Sunday, December 16, 2007

Batman's Nemesis.. Steve?

If you want to watch the "The Dark Knight" trailer, It is up. Here. A big "Thank You" to Superhero Hype, for the tipoff.

I watched a crappy bootleg version of the trailer a few days ago, and thought "I don't really like the Joker", but figured maybe, somehow, it was the fault of the low quality handheld recording. It wasn't. I think maybe I just Don't Really Like The Joker.

I have devoted a lot (and I mean a lot) of time and attention to the Joker's upcoming film treatment, and I have to say, my questions have still not been answered. And what's worse is that I have been assured that my questions will not be answered!

Several different online interviews have made clear that the origin of the Joker will not be addressed in this movie. Which leads me to say. HUH!? If you are not going to address The origin of the Joker... Then why put "The Joker" in your movie at all? Why not just have a guy named Steve? I mean "Steve" could just as easily rob banks and kill people with knives and explosives and stuff, and he would save money on makeup and purple trenchcoats. This guy is not Steve. He's the JOKER! and something, somewhere, somehow, turned him INTO the Joker. Batman's origin story made a terrific movie, and his beginning was so important to the movie that they called it "Batman Begins"! But the Joker doesn't get to begin? He Just Is? He has Green(-ish) hair! He wears crazy clown stuff! Why? He has horrible facial scars! From Where? The Public Has A Right To Know!

I have heard wonderful raves about Heath Ledger's performance, and I have no doubt that he will be able to portray the Clown Prince of Crime in a way that will make his character (painfully) clear, but Origin stories, when dealing with superheroes or villains, are the Best stories. They are necessary stories.

In the Comic books, at least in my comic books, the origin story is encapsulated in a couple of sentences right at the beginning of every single issue! Because you have to know why you are seeing this guy flying around in a jetpack, or swinging on webs, or picking up trucks and throwing them at people. You need a reason for your characters.

I know that the Joker, while the most visible by a long shot, is not the only baddie in this movie, and I only hope that the omission of his origin is to make room for the even more awesome origin story of my favorite villain, Harvey "Two Face" Dent.

So Mr. Nolan, I'm gonna give you a pass (for now) on this Joker thing, but if you screw up Two-Face... It. Is. ON!

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