Sean Penn said that when Christopher Nolan considered him for the role of Joker in The Dark Knight, he was never mentioned. The end of Batman Begins prompted the arrival of Joker in the next entry, with names like Adrian Brody, Crispin Glover and Paul Bettany in connection with the character. Nolan surprised everyone by opting for Heath Ledger, who was fiercely reacted by the fans at the time.
Ledger died tragically before the release of The Dark Knight, and his fearsome performance as a character immediately became iconic. He received a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. It’s hard to imagine another actor playing this role now, but for years it’s been thought that Sean Penn was indeed Nolan’s first choice, but he declined.
Apparently, this was not the case, because Penn claims in a recent interview in the podcast Happy Sad Confused that The Dark Knight was not offered great movies, but was not one of them.
I do not remember it. If so, he never told me. Between the indelible ones that Jack [Nicholson] did, and then when Heath Ledger arrived and made a new kind of rock and roll out of it. Listen, yes, over the years, I have been offered a few things that have become extremely successful genre images, and in most cases, when I looked at them, in my opinion, they were not very successful
For the most part, Penn has avoided the box office successes throughout his career, and although he would undoubtedly have given the character a unique interpretation, it is difficult to imagine an actor other than Ledger.
Finally, the Joker appeared on the big screen in 2016 with the version of Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, which was received with a more sensational reception. Some fans liked that Leto’s gangster took the villain while others thought him unpleasant. Joker’s participation in the film proved controversial after the start, as the advances and promotional material seemed like the person did a great job. In the final edition, however, the personality only had a duration of about 10 minutes. Leto also said that he was surprised how much material was cut.
When and when Leto will return is not yet known. In the meantime, Warner Bros. is developing a unique R-rated version in director Todd Philips’ Joker. Joaquin Phoenix is currently the favorite for the role, although he recently denied knowing his existence in an interview. Tommy Wiseau also makes an ironic campaign to claim the role, but it seems that Warner Bros. Phoenix is likely to favor this case.