Heath Ledger fans campaign for the Joker to be retired

By Johnny Daniels
Contributing Writer, [GAS]


When Heath Ledger died his untimely death, it was a tragedy to be sure. But his fans think that his performance as the Joker was so good that no actor can do it better. So they want Hollywood to “retire” the Joker character to ensure that no-one plays the role ever again.  In order to attain their goal, they have started a web campaign to garner support.

You can sign the petition (for all the good it will do – I am very cynical about online petitions), download a Joker card, join the Flickr page, visit their YouTube or Facebook page or subscribe to their RSS feed.

But the site is attracting some rather negative and nasty comments such as the one below :

“The group says once they get 50,000 signatures they’re going to march on Warner Bros. or something like that. In the time that it takes them to get 50,000 signatures for a petition that stupid, I’m guessing that I could build a device to electroshock Heath Ledger back to life so he can continue the role himself.”

As the Joker himself would say “why so serious?

10 Responses to Heath Ledger fans campaign for the Joker to be retired

  1. I think this is a bad idea. Sure, Heath's portrayal of the clown prince of crime was on the money, but that doesn't mean we won't have a better portrayal in another generation. Having the Joker retired would have been like having Sean Connery's performance being locked as 007. It would be an honor for Heath, sure, but it would cost DC/Warner Brothers buckets of cash if they ever want to revamp the character, or make any changes to him.

    Also, you ruin it for fans of the character who may want to see him in another movie, even if it means that it won't be up to par. Personally, to me, Mark Hamill was the best Joker before Heath took that role. Should we have retired it after that? Then we'd have no Heath Ledger as the Joker. You know what? That may have saved his life…

  2. If they're trying to win the award for "stupidest web campaign ever" like it seems, they should just start a petition to bring heath ledger back to life.

  3. Heath's performance was incredible, and will go down as one of the great protrayals in history, but the idea of locking out a character is just stupid. In the future, another actor will come along to play the Joker, and perhaps he will be better, perhaps not. I agree completely with Asap, there's no point in locking out a character for any actor.

    Otherwise, locking out a character for being portrayed badly would be just as viable. That would lock out Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and a whole slew of other great franchizes.

    Heath's performance was one of the greats, but why limit the character?

  4. Personally, I don't think Heath Ledger is the best Joker in history. He just was so acclaimed because he died "in character", meaning he took the whole joker thing too seriously. I don't undermine his efforts as an actor, in fact I think he did a good job but not a wonderful one. For me, the joker will always jack nicholson because he was utterly funny (without being stupid or ridiculous) and not emo like the Heath Ledger one.

    If Ledger wasn't dead, the new joker wouldn't of creater such a big buzz.

  5. I completely agree with Florsie, Jack Nicholson is the Joker. The Joker should be some funny dude, but without being silly or stupid, and should be crazy, something Jack Nicholson is VERY GOOD at. If you saw "The Shining", you know what I'm talking about.

  6. TMSheik…

    So what you are saying is:

    Because Jack Nicholson was awesome in another movie, that makes him the best person to play a completely different character in a completely different movie?

    That's like saying "Because Ed Norton was awesome in Fight Club, he was the best Hulk ever because both had fight sequences."


    "Because Jason Biggs did awesome comedy in American Pie, that made him the best Silent Bob ever because both are comedy characters!"

    I think everyone would agree that Lou Ferrigno and Kevin Smith are the definitive Hulk and Silent Bob, respectively.

    Just because a new character you play is similar on the surface to an old one you played, does not make you automatically the best person to play the new character. Especially in the Nicholson/Jack/Joker scenario.

    If you had simply said "Nicholson was the best Joker", no-one could disagree with your point of view, but to say "Nicholson was the best Joker because of The Shining" is to misunderstand both characters in both films as well as the acting profession.

  7. While I agree with your point Andrew, I'm not sure that's what TMSheik was saying. I think he was just pointing out that Jack is great at serious, crazy characters ala Batman and The Shining.

    I loved Jack Nicholson's Joker. I thought Mark Hamill's Joker on the animated series was amazing. I loved Heath Ledger's Joker. I'd be very sad to have the next great Joker performer in the line of great performances locked out. Not that this petition is in any danger of actually doing that, but just on premise I think it's a bad idea.

  8. That is stupid.

    When actors die the role must also die? What would have happened if people though the original joker was the best and asked for no one to ever get to play him ever another time? HA, there would never have been a opportunity for another actor to try.

    Hollywood is having a hard time getting new ideas as is, why not let them keep using some of the old ones with new actors?

    just stupid. sigh

  9. Are U NUTZ??? The last and final Movie is still to come.

    The Origin of the Joker a.k.a. “The Man Who Laughs”.

    In the Origin of the "The Man Who Laughs," the joker is a young lad and a pathetic victim instead

    of his usual role as a villain. In this moving melodrama he had a dual role, starring as both

    Gwynplaine (The Man Who Laughs), and also as Lord Clancharlie, Gwynplaine's father, a Scottish

    nobleman who has rebelled against King James II in 17th-century Britain. As Lord Clancharlie is

    being placed for execution in the notorious "Iron Maiden," he asks what will be done with his son,

    Gwynplaine. King James' cruel jester pulls the boys mouth apart in a grimace, and the king

    understands that the young boy with a beaming, angelic smile will be given to a notorious band of

    nomads, the Comprachicos.

    The Comprachicos purposely disfigure the young boy by carving the corners of his mouth into a

    fixed, hideous grin. As if what they have done turns into a bad Omen, the Comprachicos are exiled

    from England, abandoning Gwynplaine in the English countryside during a severe snowstorm burning

    his facial expression into a permanent one.

    Plodding through the storm, the youngster comes across a baby girl in the arms of her frozen and

    lifeless mother. Although the boy doesn't have any reason to perpetuate acts of kindness due to

    his practically shattered spirit, his heart goes out to this young child, and he rescues her. As

    he plods through the howling storm with the baby in tow, they are saved by a small traveling

    troupe of actors who are led by kindly philosopher, Ursus. Ursus is horrified when he sees

    Gwynplaine's disfigured face, and he realizes that the baby girl, Dea, is blind.

    They are both adopted by the troupe, and years later Dea, has grown into a beautiful blind girl.

    A romance of the heart, not of the eyes, develops between Gwyplaine and Dea. Gwynplaine, who has

    now become a famous performing clown, is finally happy, and fate steps in when Gwynplaine discovers

    he is heir to a peerage and is summoned back to London.

    It is there that his life will take a fateful turn when the jester who had persuaded the king to

    disfigure Gwynplaine and the queen, see an opportunity to continue their mind-twisted torture.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.