While many a superhero film has had a villain problem, the Joker is one villain from the comics medium who has not only translated well, but also lent himself to a succession of compelling reinterpretations. He’s the greatest comic book villain of all time and he’s lit up the big screen with equal gusto. With Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker coming off a record-breaking box-office weekend, this is as good a time as any to rank the various iterations of the Clown Prince of Crime on film.

For an old-school fan of the J-man, it’s tempting to include Batman: The Animated Series and the 1960s live-action Batman TV series on this list. Both feature classic depictions of the Joker. Thankfully, their Jokers had such a taste for the theatrical that they also crossed over into movies. Not counting the animated movie Batman: The Killing Joke, which played in theaters for one night only before going direct-to-video, there have been seven cinematic Jokers since 1966.

If it doesn’t feel like we’re playing with a full deck here, well, since when has the Joker ever been wired that way? Regrettably, we don’t have time to mess around with the Proto-Jokers of the TV series Gotham, or any of the animated, direct-to-video Jokers of the DC Universe Movies. This is the meat-and-potatoes ranking of Jokers. I’ve developed a secret algorithm for a precise ordering that is infallibly correct. It’s called the Smylex Algorithm. “And here we … go.”

Read More »

Joker Wins Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Award

Reading around online, it would be easy to go into into Joker with a list of talking points in your head before you had even seen the movie. Since its unprecedented win last month of the Venice Film Festival’s top prize, the latest comic book tentpole from Warner Bros. and DC Films has become highly politicized—to the point where the idea of it and what it represents is almost a separate thing from the movie itself. Film festival premieres take place in an online vacuum where larger cultural forces have not yet swept in to surround a movie and define it. On the other side of them comes the escalation (of movie opinions) that Commissioner Gordon warned about at the end of Batman Begins.

Whether it’s a case of critics comparing notes and/or the film telegraphing specific concepts, reviews of Joker have frequently invoked the same buzzwords, such as “incel” and “income inequality.” There’s a lot of hand-wringing, in negative reviews, about the movie’s lack of a clear message. Comparisons abound, across the boards, to the films of Martin Scorsese, while in the background, the shadow of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting hangs over everything.

To be clear, it’s not without good reason that some of these talking points are out there, but now Joker is in theaters and general audiences have had a chance to square their own cinema experience against the pre-release media chatter. Members of the insane clown posse that is the Internet should probably brace themselves for the backlash to the backlash. However, until such time as a #ReleaseThePhillipsCut petition materializes, let’s not forget that there’s an actual movie with Joker’s name on it to be discussed.

Read More »

Aquaman exhibit

Last year, /Film visited the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to experience their Justice League exhibit, but that entire area has now been completely overhauled to create an all-new exhibit full of costumes and props from director James Wan‘s Aquaman. Join us as we head under the sea to reveal what the new exhibit has to offer.
Read More »

Shazam trailer

Wonder Woman has a few moments of humor, Justice League has a handful of jokes, and Aquaman‘s drumming octopus showed a sense of self-awareness, but Shazam! looks to be the DC movie that relies on comedy the most. The good news? That approach seems to be the correct one for the story of a young boy who’s given the power to turn into a superhero when he utters a special word. Check out the latest Shazam trailer below. Read More »

future of warner bros

In the mid-to-late 2000s, Warner Bros. couldn’t be stopped. They were releasing hit after hit – big moneymakers like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the Harry Potter movies, and The Hangover, branding themselves as a filmmaker-friendly studio that would foster creativity and support directors in their visions. Compare that with, say, the colossal behind-the-scenes mess associated with Suicide Squad, and it’s clear that something changed.

But the studio hopes to return to those golden days, and they’re going to do it by focusing on making good movies instead of getting caught up in how much one of their DC superhero films connects with another. Read a new quote from WB head Kevin Tsujihara below, which also includes his desire to make more Mad Max and The Matrix films.
Read More »

amy adams lois lane

Here’s your big scoop on the DC Extended Universe for the week: Amy Adams is out. The Vice actress has played Lois Lane, intrepid reporter and Superman’s longtime girlfriend, in three movies now, but as Warner Bros. takes the DC films in another direction and as her onscreen love interest hangs up the cape himself, Adams says that she’s done with the DC universe.

Read More »

the flash

The Flash may be the fastest man alive on the comic book pages, but when it comes to the big screen, he’s positively sluggish.

The Flash standalone movie has been hit with yet another delay, as Warner Bros. pushes back the expected production start date for Ezra Miller‘s solo superhero film. Now it seems that Miller, who was cast as the scarlet speedster back in 2014, will have to wait at least three more years until he gets his solo movie.

Read More »

henry cavill superman

Well, this whole “Henry Cavill exiting Superman” situation just got a whole lot more confusing. The internet was abuzz yesterday following reports that Cavill had hung up his cape and parted ways with Warner Bros. But a cryptic new Instagram video from the (former ?) Man of Steel himself may have confirmed that this is not the case. Or it is? We have no idea.

Read More »

henry cavill exits superman

Updated: In a statement responding to reports of Cavill exiting the role of Superman, Warner Bros. said, “While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged.” Our original story continues below.

Henry Cavill is out as Superman. After playing the iconic superhero for five years in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe, Cavill is hanging up the red cape and will no longer appear in future DC films as the Man of Steel. And amid his exit, Warner Bros. is looking to shake up its DC film universe — again.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

stan lee cameo

Stan Lee‘s cameo power is so strong that he’s started to move across the aisle to DC movies. The Marvel Comics legend has become an ubiquitous presence in Marvel movies, appearing in both Marvel Studios and X-Men movies for the past few decades. But Lee does not belong to one cinematic universe, as shown by his most recent cameo in his first DC Comics movie.

Spoilers follow.

Read More »