Things Movies Always Get Wrong About The Joker

  • Published: 30 September 2019
  • Thumbnail Image by Bosslogic →

    He's been a fixture of every single big-screen Batman franchise, but the cinematic attempts at the Joker have never really lined up with the version that we see in the comics. Even when they're great performances with iconic visuals, there's always something that the movies get wrong.

    We've all seen Thomas and Martha Wayne get shot down in an alley about 47 times, so we all know that superhero movies love to give their viewers an origin story. It's not just for the good guys, either — almost every villain who steps onto the screen brings a whole backstory with them. Normally, that's not a problem, and can actually give those villains the pathos that makes for a compelling story. In the Joker's case, however, it's the exact opposite.

    The biggest offender in this regard is, of course, Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film, in which Jack Nicholson took on the role of the Clown Prince of Crime. Not only do we get a full origin story, his past gets tied back into Batman's own origin so that we can wrap everything up in a nice bow, which ultimately makes him less interesting. We see that he's a weird, catchphrase-spewing homicidal maniac long before he tumbles into a vat of acid. The only real difference, aside from an admittedly iconic look, is that he gets slightly more artistic with his murders.

    For a while, it seemed like the movies had learned their lesson on this front. The Joker that we saw in The Dark Knight shows up fully formed and even offers conflicting versions of his own origin depending on who he's talking to.

    Eve more recently, Jared Leto's version in Suicide Squad is downright inexplicable in pretty much every way. Now, though, we have an entire movie about the Joker's origin, without any signs of Batman, set for release this year. Hopefully this time, they'll finally be able to get rid of all that compelling mystery he's been burdened with for so long!

    Fans have long accepted the idea that it's Batman who's Bruce Wayne's true identity, and not the billionaire playboy alter-ego, and it's a good rule of thumb. And yet, the movies treat the Joker, someone who exists specifically in response to Batman, as someone who always has to have that personal connection.

    Admittedly, they do this with most of the villains as a little bit of origin story shorthand. In the Joel Schumacher films, the Riddler and Poison Ivy are both former employees of Wayne Industries, out for revenge against their old boss. The Joker, however, exists specifically to be a counterpoint to Batman. The person under the mask is basically irrelevant compared to the ideological battle being waged against the symbol. Keep watching the video to see the things movies always get wrong about The Joker!

    #Joker #TheJoker

    Secret origins | 0:16
    Bruce who? | 1:50
    Poison smiles | 2:55
    High (and low) crimes | 4:09
    Disorganized crime | 5:45
    Less is more | 7:22
    We're destined to do this forever | 8:30
    The punchline | 10:01
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 306

  • Looper
    Looper   3 weeks back

    Is the Joker insane?

    • Rikki Snyder
      Rikki Snyder  4 hours back

      @Darla Lathan thanks.

    • AhmadReza
      AhmadReza  7 hours back

      I don't think so,
      According to the definition of insanity (doing the exact same thing over and over again but expecting changes), he isn't insane.
      or at least I can't remember he does the same thing over and over again.

    • Darla Lathan
      Darla Lathan  13 hours back

      @Rikki Snyder In various alternate worlds, yes. In the comics, there are three Jokers.

    • Michael Joesph
      Michael Joesph  1 days back

      Define “insane”, by the legal definition he shouldn’t be considered insane at all, as he is more than likely in control of his actions far as I can see.

      In terms of Joker being unhinged, yeah

    • Darla Lathan
      Darla Lathan  3 days back

      Yes but he wouldn't really get off on an insanity defense and go to Arkham, like he does in the comics and movies, because his Evil Plans, accomplices, costumes, nickname and arsenal all prove premeditation, according to Because Science. He is clearly an evil genius, since he's outwitted Gotham PD, Batman and even the Justice League on various occasions.

  • Anthony Bertuzzi
    Anthony Bertuzzi  8 hours back

    I dont see looper writing any scripts for the Joker thats why your on youtube

    • Leonard L Church
      Leonard L Church  9 hours back

      The joker has a connection with batman in the comics. He was the one who pushed him into the acid.

      • gunxswordification
        gunxswordification  2 days back

        ok so you know the jokers backstory isn't a mystery right? thats just something people say because you cant understand that different writers do runs all the time and they have no requirement to write the same back story over time to the point now that its a running gag not that he has no backstory

        • Darla Lathan
          Darla Lathan  3 days back

          Dark Knight, Suicide Squad and Joker all omitted Joker's iconic Smilex/Joker Venom, high-voltage hand buzzer and nitroglycerin exploding cigar, from Batman comics. Their Jokers don't even use chemical weapons! Only Jack Nicholson's Joker used them. I would go with a composite Joker with both comic book and conventional weapons and include Harley Quinn and Leto's criminal tattoos and grill, only with realistic "evil gangster clown" and teardrop prison tattoos. The comic book and Nicholson frozen face grin, Glasgow/Chelsea Smile/Grin, Leto's grill and Phoenix' pseudobulbar effect laughter are a winning and creepy combination. After Dark Knight and Joker, the clown makeup is more plausible than the "perma-clown" look. Phoenix's Joker has the most realistic origin. I like Dark Knight /Phoenix Joker with Nicholson's arsenal and their combined MOs.

          • Irelandball Gaming
            Irelandball Gaming  5 days back

            Is the joker like IT but just kills for fun

            • Darla Lathan
              Darla Lathan  3 days back

              He's like It but a badass normal who kills all ages.

          • Alexander Alekhine
            Alexander Alekhine  7 days back


            • stephen Anita thedramaqueen

              It's based on a comic, u want reality watch a documentary.

              • Real.Piece.Of.Work
                Real.Piece.Of.Work  1 weeks back

                Leto's Joker is awesome.

                • Salesi Teisina
                  Salesi Teisina  1 weeks back

                  Did you just say ledger joker was more funnier then Nicholson? ya down vote and channel cred shit the bed with me.

                  • King Kaiden
                    King Kaiden  1 weeks back

                    What this video forgets to mention is there's actually many versions of joker. If we use the basics, theres bronze, silver, and golden age of joker. One being silly, one being a mobster, and one a supersane genius of chaotic murder. These 3 versions bring the core to the modern jokers' personalities. I enjoyed every version of on screen joker including Jared Leto, which personally I felt was the version of the more mobster based crime leader. It's easy to see, this person did not do enough research when comparing joker movies to the comics. One point to also miss, is he states "joker" should be an ongoing threat that comes back from behind the scenes. Hilariously enough, Jared Letos Joker was supposed to be a bigger part in suicide squad, and have his own movie after that. This would be in the DCU. I think this person used more opinion on his ideal "perfect" joker rather than researching who the joker really is.

                    • nickotine45
                      nickotine45  1 weeks back

                      There's multiple jokers tho😂

                      • Melvino Guarin
                        Melvino Guarin  1 weeks back

                        Joaquin Phoenix’ is both sinister and surprisingly funny. From “My mother died, I’m celebrating” to “I had a bad day”. That’s funny to horrifying real quick.

                        • Midnightgirl10
                          Midnightgirl10  1 weeks back

                          Jokes on them Jarad was a better Joker than this new one....Nothing about that movie was good and I refuse to believe he would ever become the evil genius clown to Batman. Guy would be a literal Joke to Batman...

                          • Skeet Cobain
                            Skeet Cobain  1 weeks back

                            I like the new joker but still.. he’s not the one.

                            • Sigma Sev
                              Sigma Sev  2 weeks back

                              I can’t wait til Looper and screenrant watch the new Joker film. I wonder if they will find all the humor in it as I did

                              • The Blage
                                The Blage  2 weeks back

                                Jared Leto was just straight garbage. Ledger set the standard for the Joker; he was funny, sociopathic, psychotic, and as much as he hated Batman, he could never kill him because he understood that they both need each other. In my opinion for best Jokers
                                1) Heath Ledger
                                2) Mark Hamill
                                3) Joaquin Phoenix
                                4) Jack Nicholson

                                Also.. what's the song in the background throughout the video?? It's fantastic.

                                • Joshua Boudreau
                                  Joshua Boudreau  2 weeks back

                                  *Rewatching The Dark Knight*

                                  • Bill Hardy
                                    Bill Hardy  2 weeks back

                                    Interesting takes on various Jokers over the years. Many different interpretations of him depending on the director of whatever film. I never read any of the comic books as a kid, never having an interest to do so, so I don't know how he was originally conceived. I do, however, enjoy Batman 89's portrayal by Nicholson the best to date. Funny, pathetic, splashy and suitably uncaring for human lives. Ledger was great, entertainng and all the things Nicholson was, but too grim for my tastes. Of course, the times we live in change how the Joker is portrayed from film to film. However, it would be nice to see some other nasty villians now and then but since the Joker seems so popular, that probably won't be happening very often

                                    • phuc ewe
                                      phuc ewe  2 weeks back

                                      And what I learned from this is, the original Catwoman, Julie Newmar, was the best.
                                      Hot as global warming. 4:45

                                      • Tat Vela
                                        Tat Vela  2 weeks back

                                        This is all over the place.

                                        • shogun harlem
                                          shogun harlem  2 weeks back

                                          Lol at associating him with the mob...hes the clown prince of crime

                                          • JB Ghuman, Jr
                                            JB Ghuman, Jr  2 weeks back

                                            Blah... saw it and honest it was mad boring. Super slow story with an exaggerated reality to make up for an exaggerated antagonist. Which wouldn't be so bad given it's a comic based film but given it's efforts to "mirror" our society it really jus feels uber pushed to be poetic vs sincere. Also, the film (could have) used the entire arc of rage / resentment towards society as a build to the very end where someone in the film finally zero's in on Jokers insanity vs his self-entitled heroism by saying "For every lunatic that rises, so too shall a hero to meet them head on." regarding the soon-to-be grown Batman. Life is hard. That's true. For (a lot of people). But the message could have pointed out a "larger scope" in that the (real strength of humans) is truly found in LOVE given from such a harsh reality, truly is it not obvious those who "continue to be loving" are truly the strong ones vs the anger filled mobsters running around. Sounds cheesy... but to anyone who's reading this, surely your life has had some hardships... yet I've no doubt there is (still) good in you. Making you the real hero. Jus saying... the film could have been more profound going deeper vs what it was. 11:11

                                            • Jeff Walker
                                              Jeff Walker  2 weeks back

                                              Joker is generally portrayed in three different ways: a gangster (Leto & Nicholson), a clown (Romero) and a sociopath (Ledger & Hamill).

                                              • Um_Zito
                                                Um_Zito  2 weeks back

                                                Ledger funnier than Nicholson ? bahahahahaha sometimes I wonder if you guys even watch the movies or just read off of a script.

                                                • Peter Delgado
                                                  Peter Delgado  2 weeks back

                                                  The Joker is a true work of Art!!!

                                                  • Alex Link
                                                    Alex Link  2 weeks back

                                                    Next looper video:

                                                    Why the joker painted his hair with a plastic bottle 😂?

                                                    • MrZZooh
                                                      MrZZooh  2 weeks back

                                                      Heath Ledger's Joker has the best balance of horror, realism and humor. But I have a feeling Joaquin Phoenix's is probably the most accurate depiction ever, even though I haven't seen it yet.

                                                      • thatguybrad
                                                        thatguybrad  2 weeks back

                                                        John Wayne Gacy would’ve made a great joker

                                                        • Darla Lathan
                                                          Darla Lathan  3 days back

                                                          He would have made a great basis for the Joker, alright.

                                                      • Zeugirdor
                                                        Zeugirdor  2 weeks back

                                                        This movie was fantastic

                                                        • C Will
                                                          C Will  2 weeks back

                                                          This is so stupid 2 Jokers

                                                          • Cam M
                                                            Cam M  2 weeks back

                                                            The comics have varied takes and interpretations of the joker why wouldn't the movies?

                                                            • Speed Racer
                                                              Speed Racer  2 weeks back

                                                              The Joker is a  intelligent homicidal criminal . Jack played him like a comic book villain and I thought  Leto was terrible  but Hedger was the best. So lets see how Phoenix turns out .

                                                              • James Romero
                                                                James Romero  2 weeks back

                                                                Just watched it. Amazing...

                                                                • babygirlyaya10
                                                                  babygirlyaya10  2 weeks back

                                                                  We need a joker that’s funny but also serious

                                                                  • Calrissian Lando
                                                                    Calrissian Lando  2 weeks back

                                                                    Jack Nicholson was the best Joker of ALL TIME!!! I love J Phoenix but Jack is the best!!

                                                                    • phillip L
                                                                      phillip L  2 weeks back

                                                                      This was awesome, thank you 🙏

                                                                      • Seanonymous
                                                                        Seanonymous  2 weeks back

                                                                        That Tim Burton Batman is total garbage. What a pile of steaming trash.

                                                                        • Darla Lathan
                                                                          Darla Lathan  3 days back

                                                                          Then why were they both hits? You're probably thinking of the later Joel Schumacher Batman movies, such as "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin," which had butt cheeks and nipples on the Batsuits, Arnold Schwartzenegger totally screwing up Mr. Freeze with ice puns and Tommy Lee Jones as a hammy, campy, tacky, purple-faced Two-Face. It even had neon gangbangers--in the '90s! The period known for "Boys 'n' the Hood!" Joel liked the '60s Batman TV show and DC wanted to sell more toys, so they went campy, despite Burton's movies turning the "Caped Crusader" into the badass "Dark Knight" we see today. Campy Batman hasn't worked since the '60s, man, so Joel's Batman movies both tanked.

                                                                      • Conservatives Play
                                                                        Conservatives Play  2 weeks back

                                                                        Bruce Wayne is in the new Joker movie

                                                                        • BlackMetalRebellion
                                                                          BlackMetalRebellion  2 weeks back

                                                                          Also, Phoenix's Joker suit isn't purple... its red, dumbass.

                                                                          • BlackMetalRebellion
                                                                            BlackMetalRebellion  2 weeks back

                                                                            Ah... another idiot who doesn't get Leto's Joker... big shocker.

                                                                            • Jack Frost
                                                                              Jack Frost  2 weeks back

                                                                              Without batman? Batman was there. The young master bruce.

                                                                              • Kane Vision
                                                                                Kane Vision  3 weeks back

                                                                                Jack Nicholsons Joker = whacky.

                                                                                Heath Ledger Joker = anarchy

                                                                                Jarad Leto Joker *lays in room surrounded by knives, baby clothes and laptops = paedophile?

                                                                                • Jedi Knight Jairin Aiki

                                                                                  Jared Leto is a FREAK!

                                                                                  • bo bryson
                                                                                    bo bryson  3 weeks back

                                                                                    Joker 2019, does not wear a purple suit. It is maroon.

                                                                                    • Jimmy Mitchell
                                                                                      Jimmy Mitchell  3 weeks back

                                                                                      I wanna make love to her in the ass

                                                                                      • Jackie Cortez
                                                                                        Jackie Cortez  3 weeks back

                                                                                        Do you Youtube channels do your research? Because this is probably the 4th video I’ve seen where you people think the new Joker movie is in the DCEU. Todd Phillips has stated several times, “This is not related to the comics.”

                                                                                        • Joshua Davis
                                                                                          Joshua Davis  3 weeks back

                                                                                          What are you taking about? Nicholson’s Version is the only Joker we get they legitimately Jokes all the time. The best joke we get from Ledger was a “magic trick” and the scene you showed of him when the hospital blew up was completely by accident, as the pyrotechnics didn’t blow correctly and Ledger just went with it and they kept the take. Nicholson by far has the morbid humor the Joker needs.