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 • 300

  • Looper
    Looper   3 weeks back

    Is the Joker insane?

    • Darla Lathan
      Darla Lathan  2 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.

    • batgurrl
      batgurrl  2 weeks back

      Looper he is batshit crazy😎

    • Remcō Schedel
      Remcō Schedel  2 weeks back

      The Joker is "super-sane", as described by his doctor in Arkham Asylum.
      Basically, he is more sane than anyone else—red-pilled if you will—but because us "sane" people don't understand him, we simply classify him as being insane and label him a freak.
      He is not crazy though, he is just one—or more—levels ahead of the rest of us.

    • Joseph Atnip
      Joseph Atnip  2 weeks back

      Yeah from everybody else's point of view the Joker is insane the problem is a joker doesn't realize he's insane I take it the Joker probably suffers from schizophrenia and he is a narcissistic psychopath that lacks the ability to tell reality from fantasy so when he goes into a schizophrenic episode he can't really tell when it started or when it ends what's real and what's not real he can't even trust his own mind so when social workers and doctors try to tell him that he's crazy there's something wrong with him.... he doesn't believe them because the way he perceives reality everybody is lying to him So eventually everybody is the enemy

    • Horseless Headman
      Horseless Headman  2 weeks back

      We are.

  • gunxswordification
    gunxswordification  21 hours 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  2 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  4 days back

        Is the joker like IT but just kills for fun

        • Darla Lathan
          Darla Lathan  2 days back

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

      • Alexander Alekhine
        Alexander Alekhine  5 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  1 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  2 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  2 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  2 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  2 weeks back

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

                                                                                • Jimmy Mitchell
                                                                                  Jimmy Mitchell  2 weeks back

                                                                                  I wanna make love to her in the ass

                                                                                  • Jackie Cortez
                                                                                    Jackie Cortez  2 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  2 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.

                                                                                      • Mr Scott
                                                                                        Mr Scott  2 weeks back


                                                                                        • Rainor Tyre
                                                                                          Rainor Tyre  2 weeks back

                                                                                          This would be a good video if there wasn’t 100 ads🤷🏽‍♂️