Who Plays the New Joker and What’s He Most Famous For?

The Joker is Batman’s greatest foe – a psychotic and highly powerful man who often has his lady, Harley Quinn, by his side. The character has been around since the beginning and has been portrayed by over a dozen actors since 1966, when the role was first played by Cesar Romero.

Since the original Joker, there have been adaptations done by Zach Galifianakis, John DiMaggio, Heath Ledger, Steve Blum, Jeff Bennett, Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, Michael Emerson, Brent Spiner, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Jack Nicholson. The most recent version of the Joker was played by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad.

But who will be portraying the newest Joker, and what is the actor most famous for previously? Here’s what we know.

Who will play the newest Joker?

Joker will give us the backstory behind the madness of Batman’s arch nemesis, and the role will be portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. The 44-year-old actor has played a diverse range of roles throughout his career, and has accumulated an incredible 52 acting credits to his name. He has also won more than three dozen accolades.

The most notable among these include a Golden Globe, a Blockbuster Entertainment Award, and a Grammy. 

Let’s take a look at some of Joaquin Phoenix’s most notable roles, to get an idea of why he was chosen as the newest Joker. 

‘Gladiator’ (2000)

Gladiator is a film about a former Roman General who sets himself upon a quest of vengeance against the corrupt emperor who murdered his family before sending him into slavery. The main character, Maximus, is played by Russell Crowe. Joaquin Phoenix plays the major supporting role of Commodus.

The film proved popular to all audiences, but was particularly favored by the male crowd for it’s violent war setting.

‘Ladder 49’ (2004)

Ladder 49 offered an insightful look into the lives of the firefighters and other rescue personnel who put their lives on the lines for others day in and day out. Main character Jack Morrison (played by Phoenix) has spent his working life at the Baltimore Fire Station, where he has put himself in harm’s way more times than he can count.

This has come with a great sacrifice, as the relationship he has with his wife and children begins to falter.

In the largest blaze he’s faced in his career, Morrison finds himself trapped inside of a 20 story building. He reflects on his life as his Captain and great friend, Mike Kennedy (played by John Travolta) fights to save him alongside the rest of the team. The movie is an incredible tearjerker, and Joaquin Phoenix’s acting is incredibly believable. 

‘Walk The Line’ (2005)

Phoenix is probably best known as the man who portrayed Johnny Cash in Walk The Line. The film chronicles the life story of the country legend’s life, from his humble beginnings on a cotton farm in Arkansas to his rise to fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

It also tells the love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter (played by Reese Witherspoon), which was both intense and, at times, tragic. Adding to the appeal of the film is the great onscreen chemistry shared by Witherspoon and Phoenix. 

‘Her’ (2013)

This strangely endearing and equally mind-boggling tale is of a man who falls in love with an operating system that has been specially designed to meet his every need. Her takes place in the “near future,” and the fall for an operating system occurs just after the main character (Phoenix) suffers a breakup.

The operating system, named Samantha, is voiced by the seductive Scarlett Johansson. The film won an Oscar, and was nominated for numerous other accolades.