The role of Batman's nemesis, the Joker, has consumed numerous Hollywood A-listers from Jack Nicholson to the Oscar-winning Heath Ledger and, most recently, Jared Leto in Suicide Squad.
News reports are now confirming we're about to get a Joker origin story spinoff, produced by Martin Scorsese and co-written and directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame. (Yes, really.)
Reportedly the new DC/Warner Bros movie will take the clown prince of crime back to his roots in a film that will evoke Scorsese's own gangster classics.
"The intention is to make a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-80s Gotham City that isn’t meant to feel like a DC movie as much as one of Scorsese’s films from that era, like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or The King Of Comedy," writes Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr.
But who are the talented actors capable of unlocking the young Joker's psychosis? With the movie not yet cast (Jared Leto is reportedly not being invited back), we've picked some potential hot favourites.
Well, just look at those eyebrows for a start. They're capable of conveying everything from comedy (We're the Millers) to seething, chilling rage (this week's powerful drama Detroit). Will is a talented, mercurial actor capable of conveying the unpredictability we demand from the Joker. Plus, he almost played Pennywise in this September's IT adaptation. And on that note...
If the trailers for the new Stephen King adaptation are to be believed, then Bill has absolutely nailed the role of demonic clown Pennywise. Indeed, it's hard to spot the handsome young Swedish star beneath the make-up. And given that the Joker role is likely to involve more of the same, plus equally demented mannerisms, we think Bill would be perfect.
Now here's an actor who's built a reputation off the back of cranks and loony characters. Ben has terrified us in movies like Western remake 3:10 to Yuma and vampire horror 30 Days of Night. Yet he's also capable of playing very human oddballs as last year's Oscar nominated Hell or High Water demonstrated. If anyone can project the Joker's nuttiness whilst grounding him in reality, we're sure Ben can do it.
Again, it's in the eyebrows. Nick's can rival those of Will Poulter in terms of sheer versatility. Plus, with his out-of-control role as Nux in the relentless Mad Max: Fury Road, Nick has already proven that can open the taps on that wild, feral side. Fuse that with the sly charisma he should in Skins and we could potentially get a very effective new Joker.
Given this is an origin story, we're assuming the studio will want to cast young. If so, Tom might be verging on the slightly too old. But given he's already depicted delicious, cackling menace as Loki in the Marvel movies, there's no denying he's got the right experience for the job. Plus, he has no problems getting to grips with the muckier side of human nature, as High-Rise demonstrated. A win win situation?
In 2011 Ezra chilled the blood with his portrayal of an all-too-recognisable psycho in We Need to Talk About Kevin. As Tilda Swinton's murderous on-screen son the actor was genuinely alarming, so he clearly has the capacity to play a role as dark and tortured as the Joker. But given he's already playing The Flash in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with this November's Justice League, perhaps this is something of a pipe dream.
A sense of rage is key to any depiction of the Joker. This is something British star Jack has demonstrated many times, most notably as an incarcerated young felon in gritty prison drama Starred Up. He's also an intensely physical performer, as his role in acclaimed Troubles drama '71 demonstrates, so if the filmmakers are after someone with muscular presence, Jack would be a solid choice.
Although he's played his fair share of morally upstanding types, as the likes of Brooklyn and this September's Goodbye Christopher Robin indicate, Domhnall has also played some truly frightening individuals. Whether it's the raving General Hux in the Star Wars movies or his brief, bloodcurdling role opposite father Brendan in Calvary, we reckon he could tap into the requirements of the Joker role.
Who do you think should play the Joker in the new movie? Send us your choices @Cineworld.