This is a new one on me: fans demanding that their favorite character NOT appear in more movies. CNN has a report on a fan group that wants to see The Joker retired from any future film appearances. This originated at fan site The Ultimate Joker. The story makes me ask a few questions:
1) Just over 2,400 signatures, and you get a CNN write-up?
2) While I don’t believe that we’ll see The Joker again in the present run of Nolan-Bale films, does anyone really think that The Joker would ever be permanently off the table? We’ve already had three in movie theaters (counting Romero) and roughly half-a-dozen in animation.
3) Ledger was indeed great, but this is a really strange strain of fan devotion, the notion that no one (NO ONE) could ever play a character well but one person. Sure, we associate certain characters with one actor, but pop culture is loaded with characters that have had multiple successful interpretations. Consider James Bond (Connery, Moore, Brosnan, and Craig; Lazenby only got one chance, and Dalton was eh) or Dracula (Lugosi, Lee, Langella, Oldman) and so on. I’m sure that a lot of us had a hard time picturing Ledger after Jack, but he took it to a new place. Trying to prematurely deny any other actor a chance says something sadly negative about the flexible imagination of some fans.