It’s not easy bringing the Clown Prince of Crime to life onscreen with a portrayal that’s fresh and worth watching. Here’s who AI believes should play the Joker next.
Throughout the years, we’ve seen a whopping seven actors bring the classic DC villain the Joker to life in live-action performances. From the Academy Award-winning performance by the late and great Heath Ledger to the current portrayal by Joaquin Phoenix and more, each actor has been tasked with bringing their own uniqueness to the role.
Though we’ve seen the character time and time again, we don’t suspect he’ll be going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is Phoenix reprising his role in Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux, but James Gunn and Peter Safran are now co-CEOs of DC Studios and are planning to rework the DCU as we know it with a long-term plan that could span eight to 10 years. So far, it’s been confirmed that characters like Batman and Superman will be recast with new actors, so it’s not unreasonable to speculate they might be bringing the Joker into the fold with a new casting as well.
There are so many talented actors working today who could take on the role of the Joker, but who will ultimately be the one to play him next? We decided to play around with AI and ask ChatGPT who it thinks is worthy of the role.
AI wants Willem Dafoe to play the Joker, just like us
At first, AI told me Phoenix should be cast, but we know the actor’s already playing the DC villain. So I took another stab at it and asked again. Here’s what ChatGPT told me:
"As a dedicated DC fan, considering the criteria that the next Joker should not have previously portrayed a DC character, and ruling out Joaquin Phoenix, my ideal choice for the next Joker would be Willem Dafoe.Dafoe is a seasoned actor with a proven track record of delivering exceptional performances in a wide range of roles. He has displayed incredible versatility, seamlessly transitioning from hero to villain, and has a commanding presence on screen that demands attention. His ability to portray complex, psychologically-driven characters would make him a perfect fit for the Joker.Dafoe’s unique features, chiseled face, and piercing eyes can lend themselves to creating a visually striking and iconic interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime. He has the ability to exude both menace and charisma, which are essential traits for a compelling Joker portrayal."
Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe would no doubt make an awesome Joker. There’s no denying that. He’s already played a comic book villain in the Marvel Universe as the Green Goblin, and fans of the genre always praise him for his performance. Dafoe has outstanding range, as he can be very ominous and strange, as well as humorous and warm. Plus, the actor wants to play the Joker and has actually shared that on multiple occasions.
Most recently, Dafoe appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he discussed the possibility of playing the character. “Talk to Warner Bros.,” he joked to Fallon, before adding: “I thought it would be cool for me to play an imposter, like slipstreaming his thing.”
Dafoe was referring to Todd Phillips’ Joker series here, but his interest in the role definitely seems like he’d be up for it in any iteration. So what are the chances, really? Well, I’m not sure about Gunn and Safran’s DCU for Dafoe. That’s because it looks like they’ll be exploring the classic characters in their younger years; at least, Gunn confirmed that’s the case for Superman. Given Dafoe is 67 years old, that might not work. But! He could certainly play a Joker imposter. That’d be really cool.
Hopefully one day we’ll see Dafoe donning that iconic green hair and red smile, but until then we’ll keep fan-casting him.
Would you like to see Willem Dafoe play the Joker onscreen, or has his time come and gone? Let us know what you think!