Joker origin story: 7 actors whose names should be in the cards

Contributed by
Aug 23, 2017

The Joker has many more faces than a playing card. The DC villain who has dedicated his life to killing the Batman has been embodied by everyone from a menacing Jack Nicholson in Batman to a chilling Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

Now the grinning psychopath is set to receive his very own origin story, following yesterday's news that The Hangover's Todd Phillips is set to helm a stand-alone movie, with Martin Scorsese potentially on board to produce. And said news indicates Jared Leto, the most recent Joker from Suicide Squad, may not be in the role.

So, assuming that, who should step into the role?

These seven actors have collectively played everyone from teenage serial killers to cruel clowns, and have the potential to be the simpering villain constantly after the Caped Crusader. You decide who should be the one throwing all those knives.

Evan Peters

From two-faced to blatantly evil, the characters Evan Peters has played on American Horror Story offer enough material for several incarnations of the Joker. Anyone who can pull off a homicidal teen or a tortured spirit with such raw power deserves to wear that purple suit.

Iwan Rheon

As the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, who laughed maniacally as he tortured Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones (not that Theon didn’t deserve it, but that’s a whole other story), Rheon basically was the Joker of that universe. Those maniacal eyes alone are already saying, “Kill the Batman.”

Bill Skarsgard

How can you not consider the face behind the greasepaint of Pennywise the Clown for this role? Tim Curry’s clown shoes may be a monstrous thing to fill, but from every IT trailer I’ve seen, Skarsgard’s Pennywise and his fiendish grin are seething with that sick, seriocomic evil.

Tom Felton

If Tom Felton hadn’t proved how much magical pleasure his character took in watching others suffer throughout the entire Harry Potter series, then he wouldn’t have been Draco Malfoy. Just imagine the way he spits “Potter” at his nemesis and replace it with “Batman.”

Finn Wittrock

When you play a filthy rich man-child who kills people when he doesn’t get his way, uses human corpses as his dolls, and treats Siamese twins as some sort of exotic playthings (and do it so well you make people believe that such a psycho can actually exist), then you’re Joker material.

Nicholas Hoult

As J.D. Salinger in Rebel in the Rye, the former Beast of X-Men starts off as a cocky chain-smoking writer who slowly goes insane and torments himself as the trauma of war turns him into a real beast. Just add murder, and you’ve suddenly got the green-haired villain of Gotham.

Pearl Mackie

I know what you’re thinking. Bill is not evil! Except when she’s a Cyberman. But just think of how the range of emotion Pearl Mackie masters as the Twelfth Doctor’s companion could enter into another dimension where her persona is warped into pure malice — there’s your Joker.