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Fans are comparing Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker to Heath Ledger’s

Warner Bros. Pictures on Wednesday dropped the first teaser trailer of its highly anticipated film Joker. The film has been directed by Todd Phillips of the Hangover fame and stars the critically acclaimed actor, Joaquin Phoenix.

The film will trace the origins of Joker, Batman/Bruce Wayne arch nemesis and one of the most famous comic book characters of all time.

Reactions to the trailer were tremendous with fans comparing Phoenix’s portrayal to that of the late Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight (2008). Ledger was awarded a posthumous Oscar for his gritty and dark performance. Most die-hard Batman fans were so impressed by Ledger’s enactment that at the time there was serious talk about retiring the role from film; forever!

As Joker is one of WB’s most bankable franchise there was little chance for that outcome, fast forward eight short years and Oscar winner Jared Leto was selected to play Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Leto, perhaps too well aware of the big shoes he had to fill, took a weird direction with the role that failed to impress both critics and fans.

However, it seems the fans have finally found a worthy successor to Ledger’s iconic performance. Twitter was ablaze with fans comparing the two performances, there was even talk of an Oscar. Premature, but understandable given how beloved the character has been over the decades. In the past the role has been played by the likes of Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill.

Hamill was the favorite until Ledger took his spot. Now it seems we have a new contender in Phoenix. Joker is slated to be released in movie theaters in October.

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