[Insert maniacal laughter here]
Todd Phillips’ Joker movie won’t be hitting cinemas until October 4. But it’s been provoking both heated outrage and acclaim from the internet filmgoing community already. Some have said Joaquin Phoenix's performance could be Oscar worthy. Others have denounced the film as one-note, or worse, with certain critics making the case that a film like Joker could even be dangerous in today’s sociopolitical climate.
However the movie ends up being received by wide audiences when it’s finally released later this fall, one thing’s for sure–the decades-old DC Comics character called The Joker is a force of nature. The villainous Clown Prince of Crime has been the subject of several famous–and tragic–portrayals over the past half a century, making the careers of some actors, and, as in the case of Jared Leto, bringing performer’s reputation down into the gutters. There is just something about The Joker. He’s an enigmatic and fully terrifying Batman foil who was created all the way back in 1940 by the DC Comics team of Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson. A shocking phenomenon to behold, Joker’s possibly the greatest villain in pop culture history. His hilarious, sociopathic, and downright demonic presence has become something of a filmmaking tradition. Just like with James Bond, or even Batman himself, it’s no small news when an actor signs on to play the infamous Dark Knight nemesis. Here we've ranked the most famous Joker portrayals from worst to best [insert maniacal laughter here].