Batman / Batman Joker

What Batman Movie Did Jack Nicholson Play the Joker?

If you’re a fan of Batman, then you must be familiar with the character of Joker. This iconic villain is known for his maniacal laughter, clown-like appearance, and twisted schemes. Over the years, many actors have portrayed the character of Joker on the big screen, and one of the most memorable performances was by Jack Nicholson.

Jack Nicholson played the role of Joker in the 1989 Batman movie directed by Tim Burton. This was a significant moment in Batman movie history as it marked the first time that Joker was portrayed in a live-action feature film since Cesar Romero’s portrayal in the 1960s TV show.

The Character of Joker

Before we delve into Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Joker, let’s take a moment to understand who this character is. Joker is one of Batman’s arch-nemesis and is known for his unpredictability, sadistic sense of humor, and obsession with chaos. He often poses a threat to Gotham City and its inhabitants.

Jack Nicholson as Joker

In Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie, Jack Nicholson delivered an unforgettable performance as Joker. He brought an element of madness to the character that was both terrifying and mesmerizing. His portrayal was praised by critics and fans alike for its depth and complexity.

One of the most memorable scenes from the movie is when Joker enters an art museum with his goons and defaces several priceless works of art while dancing to Prince’s “Partyman.” The scene perfectly captures Joker’s disregard for authority and his love for chaos.

  • Nicholson’s portrayal of Joker was heavily inspired by Cesar Romero’s performance in the 1960s TV show.
  • The makeup used for Nicholson’s transformation into Joker took several hours to apply each day.
  • Nicholson reportedly had a clause in his contract that allowed him to approve all of the Joker’s dialogue.

The Legacy of Jack Nicholson’s Joker

Jack Nicholson’s performance as Joker in the 1989 Batman movie has left a lasting impact on the character’s portrayal in popular culture. His version of Joker is often cited as one of the best portrayals of the character in any medium.

In addition to inspiring future versions of Joker in movies, TV shows, and video games, Jack Nicholson’s performance also paved the way for other actors to take on iconic comic book roles. His success as Joker proved that comic book movies could be both critically acclaimed and commercially successful.


In conclusion, Jack Nicholson played the role of Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie. His performance was praised for its depth and complexity and is often cited as one of the best portrayals of the character. Nicholson’s legacy as Joker continues to influence future iterations of the character in popular culture, proving that his time playing this iconic villain was truly unforgettable.