DC Comics fans were buzzing with excitement after watching the first teaser trailer for “The Batman” in August 2020. The dark and gritty footage, set to a haunting score by Michael Giacchino, offered glimpses of Robert Pattinson as the titular hero, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as the Penguin, and Paul Dano as the Riddler.
However, one shot at the end of the trailer stood out in particular: a figure in clown makeup and a purple suit, walking towards a car that explodes behind him. Was that the Joker?
The identity of the mysterious clown has not been officially confirmed by Warner Bros. Pictures or Matt Reeves, the director of “The Batman.” However, some clues suggest that it might be the Joker or at least a nod to him.
- The color scheme: The Joker is famously associated with purple and green colors, which have been used in many iterations of his costume and makeup. The clown in “The Batman” wears a purple suit and white face paint with black lines around his eyes and mouth.
- The chaos: The Joker is known for his anarchic behavior and his obsession with causing chaos and destruction. The explosion of the car behind him could be seen as a symbol of his influence or involvement.
- The laughter: Although we don’t hear any dialogue or laughter from the clown in the trailer, we do hear maniacal chuckling throughout the teaser, which could be attributed to him.
Of course, these clues could also apply to other villains or characters in Gotham City’s rogue gallery. For example, some fans have speculated that the clown could be an early version of Harley Quinn or even a new character created for the movie.
If the clown does turn out to be the Joker, it would be the latest iteration of the iconic villain in live-action movies. Over the years, many actors have portrayed him with various degrees of success and controversy.
The first actor to play the Joker in a live-action adaptation was Cesar Romero, in the 1960s TV series “Batman” and its movie spin-off. Romero’s Joker was campy and colorful, with a painted-over mustache and a fondness for puns and gadgets.
In 1989, Jack Nicholson brought a darker and more cinematic version of the Joker to Tim Burton’s “Batman.” Nicholson’s Joker was a gangster named Jack Napier who fell into a vat of chemicals that bleached his skin and twisted his mind. He had a tragic backstory but also enjoyed theatrical stunts and weapons.
Arguably the most acclaimed portrayal of the Joker came from Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” (2008). Ledger’s Joker was an agent of chaos who wanted to prove that anyone could be pushed into madness or evil. He wore smeared makeup instead of traditional face paint, had scars that formed a smile on his face, and spoke with an enigmatic voice.
The most recent actor to play the Joker on screen was Jared Leto, in David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” (2016). Leto’s Joker was heavily tattooed, pierced, and blinged-out, with green hair and silver teeth. He had a gangster persona but also had an obsessive relationship with Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie).
It remains to be seen how Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson will approach the Joker in “The Batman.” They have stated that their take on the character will be more grounded and realistic, with influences from film noir and detective stories.
While we can’t say for sure if the clown at the end of the trailer is the Joker or not, we can speculate based on some clues and possibilities. The Joker is one of the most iconic villains in comic book history, and his presence or absence in “The Batman” could have a significant impact on its reception and legacy. However, even if he doesn’t appear in this installment, we can be sure that he will return sooner or later to haunt Gotham City and its protector.