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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 12:54pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

IMDb

Cuz, see, the Joker was very nearly completely mysterious for about fifty years, but Alan Moore fixed that, and now everybody wants to play.

(The comments section is particularly chilling.)

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 1:55pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Zero interest in this. 
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 2:52pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The movie planning meeting started off like this:  "Ok, so what's the worst idea that we can think of for a movie?"
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 3:22pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The movie planning meeting started off like this: "Ok, so what's the worst idea that we can think of for a movie?"

More likely it began with "What's the coolest thing we can do?"

As I have noted, these days writers seem to begin with this question, and then fail to ask the all-important follow-ups, like "Yeah, but is that a good idea?"

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 4:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I don't get the point of supervillain-only movies (this would be the first of its kind, right?). Or supervillain-only titles.

I love the likes of Doom, Juggernaut, Destroyer, Darkseid, Joker and so many others - but only when they are battling superheroes. 
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 4:15pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

An even worse idea than the Wolverine origin. And considering how  DC/WB have handled The Joker lately, there's just no silver lining to this project.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 9:34pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Robbie, there were movies with the Suicide Squad (including HOW DARE YOU CALL THAT the Joker), Catwoman, Elektra (well, maybe...) the Punisher (a villain in my book), an animated piece called Megamind, um, Boris and Natasha...

Not very many come to mind. Does the TV show "Gotham" count? I gave it a couple of tries and it failed, but it did seem based on mostly "super" villains.

Once using the Joker became a game of "How far can we go?", an origin was inevitable. Personally, I never wanted to know the Joker's origin. Why NOT a mysterious crazy man that we don't know every single detail of? Not as if every DC villain was that way...
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 2:39am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'm just not that interested in origin stories, especially for villains.
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Joe Smith
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 2:43am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

They got Scorcese to pitch in......I would have believed in Bigfoot
before I'd have believed he'd do this. SMDH
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Jason Scott
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 3:33am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

(The comments section is particularly chilling.)
------------------------------------------------------------ -


Weirdly enough, this was the most surprising thing in the post for me. Not that they were chilling, (Because let's face it, there are a lot of idiots out there!) But that imdb actually allows comments. For some reason I'd assumed that their recent wiping out of the forums meant that nobody would be able to comment. Now I realise, (after momentarily switching off my add blocker) that no, they're just swapped one method for another. By allowing Facebook style comments. Because everythings got to be linked to that now. (Sigh!)

But yeah, after JB's warning I won't even bother reading them. The whole idea's terrrible enough as it is, without encountering idiots droolling over it.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

This will be the first film under a new banner that has yet to be named in which WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters.


Ugh...  I just stopped reading the article at that point

"Expand the canon" and "Create unique storylines" are Hollywood shorthand for "exploit this property and forget the condoms at home".

The character isn't all that interesting in his pre-Joker state -- a generic mob type and/or innocent-forced-to-work-with-criminals story.   Otherwise, there's too much of a temptation to give the pre-character Joker-like mannerisms or tendencies to keep it interesting.   Then he just becomes a mobster with white skin and green hair and you lose the point of showing the origin in the first place.   

This is why small flashback snippets are so effective if they ever need to reference the Joker's previous life.  MASK OF THE PHANTASM does this quite elegantly without dedicating an entire film to it.  All you need to know is that the Joker and his previous identity are so distant they may as well be two  completely different people.  Even Batman realizes that taking revenge on the Joker for crimes he now has no recollection of is pointless and hollow. 

In a way, movie makers who want to tell us everything in prequels is another symptom of the spoiler culture we live in.   Everyone wants to tell you the punchline and all the action leading up to it.  Nothing is left for the audience to think about or discover on their own terms.  The story teller (or story spoiler) controls the experience and leaves the viewer no room for imagination.




Edited by Rob Ocelot on 24 August 2017 at 10:07am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 11:04am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Many years ago, at a con, I found myself in a conversation with a trio of youngish fans who were "discussing" the Joker. Listening to their comments, I eventually asked "Why do you think he's called 'the Joker'?" "Because he jokes!" came the reply.

Not all that surprising, I suppose, since Frank Miller had already been talking about "his version" of the Joker, who would wear a green jumpsuit and have a mohawk haircut.

Then, years later, we got Heath Ledger's version, then Jared Leto's version -- and we moved further and further away from who and what the Joker was when introduced. Then, he got his name from the fact that he looked like the Joker in a deck of cards. He most certainly wasn't supposed to be "funny," even in a "dark" manner. He was a sociopath who enjoyed his work, but not the "clown prince of crime."

The animated series did a pretty good job of capturing this, and also added Harley to the mythos. Of course, it wasn't long before she was added to the comics, and artists lack Bruce Timm's deft touch made her all about tits and ass.

One of the principle elements in designing and naming characters is that it should be possible to pick them out of a group based on one or the other. Stan and Jack gave us characters with names like Quicksilver and Medusa, neither of which had anything to do with their power sets, yet made them instantly recognizable. The movies and comics have been galloping away from this concept as fast as they can in recent years -- until we end up with a Joker who looks nothing like a Joker, and a Harley Quinn who looks nothing like a harlequin.

(An element of this crept into the first Iron Man movie. It's a case of the writers and audience knowing what the characters in the story do not. So the red and gold armor, being the first seen by the public, somehow gets dubbed "Iron Man" by the press.)

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

In a way, movie makers who want to tell us everything in prequels is another symptom of the spoiler culture we live in.   Everyone wants to tell you the punchline and all the action leading up to it.  Nothing is left for the audience to think about or discover on their own terms.  The story teller (or story spoiler) controls the experience and leaves the viewer no room for imagination.

***

Years ago, in a horror magazine, an interview was done with Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface, in the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE films. Hansen stated that they didn't show Leatherface's real face because it would never have lived up to expectations.

I used to like how characters such as Predator and Alien had mystique. We knew nothing about them really other than the basics; but subsequent films have explained everything.

Sometimes, less is more. As a kid, my friend and I used to have fun trying to guess what the Joker's name was (I suggested it was Robert, which is my full name). Who knows? It was fun to discuss. It's just nice for characters to have mystique. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Over the past few decades I have noticed a disturbing trend in comicbook readers: many complain if a story leaves any trace of mystery. They actually consider this a MISTAKE on the part of the writer.

"The Lady or the Tiger" would drive these clowns right round the bend!!

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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 8:06pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I hated his origin in BATMAN (1989). Especially since they made Jack Napier into Joe Chill. But at least they more or less got the look right.

The Jared Leto version is easily the worst looking live action version of the character, so far. I especially hate the tattoos. He looks like a goth/punk rocker trying to imitate the Joker, who the Joker would probably kill on sight.




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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 8:18pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

JB, i'm also very disturbed with that trend... the lack of mystery in comic book stories and characters, especially the Joker and Wolverine. Heck, I've grown tired at the insistence of ORIGIN STORIES for just about every major character being repeated and retconned over and over and over...

*sigh*

-C!


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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 8:42pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

One of the few aspects of the Joker that THE DARK KNIGHT got right was...no one knew who he really was or where he came from.

"No matches on prints, DNA, dental. Clothing is custom, no labels. Nothing in his pockets but knives and lint. No name, no other alias."


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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 25 August 2017 at 12:03am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Of course, eventually someone has to go and ruin something by explaining what doesn't need to be explained, and shouldn't be.




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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 25 August 2017 at 12:58am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The Jared Leto version is easily the worst looking live action version of the character, so far
--

I caught maybe 30 minutes of SUICIDE SQUAD on Netflix and was appalled, in a way I rarely am, at the portrayal of The Joker. It was utterly awful on so many levels. It looked like the work of a rabid comic book fan who insists that everyone's gottten Joker wrong for 70 years. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 August 2017 at 5:51am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

It has come to be common thinking among some writers and fans that since the Joker is "insane" he must be TOTALLY insane. "That's why Batman has trouble beating him," they say. "He's so crazy while Batman is so logical."

sigh

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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 25 August 2017 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Nicholson nailed the role of the Joker best... and the origin Burton used was fine... till he made the Joker responsible for killing the Waynes.

-C!
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Doug Jones
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Posted: 25 August 2017 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

One of the few aspects of the Joker that THE DARK KNIGHT got right was...no one knew who he really was or where he came from. 

"No matches on prints, DNA, dental. Clothing is custom, no labels. Nothing in his pockets but knives and lint. No name, no other alias."

--

They did get that right. 

Unfortunately, it was all negated by the decision to have him wear makeup, which nobody at the police station thought to remove!

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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 25 August 2017 at 2:11pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

The best version of the Joker's past -- of who he was before he became the Joker -- was done by Paul Dini and Alex Ross. See:

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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Apparently, this website (of all places!) called (mostly) BS on Jack Tapper
for claiming the Joker's Red Hood origin was definitive -


I'd argue that the co-creators (Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson) got it right the first time. (Plus, I hate ppl who reference The Killing Joke, a story even Alan Moore hated!!

-C!
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 4:27pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Yeah I wish The Killing Joke would pass from memory, especially now that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again. Alas, it keeps being referenced.

I do wish it would be firmly established as canonical that the Joker isn't really crazy (psychopathic, but not clinically insance); he just pretends to be, as the Dini/Ross story establishes.

 
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