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We almost got an origin story for Joker in The Dark Knight…

July 31st, 2020 by Marc Comments

Sorry gang, have to put my hands up to missing this last weekend but it seems we could have had a very different Dark Knight movie if Warner Bros had had their way.

One of the best things about the Joker – and many villains – is that we don’t know where he comes from. Now, sure, we’ve had tales like The Killing Joke and even Batman ’89, but in the comics the Joker’s origins have never really been made clear and it’s even been hinted that he is more than just a crazy man but rather a legit force for chaos.

But it’s the not knowing why someone became this unpredictable, terrifying monster that makes him so damned scary. Think of how much the Alien being explained in the last couple of movies ruined it or even how meeting young Boba Fett in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is still, to this day, a controversial move.

Well, it seems that we almost had a similar story with the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

At Comic-Con@Home last weekend,  writer David S. Goyer talked about how, due to the success of Batman Begins, Warners were afraid to take chances with the sequel (you can watch the full interview below).

“I do remember when we were talking about, ‘Well what if the Joker doesn’t really have an origin story?’. Even after the success of Batman Begins that was considered a very controversial thing and we got a lot of push-back. People were worried,” Goyer says.

“There were a lot more eyes, both in terms of the world and the studio on that film than there were on Batman Begins. And it’s harder to take risks and it’s harder to subvert expectations in success because people want to protect against failure or they want you to do what you did the first time, but just a little bit different.

“One of the scariest things to tell most film executives or even TV executives after having had success in something is, ‘Yeah, we’re not going to do that again. We’re going to do something different’.”

It’s understandable why the studio was nervous about taking a leap of faith with the character, after all Jack Nicholson’s Jack Napier in Tim Burton’s Batman was a great character and certainly added to Joker’s mythology, but that was a different era and a different take on the character, Nolan’s Joker needed to feel more… inevitable.

And it’s likely this led to the character’s multiple origins as told by him in the movie.

Either way, The Dark Knight was a massive success and a wonderful addition to the Batman and Joker lore… so sometime chaos and risk-taking is the best way to go.

What do you all think? Let me know in all the usual ways…

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….