After ‘Dark Knight’: How about Robert Downey Jr as the Joker?

Feb. 08, 2012 | 5:06 p.m.


The end is near — when the credits roll on “The Dark Knight Rises” this July, it will mark the close of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the final adventure for Christian Bale as the caped crusader of Gotham City. Warner Bros. executives have made it clear they won’t leave the iconic property sitting on a shelf, however, and a new director and star tandem could be inhabiting Wayne Manor by 2014. But how on earth will any filmmaker follow the work of Nolan and company? Working together, Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher and graphic artist Sean Hartter came up with 15  imaginary Batman reboots — and, yes, they did it with tongue in cheek.

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Ang Lee: "Wayne Manor" (Sean Hartter / For Hero Complex)

Ang Lee’s “Wayne Manor”: The director of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” can certainly handle the fight sequences in super hero film but the real surprise with this project is that he brings his “Sense and Sensibility” side to it as well. In this tale, dark and dangerous secrets are kept in the ballrooms (and bedrooms) of Gotham’s elite society. An anachronistic film with a strong steam-punk vibe, “Wayne Manor” shows the dangerous liaisons of the black-tie (and the black cape) crowd. The cast: Eric Bana as Bruce Wayne, Alan Rickman as the Scarecrow, Brian Cox as Rupert Thorne, Josh Lucas as Harvey Dent, Jennifer Connelly as Vicki Vale and Michelle Williams as Selina Kyle.

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Catherine Hardwicke: "Batman: Moonlight" (Sean Hartter / For Hero Complex)

Catherine Hardwicke’s “Batman: Moonlight”: After the sensation of the “Twilight” saga, the dark romance moves in Gotham City as Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and director Catherine Hardwicke reunite to create the most romantic Batman ever. Star reporter Vicki Vale (Stewart) roams the shadows of a dangerous city looking the scoop of a lifetime  — the secret identity of the caped crusader called Batman. It turns out to be a story she can never write after she falls in love with Bruce Wayne (Pattinson), but she can she save him from the creatures of the night? Costarring Peter Facinelli as Ras Al Ghul, Taylor Lautner as Bane and Anna Kendrick as Catwoman.

3ritchie batman hartter final After Dark Knight: How about Robert Downey Jr as the Joker?

Guy Ritchie: "Gotham by Gaslight" (Sean Hartter / For Hero Complex)

“Gotham by Gaslight”: Director Guy Ritchie found his biggest commercial success when Warner Bros. trusted him to make a high-energy version of an  iconic detective. Now the studio hands him an even bigger job: replacing Christopher Nolan. Ritchie makes a bold choice to loosely adapt “Gotham by Gaslight,” the graphic novel that re-imagined Bruce Wayne as a Victorian age adventure hero. Ritchie brings along his “Sherlock Holmes” stars but this time they go head-to-head on screen with Jude Law as Batman and Robert Downey Jr. as the Joker, a.k.a. Jack the Ripper. Kate Beckinsale plays Selina Kyle while Brendan Gleeson is Oswald Cobblepot and Martin Freeman is James Gordon.

— Geoff Boucher and Sean Hartter


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Monday: Matthew Vaughn’s “Batman: Mad City”; Todd Phillips’ “Dude, Where’s My Batmobile?”; Wes Anderson’s “Alfred Pennyworth: The Life Nocturnal”

Tuesday: Rob Marshall’s “Gotham!”; Brad Bird’s “Mr. Freeze’s Icy Revenge”; Guillermo del Toro’s “Batman”

Thursday: Martin Scorsese’s “Batman: Caped Fear”; Hayao Miyazaki’s “Batmite”; Neill Blomkamp’s “Batman: Arkham City”

Friday: Tim Burton’s “The Dark Knight Returns”; Zack Snyder’s “World’s Finest”; Ridley Scott’s “Batman Beyond”

Monday, Feb. 13: Vote for your favorite — and submit your own Batfilm ideas.

— Geoff Boucher and Sean Hartter


14 Responses to After ‘Dark Knight’: How about Robert Downey Jr as the Joker?

  1. Pietro says:

    Very very cool. Nice work gents

  2. lucy says:

    I always thought that Jennifer Connelly should have been Catwoman. She would have been excellent!

  3. sheetal says:

    robert downey jr is perfect for it…he will look fantastic.

  4. Jay13 says:

    Johnny Depp Should play The Joker!

  5. Lynn says:

    Jude Law has the perfect Batman jawline.

  6. ron says:

    The Twilight one ruined it all…otherwise nice work.

  7. Jimmy says:

    Keep Robert Downey jr away from anything batman!!!!

  8. hartter says:

    Thanks Pietro!

  9. daniel says:

    As I was watching the Sherlock Holmes movie and seen mr. Downey with the smeared makeup, he honestly resembles the joker that mr. Ledger portrayed in the dark knight. Looking on mr. Downey’s many rolls with different characteristics I’m sure he can pull it off. He’s a very good actor.

  10. haris says:

    Robert Downy is perfect for this role …………

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