Oh those crazy Dark Knight fans… they’re always up to something. If they’re not busy petitioning for Oscar nominations, they’re trying to get Heath Ledger immortalized as the final version of The Joker ever to grace the screen. Seriously. A group of hardcore Ledger supporters have formed a website called The Ultimate Joker, which is trying to gather signatures to convince Warner Brothers to withdraw The Joker character from any and all future productions. They think no one will ever surpass his performance, and consequently, no one should even try.
“We are Batman fans from the comics and from the movies. After we saw The Dark Knight, we thought this Joker was really the best. It deserves to be withdrawn from any Batman sequels… When Michael Jordan retired, they withdrew the number 23 jersey as an honor. It’s the same thing with Heath.”
I really doubt anyone would even want to step into Ledger’s shoes in the immediate future, but there have been rumours that The Joker might crop up in a sequel to The Dark Knight, or also in David Goyer’s Super Max, a movie about a prison break from a facility that holds DC’s most famous supervillains. Either way, I don’t see this as a good enough reason to permanently retire The Joker. How would someone else playing the character take away from Ledger’s performance? It wouldn’t. And why close to the door to the possibility, no matter how remote, that someone could actually do a better job? Movies aren’t like sports. Ultimately there are no finite winners and losers, just a lot of people’s opinions on them.