No green hair, no ruby lips, no chalk-white face paint – could this be the Joker? It is indeed, and that’s how he will be portrayed in the latest movie by director, Todd Phillips – a movie that is still untitled, but will be about one of the most famous villains of all time. Joaquin Phoenix will play the title role, but the other characters will not be the same ones that you’re used to – those that were portrayed by legends like Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto. Why? Because the new Joker movie will be set in Gotham City in 1980. Rumour has it that Robert De Niro will also star in the movie, playing a talk-show host who starts driving Joaquin’s character to go mad – so this movie is really telling the story of how the Joker actually became the Joker.
Are we excited? It’s another comic-book “hero” coming to life on the big screen, but it also depends on whether you’re a DC or a Marvel fan. Personally, I don’t care (I can feel some eye-rolling happening), but I have since found out that the main difference between the two “universes” is that DC explores the darker side of the characters, while Marvel shows the more fun and humorous sides. As they say, the proof is in the pudding, so I’ve taken a look at some of the differences in movies from DC and Marvel.
The DC Universe
The Dark Knight (2008)
The second movie, The Dark Knight, is probably one of the most popular DC movies ever made, especially since Heath Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for his role as the Joker. Unfortunately the role was so dark that many believe that his intense preparation for the role ultimately led to his death by drug overdose.
Man of Steel (2013)
This movie was a reboot of the original Superman series, telling the story of Clark Kent and how he learns that he is from the planet Krypton, and has superpowers. Man of Steel received mixed reviews, with most critics saying that it didn’t cover any new storylines, and that it lacked a sense of lightness.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Even though this movie was a box office hit, it received a lot of negative reviews. What DC tried to do here, was to make the movie more “fun” and light-hearted, to try and keep up with the Marvel movies – unfortunately, they failed in doing so.
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Iron Man (2008)
This movie received positive responses from critics and audiences alike. A blend of action and comedy made this one of the best-reviewed films of 2008 and spawned two sequels, all with Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role.
Not your typical super-hero movie and not your typical choice for a lead actor in an “action” movie, but Paul Rudd managed to pull it off and the movie received generally favourable reviews.
Black Panther (2018)
Marvel seems to get it right every time, no matter which world we live in. Making a movie with an all-black main cast was a step in the right direction, as Black Panther grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide and became one of the top movies of 2018. Mixed with comedy, action and all the super-hero stunts you can expect, even I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
So the question is whether it makes a difference if you’re a DC or Marvel fan? It seems it does matter after all, as I realise that I prefer the lighter side of life and therefore will side with Marvel. But that doesn’t stop me from watching DC movies, and it shouldn’t stop you either – or vice versa. So about the question I asked earlier of whether we’re excited for the new Joker movie? Of course – it may be a bit on the dark side, but it stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role and it’s a super-hero movie – what’s not to like?