WATCH: 'Joker' trailer features Joaquin Phoenix as new Batman villain

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I’ll keep an open mind but I always kind of liked that the Joker doesn’t have a definitive origin story (even in “The Killing Joke” he says that if he must have a past then he prefers multiple choice).

That was one of the fun things about the Heath Ledger version: his explanations for how he got his Glasgow Smile were both disturbing and contradictory.


This will be good!

There’s a little darkness of The Last Circus in there.


I was fully expecting to roll my eyes at this but it looks better than it has any right to be, doesn’t it? Somewhere Jared Leto is sitting by a pool being reassured that no, most people still prefer his version.

BUT, I do wish they weren’t trying to shoehorn in connections to the Wayne family. Why do that? Not everything needs to be retconned so everyone’s origin story is everyone else’s origin story.


Especially since Thomas Wayne really ought to be long dead before the Joker shows up in Gotham. If the guy who becomes the Joker is already in his 40s before the Wayne murders then that makes him 30+ years older than Batman. And frankly it would be kind of sad for one of the greatest crimefighting vigilantes of all time to have so much trouble taking down a borderline geriatric clown.


Sign me up for this! I really, really like Joaquin Phoenix. Her, The Master, it goes on and on. Perhaps this will make me feel good about DC movies again. And I say this as someone who actually liked Man of Steel (but not what’s come since).


You’re the one!?


With that stage shot of DeNiro, I’m feeling a strong King of Comedy vibe, too.


So is he just a sad sack, victim of a cruel world? I prefer a Joker who’s evil.


Polygon posited yesterday that the King of Comedy vibe may be deliberate, and DeNiro actually being in the movie would seem to validate the idea.


To me the strength of the Joker character has always come from the best writers and actors willing to bring something new to the character without being inconsistent with his underlying theme. For example, Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger played the character very differently, but both felt like they could be incarnations of the Joker. Jared Leto played it differently but it didn’t feel so much like the Joker as it did a bad cosplay of the Joker. Joaquin Phoenix’s version looks quite promising, but it’s too early to tell for sure.

Most of the Joker origin stories call him Jack Napier. In the trailer someone calls him Arthur, so I’m guessing this is going to go in a relatively newish direction, which can only be a good thing since the backstories given have all been disappointments IMHO.


Listen, I’m not a die-hard DC or Marvel comic fan from way back in the day, who couldn’t get over the fact that when ridiculously powerful godlike folks do battle, some people gonna get hurt. That was probably the biggest objection to Man of Steel I kept hearing.

Me? I freaking loved the opening sequence on Krypton. I thought it was EFFIN’ RAD.

I adore Michael Shannon. I thought his Zod was freaking great. And I thought the badass space marine vibe of he and his cohorts was pretty cool, definitely more cool than the airy black drapey yogi clothes from Superman 2 (but those were fine too).

I was fine with Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner.

The giant drills, very cool.

Yeah, I mean, all in all, I thought it was pretty great.

Sorry, not to go off on a diatribe, but I feel like of all the recent DC movies, at least this one deserves a passing grade. The others – and I include Wonder Woman here – beyond meh.


Considering that Joaquin Phoenix pulled some performance-art-styled pranks in real life, it really is “the part he was born to play.”


No matter what he plays – Doug Holt, Tony N. Tucker, Johnny Cash or The Joker – Joaquin is good, and I’ll always be there to see it.


Nah, man, I hear ya. I didn’t like the movie at all, but I’m trying to do less of trying to convince people that they’re wrong for liking the things they like.

(I mean, you’re objectively wrong for liking it, but…) [insert winking emoji here]

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The original…


My ranking of the Synderverse would go WW2, WW1, Aquaman, MOS, the rest in the bin.

MOS had strengths, but overall I just didn’t like the fact that Superman deliberately killed. Sure, collateral damage to Metropolis had to kill thousands (and that’s true of such fights in general, not just in MOS), but a linchpin of Superman’s modern character is that he doesn’t decide who lives and dies. The various alternate timelines where he’s taken that step, usually with Luthor or the Joker, has always shown it as a turning point where he becomes at best an antihero. The only exception I can think of is where he kills Darkseid.

OTOH, in the early pre-code comics he definitely killed intentionally. Personally, I prefer the modern pre-Snyderverse version.

On the gripping hand, Superman has always been kind of a boring character to me precisely because of his godlike abilities. It’s hard for me to get invested when the main character is a deus ex machina.


Well I’m more intrigued than I had been. Not surprised, Joaquin has been pretty damned brilliant in most of what he’s starred in. Still and all, though, I, like others, prefer that Joker has no background. This looks (so far, with as little as we’ve seen) more like a “true-life” story with trappings of comic book fandom than it does a Joker movie. You can strip off the makeup and at this point of our knowledge it’s the same story.

And I admit, there’s a part of me that dislikes elevating such a perfect villain, so aptly played by Hedger, and Nicholson, and EDIT: Cameron Monaghan (on Gotham, and not really the Joker, but damned well near enough), to the starring role. It’s my opinion, and just an opinion, that great villains are the foils to great heroes, and that a good story plays on the dynamic between them. This just looks to me like a lot of sad happening to some poor schmuck who will apparently become evil. I didn’t need that to appreciate the character.


His Zod was also written as a freaking moron though. A warlord finds himself on a planet where he suddenly has godlike powers and a whole population ready to enslave, and his brilliant plan is to terraform (kryptoform?) the place into a lifeless rock where he has no superpowers whatsoever?