When word first started leaking about an origin movie centered around Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker, there was a sort of collective ho-hum reaction. But things definitely got a little more interesting when it was said that the script would be written by Scott Silver and Todd Phillips, who had respectively penned Eminem's 8 Mile and The Hangover, with Phillips also signed as director. But then came word that Martin Scorsese would be serving as producer, and the excitement level jumped ridiculously high, aided by the fact that the film will be an '80s period piece. Now Variety has the news that actor Joaquin Phoenix is the number one choice to play the role in the film that will track the transformation of the character from regular criminal to the Dark Knight's psychopathic adversary.
The last actor to play the Joker in live action was Jared Leto in 2016's Suicide Squad, and he is expected to do so again in the sequel and a spin-off film focused on him and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Unlike most of the DC films that have been produced to date which are all tied to each other, this new Joker film would be a standalone entry that has no connection to any of the others. Previously, the actor had turned down the role of Doctor Strange in the Marvel film of the same name, and the Man of Steel's main villain, Lex Luthor, in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. But looks like now he’s ready to take on this legendary villain.
There's a long history of actors playing the Joker, and this is a guide to a number of them in live action and animation.