Joker: Can Joaquin Phoenix out-act Heath Ledger?
Source: Youtube The day The Dark Knight hit the big screen in 2008 was one every DC fan will remember. Directed by Christopher Nolan, and one of three in his successful Batman trilogy, it marked something pivotal: an incredible role transformation that resulted in a posthumous Academy Award. Of course, we’re talking about Heath Ledger’s supporting role as Joker. At the time, it’s probably safe to say that the world assumed there would never come a time when anyone would challenge Ledger’s incredible performance. Until Joaquin Phoenix made an appearance, that is.
Major Awards Fail…
Nominated for three Oscars between 2001 and now, Phoenix has yet to walk off with an award, despite a number of deserving roles. Best known for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005) and Commodus in Gladiator (2000), he’s recently acted in a number of less noteworthy films – but that’s before rumours of DC’s standalone 2019 release, Joker, started to spread.
Uh…Did You Just Say Todd Phillips?
Directed by Todd Phillips – yep, the very same man behind The Hangover (2009) and Due Date (2010) – DC fans aren’t entirely sure how to react. With Ledger’s Joker role immortalised as one of the best in history, does Phoenix stand a chance under Phillips’ wing? We were a bit stumped too, to be honest. And it’s not like DC has a lot going for them when you compare its successes with Marvel. Uh, wait. Did we just open up a can of never-ending worms? Oops. Think we did…
The DC-Marvel War Rages On!
Realistically speaking, DC releases one live action box office hit per year – if they’re lucky. In 2018, it was Aquaman. A year before that, Wonder Woman. Then there was a long gap dating back to 2013, which is when Man of Steel graced cinema screens in all its chiselled, Henry Cavill-esque glory. Other than that, a Green Lantern release in 2011 and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), there isn’t too much going on at DC headquarters – other than animated releases, that is. But who says that’s a bad thing, anyway?
Have Marvel Taken Things Too Far?
Whisperings, even by Marvel’s own fandom, indicate that the MCU is becoming something of an overcrowded one. How so? Well, one look at the MCU timeline is a good starting point. Add in their multiple film releases every year (2018’s Venom, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Deadpool 2, case in point), and it wouldn’t be out of line for anyone to start catching a whiff of desperation coming out of the woodwork. That being said, it could just be a case of Marvel loving what they do so much, that they can’t help overproducing.
We’ll Just Be Over Here…
Just as quickly as we opened that can of worms, we’re going to go ahead and close it. Because when it comes to heated debates, such as the DC vs. Marvel one, there will never be an end. There are simply too many supporters on either side of the fence to conceive of ever calling a truce. So, we’ve decided not to even try. Instead, while everyone out there is trying to figure out their feelings on the subject, we’ll be focusing on building up some excitement while we await the official release of Joker – despite our uneasiness around Todd Phillips being at the helm. Until then, later this April, there’s nothing to do but patiently keep a watchful, waiting eye out for a second teaser trailer to surface, and our hands hovering steadily over the ‘book now’ button.