Johnny Depp rumored to play the next Joker and here's why it's a terrible idea

Johnny Depp rumored to play the next Joker and here's why it's a terrible idea
Joaquin Phoenix, Johnny Depp (IMDb/Getty Images)

Between a new Batman reboot and 'Joker' receiving 11 Oscar nominations and winning two of them, a Batman vs Joker showdown on the big screen is inevitable and studios are already on the hunt for a new Clown Prince of Crime. Rumour has it that Johnny Depp is one of the actors who is being eyed for the role, which, if true, would be a terrible idea.

While Joaquin Phoenix won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as the Joker, everyone can agree that his version of the Joker was hardly the kind of villainous mastermind who could go head to head with the Dark Knight. Several fan theories have posited that the Arthur Fleck Joker was not the one who would go on to become Batman's nemesis, but instead inspire the man who would eventually become so.

According to rumour site We Got This Covered, that man might be played by Depp. Depp is looking at an upswing in his career after the controversy regarding his divorce was flipped when an audio recording from Amber Heard was released. With the public back on his side, everyone is wondering what his next big role is going to be and the franchise smorgasbord is wide open.

Despite the money it would undoubtedly rake in, Depp as the Joker would be a step back — both for the character and for the actor himself. Depp has done the quirky, insane character with too much make-up archetype to death. His Jack Sparrow was iconic, but once the original 'Pirates of the Caribbean' trilogy ended and they tried to base more movies off of him, it was plain to see that a lot of what made his performance so great was the excellent writing he was given. The characters that followed are ones best left forgotten.

The Mad Hatter in 'Alice in Wonderland' is perhaps the closest preview we have to a Depp-as-Joker, and that performance was exhausting. Wide eyes, erratic twitches and emotional spasms all made to highlight the silliness of the character without any real nuance is more than likely what we can expect from Depp's Joker — with a sinister bent. Will Depp be creepy? Absolutely. Will it be anything we haven't already seen with the Joker? Unlikely.

Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger both made their versions of the Joker iconic. A large part of that is because they each brought something unique to the character that had not been seen before. Hamill expertly balanced a cartoonish showman with genuine, petty villainy and danger in a high-pitched laugh filled with glee.

Ledger's scruffiness mixed with the constant air of someone who had plans within plans brought to life a Joker who was every bit the master strategist that Batman is, while also being the inner voice of people's darker sides. Ledger managed to do that while taking the risk of looking grumpy the entire time — not what you'd expect from a clown. Even Phoenix's Joker, while being a divisive figure among fans, was certainly a unique take on the character — a bumbling every man at the mercy of a failing mental health system, tired of just taking it.

The Joker is an iconic character with decades of stories under his belt and a radically new take is necessary. Depp has managed to prove again and again that his performances tend to take iconic characters and make them forgettable at best, and annoying at worst.

'The Batman' is set to release in cinemas on June 25, 2021.

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