Feb 12 2009Petition to Strike Joker from Future


Some people don't want the Joker to ever be in a movie again, and are using internet power to say so. From CNN (thanks Rick and Allison):

A group of Heath Ledger fans have taken their reverence for the late "The Dark Knight" star to a whole new level.

Followers of the actor, who electrified audiences with his chilling reinvention of The Joker in the second Batman blockbuster, are calling for the character to be retired from the movies permanently.

Ledger supporters at new Web site, The Ultimate Joker, launched a petition last week calling for studios to remove The Joker from any future Batman movies. The petition currently has 2431 supporters.

2,431 supporters? That's nothing. That's like a reasonably-sized high school supporting it. The Joker petition probably has the same number of votes as the student council petition for the lunchroom to serve pizza twice a week. Let's continue, though:

"We think Heath deserves this honor," the site's team leader, Fer Barbella told CNN over the phone from Buenos Aires. "He is the ultimate Joker."

"We are Batman fans from the comics and from the movies," he said, "After we saw "The Dark Knight" we thought this Joker was really the best. It deserves to be withdrawn from any Batman sequels.

"When Michael Jordan retired they withdrew the number 23 jersey as an honor. It's the same thing with Heath."

No, it's not at all the same thing as Michael Jordan's jersey number. Michael Jordan's jersey number was not the central antagonist in a mythos that pre-dated Jordan wearing it by decades. Anyway, what's the plan for this petition?

The trio say that if they collect enough names they may go to the studio direct to present their petition.

"As soon as we start seeing that we have more than 50,000 names on our Web site, perhaps we will go to the Warner Brothers gate and do a bit of activism," Pimentel said.

That will definitely not work. After they've made literally a billion dollars on a film involving the Joker, 50,000 signatures from the same people who thought no one could top Jack Nicholson's performance will stop them from casting a new Joker? That does not make good horse sense.

Look, I don't think anyone, including Christopher Nolan or Warner Bros., wants someone else to play Joker any time in the near future. No reason to argue that. But to say no one should ever play the character again? That is stupid. Every child should grow up with the dream they may one day get to wear clown makeup, fashion their own clothes, and fill their pockets with knives. And what about when we have hologram movies? Are they suggesting I won't get to see the menacing grin of the Joker beamed directly into my brain, in 3-D? Then why even bother developing special holo-brain-chips? I need these questions answered before I'm entering my fabricated information on any web petitions.

Reader Comments

the number is also retired for the chicago bulls, not the whole league... i think.
dark knight overrated.


their going to take the most popular batman character from any future movies

Ok, i gotta say it. This is really dumb. It's not like he'll be in the next Batman film anyway. There isn't an actor out there who would have the balls to take the role. But to go this far, it's just stupid. Plus Warner would never go for it. I mean seriously.

This is stupid. Look, Ledger was good but the entire movie is way over-rated. But this petition idea is retarded.

i wouldnt REPLACE heath's joker in the current movie franchise (like in the sequel to the dark knight), but if 20 years from now we get another batman relaunch, all heroes and villains should be back up for grabs, as is the way currently with two face, the riddler, catwoman, and even the joker...

Bah, Mark Hammil is 10 times the joker Ledger is.

you CANNOT ban the MAIN villain in batman, and these immigrants think they know batman? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

They were talking to CNN? Most Trusted Name in News That's Not Really News.

I love The Dark Knight and I thought Ledger's preformace was great, I believe it to be better then Jack Nicholson's [Setting aside Mark Hammil who is brilliant and is in a whole different category]

But petitioning for the character of the Joker to be taken out any future batman movies is ridiculus. You CANNOT have Batman without the Joker, you just can't. Joker is a main villian, the most important villian who Batman\Bruce doesnt understand.

These people are effing crazy and they're causing Leder's preformance to be seen as overrated by asking for this.

I don't even think Ledger himself would want his fans or simply fans of the comic books and movie franchise to be doing this. And lastly, Warner Bros isn't going to do anything about it. They didnt even care about fans when they pushed Harry Potter back nine months.

More than 7300 supporters right now. More than YOUR high school, right?

OK, If you guys think Heath Ledger CAN'T be replaced...you're going to change your mind after you see this.......


maybe a few acting lessons and we have ourselves a new joker :)

How about we keep the Joker in the movies and retire the cowboy that takes it in the ass instead?

If the petition doesn't reach 10,000 supporters by 9pm EST, I'm going to blow up one of Gotham City's hospitals (but totally NOT the one with Harvey Dent).

Mark Hammill is only good as the Joker because he has the same scars

I'm a huge Ledger fan, but that's just ridiculous.

He can't be "replaced" persay, but who knows what could happen with someone else in the role.

This is pretty stupid, but at least no one takes online petitions seriously.

Three words.

Joseph. Gordon. Levitt.

Very similar. Good actor. Probably too short and unable to do the voice.


The movie sucked anyways. People need to stop being over hyping douche nozzles.

One word... Hammil.

Although I truly loved Heath Ledger's performance and he deserves every award for that role that he's gotten/will get (post-humous, of course), I find it insulting to both Moore, Miller... and every *true* Batman fan to dare even *THINK* of asking for such a ridiculous request.

We may give rest to the joker for awhile but, as history has proven time and agin, he will *never* die.

Amen to Mark Hamill. He is The Joker. Ledger was good. I mean real good. But he wasn't Hamill. This is a classic case of a group of nut jobs taking it too far.

Loved Ledger and feel sorry for him. He contributed to bring the film to an extra level! But live the Joker where hi is (in to the next movie).

This is moronic. The Joker and Batman go hand in hand. Not that it matters what these clowns think because the Joker is too much of a cash cow to retire anyway.

#12 & #14 - brilliant

I was trying to get the Joker character retired when Cesar Romero died.

I like #12's plan.

Also, everyone who said Mark Hamill is the Joker is right. He even looks batshit insane enough to play him.

I'm going to make a prediction, and I hope I'm wrong. But I see history about to repeat itself.

All signs in The Dark Knight (kinda) point to Nolan setting the stage for the Joker to be in a third installment ("You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness...and I won't kill you because you are too much fun. We're going to do this forever."), and now with Ledger gone, and with TDK doing so phenominal at the box office - how can Chris Nolan possibly raise the bar any higher with a third film. How can he top The Dark Knight? How can anyone?

So what will happen? There is a good chance Nolan will respectfully bow out - quit while he is ahead - as so many other directors have done in the past after only one sequel (although most have quit because their sequels sucked). Followed swiftly by key cast members, including the man in the cape and cowl himself.

But the studio won't let it end there, no no. Not when there is another big 'cha-ching' to be made on The Dark Knight's coat-tails! And so, some other director will be hired, who will want to restructure the franchise in his own image - change the bat-costume, change Gothem, change the batmobile, add vibrant colors, make it more 'comic-booky', put nipples on the bat suit, add Robin, and Batgirl. SOUND FAMILIAR???

Can we start a petition to keep THAT from happening? AGAIN!?!?!?! Has anyone else thought of this grim future? As I said, I truly hope I'm wrong.

Any thoughts?


Hamill could play Joker in a live action so easily it's ridiculous that he hasn't already.

This goes too far. He was a good actor, but other's can fill the shoes of that role.

W00t! I'm totally with everyone who has said "Hamill" so far. For me, Mark Hamill will always be the Joker. Watch his dark BUT ACTUALLY COMICAL performance of the Joker in "Mask of the Phantasm" and see Heath Ledger get owned. Heath played an interesting take on the Joker, but I wasn't all that impressed myself, and I think several actors could don the same makeup and do as good of a job with his sick-but-not-funny-Joker if they wanted to. But the REAL Joker, the one who actually LAUGHS, is Mark Hamill. Hands down.

Idiot fans.

Die Obama Die!

I think this is a good idea. Now lets go out and kill the guy that plays Jason, Sylvester Stallone before he can complete Rambo 10 or Rocky 20, The entire cast of the Saw movies and what the heck, anyone thinking of making a sequel to any other movie.

Imagine all the characters we could retire after that. Then it's nothin but reality TV baby, WOO HOO!

They should bring him back for CRANK 3. With CGI animals n shiv. Can you tell it's me?? Before & After : Dreamwork Release Program

This is easy. The petition was started by an Argentine, and we Argentines are fucking assholes. It's the simplest explanation for this load of bullcrap.

This petition is typical from obsessives who don't understand story writing or acting. Heath was reading lines from a script, wearing make-up someone else created and put on him, and playing a character that symbolizes a simplistic archetype and has nearly 100 years of established history in a multitude of forums. Heath did a good job, but at most it was heath 49 / everything else 51.

Oh, was that something they forget? Heath didn't die while filming. He died face down in a pile of vomit in his 20's because he was a junkie using drugs he obtained illegally. No disrespect intended, but he didn't die a hero. If he died in a stunt while playing the Joker, MAYBE there'd be a stronger argument. But do something people like, make them laugh, entertain them for an hour, and they'll forgive your indiscretions. Nothing could possibly disrespect the Batman franchise, the character of the Joker, and the billion or so fans than retiring this beloved character because it just so happens the last guy who acted as him in a movie -- months after filming was completed -- died on a drug overdose.

Mark Hamill?! LMFAO

I'm no Batman nerd, but I've seen all the Jokers and Ledger was hands down, far and away the best. Retire the character, though? That's over the top.

I'm bothered by what's been happening to cynicism among young people over the last few years. It used to be almost an art, a subtle wisdom, but this YouTube, I-Pod generation is reducing cynicism to nothing more than a crass, inflated bludgeon used only for cock-measuring self aggrandisement.

Ledger's performance is overrated. He was good but not good enough to retire and iconic character to satisfy the whim of obcessed fans. The truth is in 5 yrs or less no one will care about Heath Ledger.
And to be honest, I think WB regrets ever using a troubled actor like Ledger. His performance could have been mirrored by any decent enough actor. In the end it all depends in what direction the director of the film takes them in. And Nolan took them all to that dark place.

They should cast Hilda Cavalla.

Fuck all the stupid Dark Knight fanfags. Heath Ledger gave a wonderful performance, and it was an interesting take on the character, but he is not the fucking be-all end-all of Jokers. I much prefer Mark Hamill, as do a lot of other people it would seem.

Yeah, let's retire the penultimate Batman villain because an actor got himself killed in circumstances unrelated to the film. Genius. That makes lots and lots of sense.

And just to add, as a con-goer: if I have one more terrible Dark Knight Joker in smeared CVS makeup ask me "why so serious?" or try to hug me while I'm dressed as Harley Quinn I'm going to punch them in the taint.

I'm so pleased that so many people who've commented here have such high opinions and regard for Hamill's Joker (especially commenters 29 and 34).

Ledger played a creepy guy, he did it well, but it wasn't the Joker. Ledger as an actor is sort of like Johnny Depp; both of them are good at aping a character and wearing it completely, they get the mannerisms, the posture, the speech patterns all down pat - but it's always external. It's always just a convincing costume. They don't act from the inside-out the way truly great actors do. The performances of Gary Oldman as Gordon or whatshisname that played Harvey Dent BLEW Ledger out of the water.

I had a hope... that perhaps they'd introduce Harley Quinn... and slowly bring back the Joker from the shadows in a future film... but an actually comical version of the character, and have the Ledger Joker become retroactively one of the many twisted and bizarre dupes and setups he'd left as mind-twisting traps along the way. Just some Arkham escapee the true Joker had gotten to stir things up....

Eh, maybe not.

Many agree he did a great job playing joker, but banning any other possible person to play it or whatever? I remember when people were trying to ban Ledger from playing this part back when he was first announced as the joker. You cant say he is "the best" or "the only one" because you don't know what anyone else is capable of.

I didn't realize that dying after a great performance forbid that character from ever being used again. Someone should have used this statue to keep all those sequels to The Crow from being made...

Ledger's Joker is...interesting...but he isn't the Joker to me. That's Mark Hammil.

OK: Just WHY in the hell are the media giving any attention to this stupidity? It's not like it's of any importance in our common lives. This whole "all hail Heath Ledger" thing is officially going WAY too far. I'm actually beginning to think that this is yet another plot from the media to piss us off. I mean: Ban the Joker!? Because the actor who did some kind of interesting experiment with his character is dead!? Is it just a big "joke" or something!? These people are not worthy of being called "fans".

Plus to that, I've got two other words to those who would even get the "idea" of signing this worthless pile of fanatism: HARLEY QUINN

What are they gonna do about this other fan favorite character? Ban her too?? If not, they should know that retiring "mistah J" would also steal from the fans every chance of EVER seeing this character in a live action movie. Just who do these hypocrites think they are for trying to steal both Joker and Harley from the rest of the world!? Pathetic...

And yes, Mark Hamill was the best Joker if you ask me, having grown in te 90's with the animated series, wich also happen to have introduced Quinn to us.

I've got an idea: Let's make a petition to counter this petition and... forget it. It's not even worth our while.

I agree with you completely. Can he really speak for every batman fan out there no. Why should they take away one of the best villains in film, or the best character in DC Comics. It's ridiculous. There are multiple ways to play the joker. Mark Hamill's joker voice character is underrated, and its the closest thing to the comic. Its possible to play him even better. Heath wasn't trying to do the best joker ever, he wanted to do a real world joker that fit in with nolaan's ideas. Try to believe it. Heath proved that with his character. Do you think Heath looking at us now, would want to retire his character just because he was so good in it, and isn't able to participate further. I am a fan of both graphic novels, and films, but I don't want this character to go away, neither would he, nor jack.

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