It’s safe to say that Jack Nicholson won’t be the first in line to see Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight next June when it is released. In fact, if I were a betting man I would say that Jack isn’t going to catch the flick at all. How do I know this? Because that’s what Jack told Josh Horowitz at MTV in an interview this week. When asked about Heath Ledger’s upcoming portrayal of the character that he played so wonderfully almost 20 years ago, Nicholson said that he was “Furious”. Here is a little snippet from the conversation:
What do you think of another actor, Heath Ledger, playing the Joker in next summer’s “The Dark Knight”?
Nicholson: Let me be the way I’m not in interviews. I’m furious. I’m furious. [He laughs.] They never asked me about a sequel with the Joker. I know how to do that! Nobody ever asked me.
MTV: It was never brought up?
Nicholson: No. It’s like, in any area, you can’t believe the reasons things do or don’t happen. Not asking me how to do the sequel is that kind of thing. Maybe it’s not a mistake. Maybe it was the right thing, but to be candid, I’m furious.
MTV: I’m surprised to hear you sounding competitive about a role like that.
Nicholson: Well, the Joker comes from my childhood. That’s how I got involved with it in the first place. It’s a part I always thought I should play.
It remains to be seen as to whether Ledger’s Joker will be as well-received or as iconic as the one that Nicholson gave us in Tim Burton’s original Batman, but it is disappointing to see that Ledger never even talked to Jack about it. One would assume that a conversation about The Joker with the original Joker would be standard research for an actor taking on such a huge role. But then again, maybe Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger wanted it this way, starting with a clean slate and reinventing the character completely. It makes sense, seeing as Nolan and Co. have done everything possible to redefine everything about this Batman series. And who are we to argue — at least we won’t be seeing any nipples on the Bat suit.
What do you think? Should Jack’s Joker have had an influence on this new Joker? Or would you have started over completely, too?