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  • The Joker is one of the most iconic and popular villains in history. And we're not just referring

  • to the history of comic books when we say that - Batman's arch-enemy stands up alongside

  • the likes of Professor Moriarty, Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch of the West, Cruella de Vil

  • and the Devil himself as one of the most recognizable bad guys in fiction. As a result of his popularity,

  • there have been countless adaptations of the character across various media platforms.

  • As well as appearing in comic books and graphic novels, The Joker has appeared on television,

  • in movies, in video games and on all manner of merchandise and paraphernalia.In terms

  • of mainstream versions of the character, the ones that have appeared in movies are undoubtedly

  • the most well known, and it's pretty amazing how fresh the character has remained in each

  • depiction - and this video is going to run through them in chronological order, discussing

  • each version and how they differ from each other. Welcome to The Evolution of The Joker

  • on the big screen. Cesar Romero

  • The late Cesar Romero was the first man to portray the Clown Prince of Gotham in live

  • action on the big screen, reprising his role from the Batman television series in a 1966

  • movie. In the movie, The Joker teamed up with The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman to form

  • the United Underworld - a quartet that posed a very significant threat to Adam West's Batman

  • and Burt Ward's Robin.This version of The Joker was the lightest of them all - which

  • was fitting with the era and the tone of the television series and movie in which he appeared.

  • He was unashamedly camp, wore a bright pink suit, and was more like a pantomime villain

  • than a ruthless criminal overlord.He first appeared in the TV episode "The Joker is Wild"

  • and made his last appearance in the episode entitled "The Joker’s Flying Saucer". In

  • between those, he appeared in twenty more episodes, as well as the aforementioned movie.

  • As he appeared more, his schemes and gadgets got more and more crazy and elaborate - and

  • he even had his own version of Batman's utility belt, which held devices with names like "strangling

  • screamers" in it. Incidentally, Romero refused to shave his moustache for this role, so The

  • Joker's white face makeup was simply heavily smeared over it whenever he played the character.

  • He remains one of the most memorable versions of the character to this day, in spite of

  • the fact that he last appeared 48 years ago. Jack Nicholson

  • In 1989, the man who was clearly born to play The Joker took on the role of the character

  • - and he did so brilliantly. That man was, of course, Jack Nicholson, and he made his

  • one and only appearance as the character in Tim Burton's Batman. The Joker had appeared

  • on the small screen in numerous animated series since Romero's version had last been seen,

  • but this live action, big screen return was long overdue.Nicholson's Joker still possessed

  • an element of campness - you could clearly see the influence of Cesar Romero - but Burton

  • and Nicholson took the character down a much darker route.This version was violent and

  • temperamental and, even when he was being light and funny, those moments would be juxtaposed

  • with acts of physical brutality. In the same vein, his bright purple suit and constant

  • sickly smile were in stark contrast to the drab and very grey version of Gotham City

  • created by Burton for this movie - something that gave the character an edge and made him

  • even more unsettling.His line "have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight"

  • has become one of the most iconic in cinema history and defines Nicholson's interpretation brilliantly.

  • Many still argue that this version is the definitive Joker, but that's simply

  • a matter of opinion. Mark Hamill

  • Although this video is mainly focusing on live action adaptations of the character,

  • no such video would be complete without mentioning Mark Hamill's animated version of The Joker.The

  • Star Wars legend has loaned his voice to the character since 1992 - commencing with Batman:

  • The Animated Series - but his credits extend to a variety of other DC-based cartoons, and

  • indeed three movies.The first movie in which Hamill's Joker appeared was 1993's Batman:

  • Mask of the Phantasm, which got a theatrical release, but he has also appeared in the direct-to-video

  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker from the year 2000, and he will reprise the role in

  • the eagerly anticipated Batman: The Killing Joke, which will also go straight-to-video

  • in the summer of 2016. In addition to those productions, he has voiced the character for

  • various theme park attractions and video games.Hamill's Joker clearly took influence from both Romero

  • and Nicholson's portrayals of the character, combining laughter, campness, mayhem, totally

  • crazy schemes, wickedness and dark humour brilliantly. He looks very different to any

  • version of the character that came before him - although he does still wear the signature

  • purple suit - and Hamill has received almost universal praise for his voice work with the

  • character. Heath Ledger

  • The Dark Knight Trilogy was a huge success. Christopher Nolan brought a level of gritty

  • realism to the world of Batman that had never been attempted before with Batman Begins,

  • The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises between 2005 and 2012. But the highlight of

  • the trilogy was undoubtedly the late Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker.His sole appearance

  • came in The Dark Knight, in which he was depicted as a sociopath and a bringer of pure chaos.

  • He was completely reimagined and his appearance was far more rugged and shabby than that of

  • any version of the character seen before and, frankly, he was the darkest, most unpredictable

  • and most violent version as well.To prepare for the role, Ledger reportedly locked himself

  • away in a hotel room for weeks; perfecting his mannerisms, totally immersing himself

  • in the character. Some people have theorised that getting inside the head of such a maniacal

  • character contributed to Ledger's death, but that is, of course, just a theory.Ledger's

  • passing came just before the release of The Dark Knight in 2008, but he received universal

  • praise for his performance and even earned a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting

  • Actor for it. His iconic line "why so serious" will forever live on in cinematic lore.

  • Jared Leto. Next in line to play The Joker on the big

  • screen is Jared Leto - a man who will put as much into the role as Ledger did back in

  • 2008 (he's already terrified his fellow cast members by remaining in character at all times

  • on set - and he's famously sent them some very strange gifts, including bullets and

  • dead animals).Leto has the responsibility of taking on the role in the DC Extended Universe,

  • starting with 2016's Suicide Squad and, potentially, in several other movies going forward in the

  • franchise .This version looks more different to any that came before it than any other

  • version, with his slicked back green hair, silver teeth and body covered in tattoos.

  • He looks as though he revels in the pain of other more than other versions, and fans and

  • critics are completely divided about him, based on what they've seen of him in promotional

  • material and trailers so far, with some claiming it looks as though Leto and the people behind

  • Suicide Squad are "trying too hard to be different".It remains to be seen how he will be received

  • once Suicide Squad is actually released, but the likes of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger

  • are undoubtedly tough acts to follow, and Leto will need to have brought his A-game

  • to his performance in order to garner favourable reviews. All we can say is that we remain

  • hopeful of this drastically different version being as brilliant as his predecessors.

  • Thanks for watching our documentary about the evolution of The Joker. Which version

  • of the character is your favourite? Our good friends over at the CBR Youtube channel decided

  • to tackle this question head on and have produced an amazing animated video pinning all of the

  • Jokers against eachother in a hilariously awesome Joker Debate. Click the preview here

  • or the link the description to check it out and don’t forget to tell them that Screen

  • Rant sent you!

  • That’s all for us, are you looking forward to seeing Jared Leto's take on the character?

  • Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe to our channel for

  • more great videos like this one.

The Joker is one of the most iconic and popular villains in history. And we're not just referring

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The Amazing Evolution Of The Joker Throughout History

  • 2008 68
    Kit Yung posted on 2016/08/12
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