That said, I am now going to contradict most of the objections of people who feel this way.
"The Joker doesn't/shouldn't/never has had an origin!"
Yes. I feel that way, too. We are, however, completely wrong. The Joker has had an origin since 1951.
|There it is, although I can't imagine anyone reading this blog hasn't seen that already.|
Granted, it's an odd and unsatisfying origin introduced in a terrible way, as a throwaway surprise ending to story that's actually about some collegiate criminology students and how the Joker got pwned by a learning-impaired gardener. But that's how it was. No, they, didn't give him a name; but it was still a very clear story about who he was before he became the Joker and how it happened.
The Joker has been around for 77 years and for 66 of them, he's had a known origin story. That's 85% of his literary existence, people. I don't like it EITHER, but it's a fact, so stop kidding yourself and deal with it.
In fact, creators can't stop talking about the Joker's origin. The Joker's origin story has been retold more than the average hero's has. And sometimes he even gets a name (usually "Jack" because god forbid a villains real name not bear some relationship to their eventual new identity); the ridiculous 1989 film actually named him "Jack Napier", as in "jackanapes", as in "holy crap they think the Joker is like Roy G. Bivolo."
"The director/actor won't do the Joker justice." Oh, you're right not like...um... oh that's right. None ever have. The travesty of fat, old, crude Jack Nicholson in the 1989 film, playing not the Joker, but himself in clown makeup (and unable to even produce a passable Joker-style laugh). Mark Hamill's version who, despite all our fond memories and his very impressively varied voice work on the character, was played mostly as comic relief that simply happened to be dangerous. Jared Leto end of sentence. 60 year old Latin lover Caesar Romero, whose fun-loving interpretation created the mold for all followers, but who performed in the less than serious context of Batman'66. Ted Knights marble-gargling version in the '60s cartoon? Jeff Bennett's chortling clown from Batman: Brave & the Bold? Loopy barefoot Kevin Michael Richardson? Nails-on-chalkboard-voiced Lennie Weinrib from the New Adventures of Batman? Generic Zack Galfianakis from LEGO Batman? Ric Maddox?! PICK ONE. And don't get me started on Heath Ledger who simply stitched together a disjointed pastiche of Nicholson and Hammil and got wildly disproportionate praise for simply being better than a Hollywood pretty boy had been expected to do. [Mind you, I am not blaming necessarily the actors here (certainly not Romero, who was fabulous) but rather the director/actor combination: nobody 'does the Joker justice'.]
"Such a film isn't necessary!" No films are necessary. Film-making is a business. They are made not out of some artistic necessity but for possible commercial success. You went to see "Suicide Squad" because it had the Joker and Harley Quinn in it. Face it, they've got your number because they know that at worst you'll hate-watch the movie anyway. The math tells them they will make plenty on money on this film AND THEY ARE RIGHT. And that's why you are terrified they will make it.
You wanted a film Joker who will terrify you? Looks like Hollywood has figured out how to do that...