In less than two months, filming for Matt Reeves’ highly anticipated “The Batman” film will be drawing to a close. Reeves’ grittier and more grounded take on the character, starring Robert Pattinson, is set to be released in March 2022. Warner Bros and DC have plans to develop a whole saga of films around Reeves’ Batman. Not unlike Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Trilogy”. The film will be set in an alternate universe outside of the main DC Extended Universe (DCEU) timeline. One that is a departure from the supernatural antics of gods and aliens.
It’s a brave new world with a younger, less experienced Batman. Which probably means we’ll get to see alternate versions of his infamous rogue’s gallery.
Based on the trailer, we know that Collin Farrell and Paul Dano will be appearing in the film as the Penguin and the Riddler. It’s only a matter of time before a certain Clown Prince of Crime pops up on the scene.
Which begs the question: Who will play the nefarious Yin to the Batman’s Yang? Well, we’ve got some pretty good suggestions for actors who could play the Joker in Matt Reeves’ future Batman films.
1. Jake Gyllenhaal
Don’t let his chiselled good looks and perfect blue eyes fool you, Gyllenhaal is no stranger to playing dark and twisted characters. Most people would no doubt recognise his performance as the insane, egotistical Mysterio from Disney’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home“. For us though, we will forever remember him for his legendary performance as the charming, sociopathic monster in “Nightcrawler”. The most amazing part of Gyllenhaal in the film was his restraint. How he slowly ramps up from down-on-his-luck nice guy to manipulative huckster to straight up cold-blooded murderer.
Gyllenhaal has this uncanny ability to unsettle audiences with his presence and energy. Whether in sport films like “Southpaw” or thrillers like “Prisoners” or “Donnie Darko”, the man brings both humanity and emotional complexity to madness. Something we’re sure director Matt Reeves’ can greatly appreciate in his more realistic vision of Gotham.
2. David Tennant
Then again, how nuanced can a mass-murdering clown be? Whether it’s Jack Nicholson’s outlandish rendition or Joaquin Phoenix’s depressing stint, the Joker has always struck us as a flamboyant personality. Someone who is looking to make a statement about himself and the world around him from his bright outfits to his bold declarations of death and destruction. If Reeves is looking for someone to really play up the Joker as a narcissistic performer on the theatre of crime, then he should look no further than David Tennant from Netflix’s “Jessica Jones”.
In the series, he played one of the most diabolical and disturbing characters on television. As Kilgrave, he killed, tortured and raped across the series, all in the name of sadistic fun. Tennant manages to walk the fine line between magnetic and repulsive. You’re drawn by the character’s contagious zest for life but disgusted by his actions. And hey, he already wore a bright purple suit in “Jessica Jones”. He might as well do it again as the Joker!
3. Bill Skarsgard
Yes, yes we’re well aware of how cliche it all sounds. He played an evil clown in “IT” so why shouldn’t he play another one in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman”? The main reason why we believe Skarsgard would make a good Joker is for one simple reason: he’s funny. Anyone can act all crazy, stick their tongue out and run around. It takes a true artist to master both the art of horror and comedy, something that Skarsgard is thoroughly acquainted with. Don’t lie, you were simultaneously horrified and chuckling at Pennywise’s dance in the sewer.
While we certainly don’t expect him to go full Dancing Clown in Matt Reeves’ Batman universe, we do believe he’d make for an excellent foil to Pattinson’s dour Dark Knight. Batman and Joker aren’t particularly interesting when they’re just slugging it out. We want to see some witty dialogue, gut-busting jokes and engaging exchanges between the two.
4. Kieran Culkin
Macaulay Culkin’s brother? Really? Yes, really.
Though the actor has managed to slip under our radar for most of the 2010s, Kieran has really come into his own. Those following HBO’s dynamite family dramedy series “Succession” will no doubt recognise him as Roman Roy. In the series, he plays a temperamental hedonist with the occasional pension for mayhem. Much like Pattinson in his post-Twilight days, Culkin represents raw untapped talent just waiting to be mined. If Reeves is planning to take the Batman property into a bold, new direction it might be best to acquire some fresh talent.
Sometimes attaching a big movie star name to a property might lead to rigid typecasting. So we believe Culkin is just the kind of actor to break the mould. He simply needs the right material to help him soar. Both Pattinson and Culkin could grow into their individual roles as Batman and Joker as time passes by. Making for a far richer dynamic.
5. Willem Dafoe
We love Willem Dafoe! There’s no two ways about it. The man is a proper villain through and through. Over the years, the man has played some iconic baddies. You may recognise him as the ghastly Green Goblin in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. He also did a fantastic job as the Shinigami, Ryuk in Netflix’s “Death Note”. The only shinning star in that miserable dumpster fire. Oh and there’s his performance in Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse”. In the film, he delivered one of the greatest performances of the decade as a crusty wicky gone mad.
If Reeves plans on having Pattinson’s young Bruce Wayne go up against a more seasoned and deadly Joker, then Dafoe would be perfect for the role. He’s already proven to have natural chemistry with Pattinson from “The Lighthouse”. Now, it’s time to take their cinematic rivalry to a whole new level!
While these guys didn’t quite make the countdown, we still felt they deserved a shout-out on our list. Honourable mentions go to actor Ryan Gosling of “The Nice Guys” fame, Iwan Rheon who played a most terrible bastard on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”. And finally, there’s the incomparable Johnny Depp. All amazing actors in their own right.
So who do you think would make for a great Joker to Robert Pattinson’s Batman? Do you agree with our picks? Be sure to let us know in the comments down below!