Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Alright Already! Who is the Joker?

To me, the essence of the Joker is the snobbish smile of sociopathic detachment matched with nervous laughter bordering on ghoulish hysteria. He's an aristocratic, foppish vaudevillian, who laughs at the violent nature of life. The same tragedy that creates in The Batman, a creature of unbending will with a bleak determination to control khaos, creates a Joker that rejects control, rule and societal constructs, a Joker who has no sense of morality that embraces the khaotic nature of cruelty. While, Ra's Al Ghul is the only villain that is Batman's match, when done right the Joker is something scarier... Batman's opposite. This new film is supposed to re-introduce us to Batman's most famous foe...So whose gonna play the Joker?

There is a reason I have been staying far away from Batman movie news lately. First, it's just getting into pre-production mode, so there has been little to talk about. Second, the news has been pretty inconsistent and frankly, it changes every other day. Everybody and your Mom has been linked to or rumored to be considered for the Joker role: established old timers like Michael Keaton (I kid you not, Batman as the Joker!) and Robin Williams... Young big timers like Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Hugh Jackman...up and comers like Sam Rockwell and Hugo Weaving.... unknown or lesser knowns like Lachy Hulme and Paul Bettany... and the two people I think would nail the role.. Vincent Cassel and Crispin Glover. Every other week the rumor mill spits out some super secret gossip saying that one of those guys or Al Roker or Nicole Kidman is playing the Joker. So I just decided to stop messing with you and ignore the rumors until things started to settle a little. This scoop may be contradicted Tomorrow, but since it comes from Batman on Film's Jett, I would tend to trust it. Either way, its a nice piece in that it gives you a broad overview of all the rumors we have been hearing and let's us know which ones are hints at the truth and which ones are the illusions of a crackhead.

Batman On Film has the story HERE!
Big Joker Scoop?

Author: JettWednesday, April 26, 2006 - 5:44 AM CENTRAL TIME:

Jett here. The following comes in from a LONGTIME source who has provided BOF with much dead on info regarding BATMAN in the past. Some news has been revealed/broken here at BOF (like Ken Watanabe and Katie Holme's casting in BEGINS); some has been kept secret to keep this source anonymous. This is a rather lengthy report, but it clears up a lot of stuff and reveals the Joker info I alluded to cryptically last week. (One note regarding news from BOF: If you copy and paste this on message boards -- cool; But PLEASE include a link back to BOF. Thank you.) Anyway, here goes...

I first slipped you information many years ago that centred on the possible casting of Jude Law as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This was long before Christopher Nolan's involvement with the franchise. Law's name was also thrown about re: Petersen's BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN project. Now it seems we have come full circle. Your site has mentioned Law as a candidate for Harvey Dent. This is incorrect. Law is being [considered for The Joker]. He is a WB suggestion (one of a select few). WB do not have a "wish list," but WB has narrowed down a couple of names for Nolan etc. to consider later this year.

As far as I know, Paul Bettany is not on this list. His name holds some appeal with a section of the Batman fan base, but the idea is not exactly setting WB's world on fire. Too many creepy villain roles; been there, done that. He was never really in this race, as your site intimated recently – well done ;)

Lachy Hulme is on this list. He is not the "frontrunner" as many have suggested; he is the "dark horse." WB is concerned about his lack of profile in the US, but they are keeping a very close eye on him. Hulme's lack of profile could be remedied with two projects, MACBETH and an Australian comedy called BOYTOWN. The buzz for both films is very strong. Cillian Murphy landed his casting call for BATMAN BEGINS off the career boost 28 DAYS LATER gave him; likewise, Hulme only needs for one of these films to click. FYI: Hulme HAS met with the producers. He is the only actor not contracted for sequels to have done so.

I can confirm that The Joker role is a small and mysterious one in the sequel. It will be nothing like the Jack Nicholson-style showcase that the previous Joker provided.
Reps for Sam Rockwell were pursuing the role in the hope that this Joker would be on par with the 1989 Joker, but soon discovered otherwise. Hugh Jackman also expressed interest in The Joker. Upon learning the size of the role he explored the Harvey Dent option instead. Due to Jackman's association with Marvel, however, you can probably count him out of either role in the BATMAN BEGINS sequel. Probably.

Hugo Weaving is also on the WB Casting list; Johnny Depp is not. Guy Pearce has never been discussed for any role in the sequel; neither has Robin Williams.

The other issue perplexing WB is Katie Holmes. I can't confirm whether she will be in the sequel or not. This is not due to whether she was weak in BATMAN BEGINS; the consensus at WB is that Holmes delivered a fine performance. The issue is, what to do with her character? That is a problem for Jonah and Chris to resolve.

And that's the point: Chris Nolan now has the power to do whatever he damn well pleases. The "WB Casting List" has been compiled simply as some "helpful suggestions" for him.

Let's pop out a Wiki on the Clown Prince of Crime! HERE!

The Joker is a fictional DC Comics villain, widely considered to be Batman's arch-enemy and the most well-known villain in comic book history. The idea was conceived by Batman inker\letterer Jerry Robinson (while on staff under Batman creator\artist Bob Kane), the Joker first appeared in Batman #1 (1940). Originally conceived as an evil "court-jester" type, the character was rejected by studio writer Bill Finger as being "too clownish" however, he later relayed the idea to Bob Kane. Kane, who started out as a "gag" artist, loved the concept and encouraged its production. Mr. Finger found a photograph of actor Conrad Veidt wearing make-up for a silent film entitled The Man Who Laughs (which was based on a novel by Victor Hugo) and it was from this photograph that the Joker was modelled.

The Joker is a humor-obsessed criminal with a clown-like appearance, who likes to kill people with fatal hilarity. Writers have alternatively portrayed him as a goofy trickster-thief or as a serial killer with a warped sense of humor. Recent writers of the Batman comic book series have preferred the latter, and the Joker has been responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, such as the murder of Jason Todd, the successor to the mantle of Robin after Dick Grayson, the injury/paralysis of Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl/Oracle, and the death of Sarah Essen Gordon, Jim Gordon's wife.

The Joker is regarded by fans and comic-book aficionados as one of the greatest villains in comic-book history and by many the one with the most psychological depth.

The Joker has been featured throughout the Batman saga, and has been an enemy of the Caped Crusader in most adaptations in other media. Interpretations of the Joker that have made him well-known to the general public include Cesar Romero's in the 1960s Batman television series, Mark Hamill in the DC Animated Universe and Jack Nicholson's in the 1989 feature film.

The Joker (as played by Nicholson) ranks number 45 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 50 film villains of all time. (it should have been Tim Curry.)

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