Every First Look At THE JOKER From Jack Nicholson To Joaquin Phoenix Ranked From Worst To Best

Every First Look At THE JOKER From Jack Nicholson To Joaquin Phoenix Ranked From Worst To Best

Every First Look At THE JOKER From Jack Nicholson To Joaquin Phoenix Ranked From Worst To Best

With our first look at Joaquin Phoenix's Joker sending shockwaves through the internet, we're now ranking every big reveal of this iconic Batman villain from worst to best as well as gauging fan reaction.

What a week it's been! With filming on Joker now underway in New York City, set photos and official reveals have been plentiful and it's fair to say that they've left everyone talking! However, our first look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime isn't the first time a big Joker reveal has generated discussion and controversy in equal measure; the response this time has been tame in comparison.

Now, we're breaking down each and every time The Joker has been revealed to the public for the first time. As well as reminding you of those first look images, we also look back on how fans responded and rank them from worst to best (not how they ultimately fared but what they initially looked like). So, to check out this list in its entirety, all you guys have to do is click on the "View List" button below.

Cameron Monaghan - Gotham

Gotham has been butchering some of Batman's greatest villains for years now so it's no great surprise that our first look at the show's second Joker (the first didn't really count as the show was just trolling us) was somewhat underwhelming. While the comic book influences are definitely appreciated, it's just a normal dude in a hat with pale skin. There's nothing to get excited about and he ended up sucking.  

It's no great surprise then that this version of the Clown Prince of Crime ended up being something of a disappointment because most of what Fox has hyped up in Gotham has gone the exact same way.


Jared Leto - Suicide Squad

When Jared Leto was cast as The Joker in Suicide Squad, there was a lot of excitement for him to take on this iconic role, especially after he won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club and was known for going method. Unfortunately, nothing could prepare us for this bizarre first look as it instantly became clear that director David Ayer didn't have any intention of sticking particularly close to the source material.

While some fans desperately tried to convince themselves that the tattoos were only there to celebrate the villain's 75th anniversary, it was the "Damaged" one on his forehead along with those "gangsta" teeth which proved the biggest sticking point for a lot of fans and the final version didn't deliver.


Joaquin Phoenix - Joker

Those set photos are pretty damn great but sadly don't count as our first look at this version of the Clown Prince of Crime. Instead, that came in the form of a rather boring photo of Joaquin Phoenix...looking exactly like Joaquin Phoenix! The response from fans was mixed, especially as most have no interest in seeing an origin story for the character, especially if it veers wildly from the comics.

Next up was a make-up test of sorts and while there's no denying that the video sent out by director Todd Phillips was nicely put together, it didn't do Phoenix's Joker justice and he looked pretty lame and a far cry from what fans were hoping for. Whether it was just an early video or fan complaints have been taken on board in the days that followed is hard to say but he does look great in those set photos.

Honestly, though, had those been our actual first look, I think he may have ranked #1 in this list!


Jack Nicholson - Batman

Social media didn't exist when this image was revealed but there was still some backlash from fans (most of that was directed at Michael Keaton being cast as Batman, however). Most of the complaints were aimed at Jack Nicholson's weight but for the most part, there wasn't that much to moan about.

He was dressed in bright colours, had the green hair and make-up, and Tim Burton had gone to great lengths to even give him that twisted smile (something none of the other Jokers on this list 
have had). He's very much a product of his time but this sneak peek definitely did a lot to generate discussion. 

Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

There were two first looks at Heath Ledger's version of The Joker. The first came in the form of a blurry image which confirmed that he would have a lot in common with his comic book counterpart, while the next was a full on face reveal which didn't receive a particularly positive response at the time.

As that was his "unveiling" so to speak, it's that photo which I'll focus on here. Sure, this Joker didn't look much like his comic book counterpart but it was so different that it was hard not to be equal parts confused, excited, and impressed. Little did we know at the time what greatness would follow.

It's also worth pointing out that this first look didn't veer into ridiculousness like Leto's tattoos or seemingly pay homage to something from the past as Phoenix's Cesar Romero lookalike does. Which of these do you think was the best Joker reveal? Share your thoughts with us on that in the usual place. 

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