Joker in other media

Adaptations of the Joker in other media
Created by Jerry Robinson (concept)
Bill Finger
Bob Kane
Original source Comics published by DC Comics
First appearance Batman #1 (Spring 1940)
Films and television
Film(s) Batman (1966)
Batman (1989)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2012-2013)
Lego Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite (2013)
Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Batman (1966)
Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
Superman: The Animated Series (1996)
The New Batman Adventures (1997)
Static Shock (2000)
Justice League (2001)
The Batman (2004)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008)
Young Justice (2010)
Justice League Action (2016)

Although Batman's archenemy, the Joker, originated as a comic book character, he has appeared in various forms of media. WorldCat (a catalog of libraries in 170 countries) records over 250 productions featuring the Joker as a subject, including films, books, and video games.[1]

The Joker has been portrayed by Cesar Romero in the Batman television series, Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's Batman, Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, and Jared Leto in David Ayer's DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad. Over the years, Larry Storch, Lennie Weinrib, Frank Welker, Mark Hamill, Allen Enlow, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jeff Bennett, Richard Epcar, Michael Dobson, Brent Spiner, John DiMaggio, John Kassir, Steven Blum, Christopher Corey Smith, Michael Emerson, Troy Baker, Lloyd Floyd, Jason Spisak, Jeff Bergman, Anthony Ingruber, and Zach Galifianakis have all provided voice work for the character in animated, motion comic, and video game form.



Cesar Romero (standing) as the Joker in Batman.


Batman (1966)

Main article: Batman (1966 film)

Cesar Romero reprised his role in the 1966 film Batman, in which the Joker is a member of the United Underworld, alongside fellow Gotham City villains the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman.

Batman (1989–1997 film series)

Main article: Batman (1989 film)
Jack Nicholson portrayed the Joker in the 1989 film Batman.

The Joker appears in the 1989 Batman film, played by Jack Nicholson, who received acclaim for his performance; the Newsweek review of the film stated that the best scenes in the movie are due to the surreal black comedy portrayed in this character.[9] In 2003, American Film Institute named Nicholson's performance #45 out of 50 greatest film villains.[10] Hugo Blick plays a younger version of the character in a flashback.[11]

In the film, Jack Napier is the right-hand man of mob boss Carl Grissom prior to his transformation into the Joker. During a confrontation with Batman in a chemical factory, Napier is shot in the face and falls into a vat of chemical waste, which turns his hair green, his skin chalk white and his lips bright red. A botched attempt at plastic surgery leaves him with a permanent rictus grin. Driven insane by his reflection, the Joker kills Grissom and takes over his syndicate, launching a crime wave designed to outdo Batman, whom he feels is getting too much press. The Joker describes himself as "the world's first fully functional homicidal artist" who makes avant-garde "art" by killing people with cosmetics laced with Smilex, which leaves its victims with a grotesque grin similar to his own.[12] Bruce Wayne later confronts the Joker and recognizes him as the mugger who murdered his parents. During Batman and Joker's final battle, they discover each other's identities and realize that they created each other. As the Joker attempts to escape in a helicopter, Batman ties a grappling hook around the Joker's leg and attaches it to a stone gargoyle, causing the Joker to fall to his death when the gargoyle breaks loose of its moorings.

Jack Napier appears briefly in a flashback in the 1995 film Batman Forever, the third film in the series, portrayed by David U. Hodges. The flashback is a re-creation of the death of Bruce Wayne's parents from the 1989 film.

Nicholson was to reprise his role as the Joker in Batman Unchained, the fifth film planned for the Batman series.[13][14] He was to return as a hallucination in Batman's mind caused by the Scarecrow's fear toxin. Harley Quinn was to appear as the Joker's daughter trying to get revenge on Batman for her father's death.[15] But due to the poor reception by critics and fans of the fourth film in the series, Batman & Robin, Batman Unchained was cancelled.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight received critical acclaim.

Heath Ledger played the Joker in the 2008 film The Dark Knight, and was posthumously nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance,[16] ultimately winning the Oscar.[17]

DC Extended Universe (2013–present)

Jared Leto as the Joker in a promotional poster for Suicide Squad (2016).
Main article: DC Extended Universe

Academy Award-winning method actor Jared Leto portrays the Joker in the DC Extended Universe.[18] Originally set to appear in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the character was ultimately cut from the film.[19]

The Joker makes his debut in the 2016 film Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer. Flashbacks reveal that the Joker, already known to be Gotham City's most powerful crime lord, manipulated psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel into falling in love with him during his time as a patient at Arkham Asylum. He eventually manages to convince Dr. Quinzel to free him, and he subsequently gives her electroshock therapy. The Joker then takes her to the Ace Chemicals plant, and Quinzel voluntarily jumps into the chemicals that created her lover, bleaching her skin and completing her transformation into Harley Quinn.[20] At some point, the Joker kills the vigilante Batman's partner, Robin, with Harley's help,[21] though Quinn is ultimately apprehended and blackmailed into joining Amanda Waller's government task force composed of captured supervillains. In the present day narrative, the Joker attempts to extract Harley from the task force. He tortures one of Waller's security officers into leading him to the facility where the nano bombs used to control the criminals are manufactured, and threatens an A.R.G.U.S. scientist there to disable the bomb implanted in Harley's neck. After commandeering a military helicopter, the Joker and his men rescue Harley in Midway City and make their getaway. However, the chopper is shot down, and Harley jumps out while Joker seemingly perishes in the explosion, prompting Quinn to rejoin the task force. After the "Suicide Squad" defeat the Enchantress, Joker, who survived the crash, breaks into Belle Reve Prison with his gang to free Harley from her cell, and the pair reunite as the movie ends. Critics praised Jared Leto's performance despite his character's minimal screen time.[22][23] Mark Hamill, the voice of the Joker in various DC animated projects, stated that he "loved" Leto's take on the character.[24] Although many scenes featuring the Joker were omitted from the theatrical release, some of this unused footage did make it into the extended cut.[25][26] Leto later reprised his role in the music video "Purple Lamborghini", by Skrillex and Rick Ross, from the film's soundtrack.[27]


The Joker appears in the 2011 theatrical production Batman Live (portrayed by Mark Frost), in which the character masterminds a plot to defeat Batman by uniting several of the superhero's greatest foes, including Harley Quinn, Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, and Scarecrow.[28][29] The show is an adaptation of the Batman property, drawing inspiration from the 1966 television series, the 1989 series of Batman films, and the 1992 animated series, among others.[28][30][31]




The Joker appears as a recurring villain in the 19681969 Filmation series The Adventures of Batman, voiced by Larry Storch.[32] He also appears in five episodes of Filmation's 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman, voiced by Lennie Weinrib.[33]


Storch reprises his role for two crossover episodes of the 1972 series The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In both episodes, he teams up with Penguin and runs afoul of Batman, Robin and the Mystery Inc. gang.

The Joker appears in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (19851986) episode "The Wild Cards", voiced by Frank Welker.[34][35] The Joker assists Darkseid's by disguising himself as Ace, the leader of The Royal Flush Gang.

Mark Hamill voiced the Joker in the DC animated universe.
DC animated universe

The Joker appears in various animated series set within the DC animated universe, voiced by Mark Hamill, who is often credited as the iconic voice for the animated version of the character because of his wide range of "joyful, gleeful, maniacal, [...] malevolent and evil laughs."[36][37]

The Joker first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series (19921995). The show is notable for introducing his accomplice and lover, Harley Quinn, to such acclaim that she became a character in the comics. The Joker was later prominently featured in the spin-off film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993).[38]

The Joker returned in the follow-up series The New Batman Adventures (19971999). He was given a stylistic redesign with a darker color scheme. His white skin now had a bluish-gray tinge, while his eyes had their sclerae removed, and were replaced by cavernous black spaces with white pupils. His trademark ruby-red lips were omitted, focusing more attention on the teeth, and his green-tinged hair was now almost completely black. His tuxedo's colors were also changed from purple and orange to purple and green. In the Superman: The Animated Series (19962000) episode "World's Finest", the Joker travels to Metropolis and makes a deal with Lex Luthor to kill Superman. In the Justice League (20012006) episodes "Injustice For All" and "Wild Cards", the Joker joins Luthor's Injustice Gang, and pits the Justice League against the Royal Flush Gang as part of an elaborate ruse, respectively. He also starts a crime spree in the Static Shock (20002004) episode "The Big Leagues".

The Joker made his final chronological appearance in the direct-to-video feature film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000), in which he mysteriously returns to Gotham City in the future. Flashbacks reveal that before he died, the Joker kidnapped and tortured Robin (Tim Drake), turning him into an insane, miniature version of himself dubbed 'Joker Junior'. The Joker's death was edited and redubbed amid controversy surrounding the Columbine High School massacre; The original version sees Joker Junior shoot the Joker in the heart, whereas the edited version simply sees him push the Joker into damaged cables to be electrocuted out of sight. However, a microchip implanted in Drake's neck was revealed to have possessed a copy of the Joker's consciousness and DNA, allowing him to take over his host until he is defeated by the new Batman (Terry McGinnis).

The Batman (20042008)

The Joker appears in The Batman, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. This version has long, wild hair, and initially wore a straight jacket modified to his kooky color scheme, though he later adopts his signature purple suit. In the 2005 direct-to-video spin-off The Batman vs. Dracula (2005), the Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and unwittingly becomes a vampire under the control of Count Dracula. Batman later cures the Joker of his vampirism in order to learn the location of Dracula's lair in Gotham Cemetery.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (20082011)

The Joker appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Jeff Bennett. His appearance and personality are similar to the Silver Age version as drawn by Dick Sprang. On a parallel earth, he is known as the heroic vigilante Red Hood.

Young Justice (20102013)

The Joker appears in Young Justice, voiced by Brent Spiner, as a member of the Injustice Gang.[39]

Justice League Action

The Joker will appear in Justice League Action, with Mark Hamill set to reprise the role.[40]

Other appearances


The Joker has appeared in several DC animated original movies:

John DiMaggio voiced the Joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Video games

As Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker has appeared in several Batman-related video games.

Early appearances (19882003)

The Joker's earliest video game appearance was in Batman: The Caped Crusader (1988) developed by Ocean Software for 8-bit home computers such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 and by Data East for other platforms such as the Apple II, Commodore Amiga, and PC.[45] The game contains two parts that can be played in any order—the Joker's story or the Penguin's story.[46] The Joker also appears in several games based on the 1989 film, released between 19891992, including Batman: The Movie for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, and ZX Spectrum;[47] Batman: The Video Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy;[46] Batman for the Genesis;[46] and an arcade game, Batman.[48]

Two games were released based on Batman: The Animated Series. The first was the Konami-developed game Batman: The Animated Series (1993) for Game Boy.[49] The second, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, was released for the Super NES as an action adventure platform and for Genesis as a side-scrolling shooter.[46] The only game based on the Batman Beyond franchise, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, was released as a companion to the eponymous film for Game Boy Color, PlayStation and Nintendo 64.[46] Batman: Vengeance (2001) was released for several platforms, based on The New Batman Adventures and starring its voice cast, including Mark Hamill as the Joker.

The Joker is featured in the platforming shoot-em-up game Batman: Return of the Joker, released for the NES in 1991 and the Genesis in 1992.[46] Other games include Batman: Chaos in Gotham (2001) for Game Boy Color, Justice League: Injustice for All (2002) for Game Boy Advance, and Batman: Dark Tomorrow (2003) for GameCube and Xbox. The Joker also makes a cameo in Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003), released for several platforms.

Lego series

Main article: Lego Batman

Batman: Arkham series

Main article: Batman: Arkham
Troy Baker replaced Mark Hamill as the voice of the Joker for Arkham Origins.

Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Joker in the main trilogy of the Batman: Arkham franchise, while Troy Baker voices a younger version of the character in the prequel Arkham Origins. This depiction of Joker has been widely praised, as critics have lauded the voice acting and the exploration of the Joker and Batman's relationship. He won the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards "Character of the Year" award for his appearance in Arkham City.[51]

Other games


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