I noticed something about Joseph Gordon-Levitt a year ago writing for a now defunct site (Austin Script Guy)…homeboy looks a lot like Heath Ledger.
Tell me he doesn’t? He’s his spitting effing image! For anybody who doubts his acting chops, just go watch 500 Days of Summer, Brick, The Lookout and Mysterious Skin. He’s picking up where Heath left off and becoming one of the “must watch” actors of his generation. Even his turn as Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra made that crapfest worth watching.
That being said, if Christopher Nolan, David Goyer and Co. wanted to bring back the Joker to face Batman again in Batman 3, I think they could do it with JGL. Would he have to fill some whopping effing shoes? You bet. But if there is one young actor who looks like Heath and has his potential, it’s JGL. Remember, we once all doubted Heath’s ability to pull off the Joker. Remember how that played out?
Personally, I would only recommend using JGL as Heath’s Joker briefly, maybe from a cell a la Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs. That way you could use lighting, or a lack thereof, to mask the actor’s differences. Maybe he gives Batman a few clues to track down the Riddler. Hey, the only thing the Joker hates worse than the Caped Crusader is no longer being the biggest game in town. He’d also likely feel like the Riddler was a two-bit rip-off, even though that’s not the case at all. It’s not like Batman couldn’t get into Arkham undetected either.
A lot of people are clamoring for Johnny Depp to take on the Joker after seeing him step in for Heath in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. That’s a bad idea. Why? He couldn’t sink into the role the way JGL could. Let’s face it, most of the moviegoing public still doesn’t know JGL, while most of the world knows Depp — he’s a household name. JGL working with Nolan in this summer’s Inception also makes this seem more feasible. Also, remember that Scarecrow made a cameo in The Dark Knight after serving as one of the main villains in Batman Begins. That certainly lent Gotham authenticity and continuity, so why go away from that strategy now?
I honestly believe that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the one actor who can pull off reprising Heath Ledger’s Joker. Gutsy statement, but there’s no doubt in my mind. The other thing is, and this is huge, I actually think most fans would approve of this casting choice. Heath was wildly popular, especially following his death, but JGL has a cult following himself. Christopher Nolan, please do us a favor and do what the Dark Knight himself did with the Joker at the end of Batman Begins — “look into it.
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