Joaquin Phoenix Performance Joker! Heath Ledger Vs Joaquin Phoenix: Some preferred Cesar Romero, and some claim Jack Nicholson as the best… but Heath Ledger’s Joker blew us all away.
Joaquin Phoenix Performance Joker! Now, a new Joker is in town: Will Joaquin Phoenix match up to the legacy of the Dark Knight?
Who is the best joker? When it comes the legendary Heath Ledger Vs Joaquin Phoenix.
When it comes to DC Comics’ Clown Prince of Crime, everyone has their favorite version. Some prefer Cesar Romero as the Joker in the 1960s Batman television series. Others think the 1980s brought us the best iteration of Mr. J in Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman.
And some even think the live-action versions of the infamous character pale in comparison to Mark Hamill’s voiceover work.
But it’s the late Heath Ledger who perhaps captivated people the most, as fans still argue to this day that no one can come close to his stunning turn as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Ledger has given us the best Joker Quotes and got the stamp of approval of the academy after winning the Oscars.
For almost a decade the late, great Ledger has been holding on to his title of the quintessential Agent of Chaos.
However, when the new Joker trailer came out, fans were so ecstatic to see a new Joker that they didn’t mind him having a cleft lip! Joaquin Phoenix is looking frighteningly stunning in the teaser, with and without the makeup.
So, which one is the better Joker you ask? Well, let’s find out as we put this two behemoth of actors in the ring and see which one of them has acquired the traits of the character better.
Heath Ledger Vs Joaquin Phoenix!
Joaquin Phoenix Performance Joker! It’s the crazy Ledger Joker vs the quite yet equally frightening Phoenix Joker. Let’s begin!
Round 1 – Makeup And Appearance
There are numerous stories on how Heath Ledger created his own, unique Joker. From the looks to the voice, Ledger worked on everything to bring the megalomaniac criminal to life. As a result, the makeup and appearance became as iconic as the character itself.
Joaquin’s version, on the other hand, seems to be inspired by Ledger’s Joker. The only difference would be seen when Phoenix would be in his normal clothes whereas we’ve never seen Ledger’s Joker wearing anything but his signature suit. Then again, speaking about the character that is Joker (and costumes are an essential part of any character), Heath Ledger takes the point here.
Result- Ledger 1, Phoenix 0
Joaquin Phoenix Performance Joker! Round 2 – On-Screen Origins
Whether it be a superhero or a supervillain, all of us love to know where our beloved characters came from. When talking about who is the best joker, While Heath Ledger’s Joker provides contrary narratives about his early years (his scars, for instance), Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker seems to provide some kind of closure to the long-time fans of the character by giving them a proper back story.
Sure, Ledger was able to heighten the mystery behind the theatrical psychopath by keeping his past undisclosed, but all of our successful superhero origin films testify to the fact that a good back story always sells. Based on this, Phoenix’s Joker would certainly click with the audience.
Result- Ledger 1, Phoenix 1
Round 3 – Maniacal Mannerisms
The crazy clown surely has one thing going for himself, he’s crazy! Probably crazier than any of the lot. Ever since Nicholson’s rendition of the clown prince of crime, his eccentric mannerisms have been a selling point and have been exclusively associated with him.
Mr. Ledger, however, took that madness to another level with his version. With his craziness being sprayed all over the place, there’s no telling what trick this guy has up his sleeve.
Nobody is scarier than someone who proclaims himself as “An agent of chaos.”
Joaquin Phoenix Performnace Joker! Mr. Phoenix, on the other hand, seems to have tried keeping the maniacal tone at just the bare minimum.
His Crazy laugh can be heard all throughout the trailer, but Joker’s characteristic absurdity has been toned down, probably to display the man behind the make-up. This could work in the film’s favor, but for this round of who is the best joker, Joaquin’s Joker has taken a beating. Take it away Ledger!
Result- Ledger 2, Phoenix 1
Round 4 – Intensity And Insanity
The thing about a crazy character like Joker is that the more intense he looks, the more insane he can be. Though The Joker of 2008 was crazy and conniving at the same time, there are only a few moments where we can see his seriousness and intensity at work.
Whereas The 2019 Joker looks intense and serious. Of course, he’s going to plot an insane plan to display his criminal genius, there’s no denying that Joaquin’s version of the Jester Of Genocide, being more human, will be showing off his frighteningly serious and dangerously insane side this fall. So, on who is the best joker, we’re on tie guys!
Result- Ledger 2, Phoenix 2
Round 5 – Closest To The Original
The new Joker movie is apparently inspired by arguably the best and the most popular Batman comic book of all times, The Killing Joke. According to the comic, before becoming The frightening legend that he is, this simple man was an engineer aspiring to be a stand-up comedian.
Joaquin Phoenix Performance Joker! The film seems to have taken a page (metaphorically!) out of the comic and created Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian driven to Insanity.
Whereas, as the story goes, Health Ledger was indeed handed over a copy of the comic book for reference to the character, which he didn’t even read! Instead, he came up with a new and improved Avatar of The Harlequin Of Hate which, quite possibly, surpassed the original. But the criterion for this round is categorically this, which is the most faithful rendition of the original written character, or closer to it. So, in the contest of who is the best joker, this round goes straight to Phoenix, hands down.
Result- Ledger 2, Phoenix 3
Our Final Verdict
Heath Ledger has indeed left a legacy to embrace for generations to come. What he’s achieved with this one role, seems a challenge for other actors, new or old. To take an already iconic villain and making it even more iconic is not an easy feat.
But, Phoenix’s dedication to his characters should not be underestimated. We’ve seen him found the best he does since Gladiator all the way to Her. And if he’s taken up the challenge of pulling off the Joker, he knows what he’s putting himself into. If it was easy, he would’ve never done it. Come this fall, we shall witness another rendition of this supervillain which is going to leave its mark for a long time.
So, who is the best joker according to you? Heath Ledger Vs Joaquin Phoenix!
Leave your choice of the best joker in comments.