Its recently been announced that a stand alone film focusing on the origins of the Joker is in the works. Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and produced by Martin Scorsese, this sounds like it has the potential to be very good. The Joker is one of my all time favourite fictional characters/villain so it would be nice to see the character brought back to the former glory of the Heath Ledger days. However, this Joker film will not be set in the same universe as the other DC installments, this will be good news for some as will mean that the Joker will not be played by Jared Leto. So without further ado, here are six suggestions on whom I think should play the infamous Clown Prince of Crime.
6. Bill Skarsgard
After wowing audiences with his turn as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in this years horror hit It, he would slide into this role perfectly. Skarsgard would work as the Joker as he can be incredibly unsettling and can nail the balance of being unnaturally creepy and the soft-spoken psychopath before exploding into a violent rage. Like with Pennywise, you just wouldn’t know what to expect from the character next, making that unpredictability all the more nerve racking. He suits the face paint too.
5. Jack Gleeson
Given that this is an origin story, it would make sense for a younger actor to play the role and I believe that Jack Gleeson would be able to pull it off in style. Known for his role as the utterly abominable Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones, we know that he can pull off evil for the sake of evil. Even though he has said he has retired from acting, I believe the film industry would be missing out on an incredibly talented actor. He would be a great way to establish a younger Joker as looking at his portrayal of Joffrey, he flirts with the line between accepted high society behavior and an unquenchable blood lust that we see bubble out sometimes, so it would be an interesting take on a character trying to find this fine balance between normal and a psychopath. He’s already met Batman too in 2005s Batman Begins.
4. Elijah Wood
The last two interpretations of the Joker have been cast a little left field; Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, and it doesn’t come as more left field as Elijah Wood. Known mostly for his role as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I believe that he would bring freshness to this role because of his “nice guy” looks and disarming charm which would prove to be disturbing to the audience as you would just know that there is a dangerous thread underneath his skin, waiting to snap at any given moment. If he was to bring some of his characteristics that he brought to Kevin in Sin City as whoever the Joker is before he goes full clown, then that would indeed be incredible as I remember being simultaneously shocked but thrilled at the talent he brought to that small role.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio
One of the older names on this list, but you know he would bring something great to the table and fully commit to this role. His role as the plantation owner; Calvin Candie in 2012s Django Unchained shows that he can also portray the unhinged psychopath. By demonstrating that he can ooze charm, he’d be able to lure audiences into a false sense of security and playing a cunningly evil protagonist could be a new challenge for an actor of his talents. He’s a favourite of Scorsese too so him being cast as the Joker would not be at all surprising if it happened.
2. Iwan Rheon
Some actors just excel at playing villains, another actor from Game of Thrones; Iwan Rheon could bring his unhinged characteristics and evil smirk that he brought to devilishly evil Ramsay Bolton and could carry that sinister smile over to a villain who just wants to watch the world burn. Rheon could easily fit this bill and like Ramsay, he would be a great at portraying a character who enjoys the misery of others.
1. Jake Gyllenhaal
One of my favourite actors in film at the moment, I believe that Gyllenhaal would be the perfect fit for this role and would fit into it as easy as Brokeback Mountain co-star; Heath Ledger did back in 2008 for The Dark Knight. He has the ability to be creepy, terrifying and unpredictable. His turn in the 2014 film Nightcrawler showed that he could be remorseless and criminally ambitious, perfect aspects for the Joker. He has the eyes, the acting ability and most importantly, he has that unnerving smile that he would be able to terrorise audiences and the streets of Gotham with.