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Yep... That’s The Joker!

Look, I’ve been getting e-mail about this all day long, since very early in the morning. We were sent the photos that are now available on Superhero Hype right around the same time they appeared in the forum over there, where they were up for several hours before the site moved them to the front page. For the past two years, I’ve gotten about 10 e-mails a day from people saying, “OMG, I found a picture of Heath Ledger as The Joker!”, and inevitably, when I would open the e-mail, it would be the same fucking photoshop job of Conrad Viedt from THE MAN WHO LAUGHED with a blue filter and some Joker makeup. I’ve learned to hate that photoshop image, and I know people meant well when they sent it, but what made me mental was the common sense of it all. Until now, Ledger hasn’t been in the make-up at all, and he hasn’t been in any sort of public place where he could be photographed. And Warner Bros. certainly wasn’t going to release a poster for the film two years before they even started filming it. So when that e-mail came in this morning, I almost didn’t open it. When I did, I realized immediately that these were new photos, obviously taken on location. I checked with Warner immediately, and they confirmed that Heath was indeed already on location and shooting. So why didn’t they go up immediately? Well, frankly, I want to show you guys something better. Obviously, it’s exciting that someone got these snaps, and I think the photographer was in the right place at the right time, and was obviously thinking clearly. But they’re frustrating photos all the same because of the lack of definition in the image. It’s sort of a mixed bag. We’ve run lots of photos like this... spy snaps... blurry images... and I’ve always been sort of conflicted about it. With something like the first image of the Joker, it really drives home the problem for me. This is one of the great iconic characters in comic book history, and there’s obviously HUGE interest in how Nolan’s going to interpret the character. This image tells us that there is green hair, but little else. I’d rather wait a few weeks and see what Warner is going to come up with as an official image, because I want some sense of context and lighting. I want to see the Joker the way he’s going to look in the movie. Don’t take this as sour grapes, either. Far from it. I think the guy who took these pictures did as good a job as anyone could have under the conditions. And I’m sure there are going to be lots more photos and even video popping up while Nolan’s team is shooting in Chicago. It’s inevitable. If you want to see the pictures and talkback about them, I totally understand. And I’m not bagging you at all. It’s just exciting to know that the film is finally underway and that the Joker’s going to cut a somewhat classical figure in the film. But I still don’t feel like I’ve seen him, and if anything, this only makes me want a crystal-clear image soon.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

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