Jared Leto had an incredible year in 2018. Between his performance in the acclaimed ‘Ma’, and his portrayal of the Joker in ‘Joker’, he proved, yet again, that he has a unique and special talent for inhabiting extremely twisted characters. Just wait until you see his take on the Joker. It will blow your mind.
While Leto’s casting might be controversial because of his involvement with the Church of Scientology (which I’ll get into a bit more in a minute), his performance as the Joker in ‘Joker’ will undoubtedly make up for any potential contentiousness surrounding his casting. Leto’s Joker is one of the most fascinating and terrifying villains in pop culture. Plus, did I mention he injected his eyes with laughing gas? It was a brilliant performance that’ll put an end to any debate about his involvement with Scientology.
2. Theo James
Is there any actor more suited for the role of the Joker than Theo James? After all, he currently plays the part in ‘Baggage Claim’, the highly anticipated sequel to ‘Love Actually’. But while James is undoubtedly talented, I think his biggest claim to fame is playing the son in the ‘James Bond’ series. It’s not that he doesn’t like playing villains – quite the opposite – but he might be a bit too cool for the role of the Joker. Still, who knows? Maybe he’ll surprise us and show us a different side of himself.
3. Bill Camp
This one may surprise you, but ‘Tiger King’ star and convicted fraudster Bill Camp is among the favorites for the part of the Joker. Why? Well, it’s not just because he’s played some pretty despicable characters in the past (like his scene-stealing turn as the sadistic Dwight Yoakam in ‘Pete’s Dragon’) – although those certainly help. It’s also because of his unique and mesmerizing gaze, which can induce feelings of intense terror in anyone who meets it. His scene-stealing role in ‘Gran Torino’ has also probably helped him land the part of the Joker in ‘Ford v. Ferrari.’ Whether or not he actually wants to play the part is another question.
4. Tom Hardy
If you’ve been following my blog or social media over the past year or so, you might have noticed that I’ve been singing Tom Hardy’s praises a lot. The English actor has been turning in incredible performances as usual, but in recent months, he’s been blowing us away with his take on the terrifying Joker. It started with a small role in ‘Joker’, but then he had to go back into hiding when the movie was released because of all the press surrounding his role. Since then, he’s returned with a vengeance and hasn’t stopped playing villains since (with the possible exception of Nick Nolte in ‘Warrior’).
It’s not hard to see why Hardy is so suited for the role of the Joker. First off, he has the intimidating physical appearance that the part demands. You also can’t help but feel a sense of urgency when Hardy is on screen – especially when he’s decked out in full costume as the Joker. Plus, his previous roles have taught us that, when it comes to playing villains, he has a gift for inhabiting the most despicable characters and making them seem almost sympathetic.
Sadly, Hardy’s schedule is pretty packed these days. Between starring in the highly anticipated ‘Dark Phoenix’, and launching a film career in Japan, it probably won’t be easy for him to commit to another movie right away. But if he does, I think we’ve got a pretty good idea who he’ll play.
5. Alec Baldwin
If you’re a fan of ‘30 Rock’, you might know Alec Baldwin’s inimitable style and humor. Like most comedians, he has a dark side, and it sometimes shows up in his characters (like Donald Trump in ‘Alfie’) – but it’s never been the main focus. Still, given his uncanny ability to inhabit completely different characters, maybe he’s the one to bring the comedic darkness that we so desperately need.
Others Who Should Play The Joker
I’m sure there are plenty of other talented actors out there who could play the part of the Joker. In fact, since I’ve already mentioned five, I’ll keep this short. While I don’t see any of these five actors above as the one and only choice for the role, I do believe they’re all incredibly talented and would do an amazing job. Just imagine – if any of these five had actually gotten the part, it would’ve been a real feat, considering how great they are at playing villains.
So there you have it – my top five candidate for the role of the Joker. As you can see, it’s not exactly an easy choice. But as much as I’d love to see anyone else play this iconic part, I think these five guys are as good as it gets. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before the interest in the Joker reaches its highest point ever. And when that happens, I for one, won’t be complaining about which one of these five played him. Let’s just hope it isn’t too late to replace Nicholson by then.