New Joker Film Has Another Fitting Inspiration That Brings The Character Full Circle

Joker the character has had a storied history at DC. There have been countless interpretations of the character with as many versions one can imagine. However, through it all, there have been some consistencies, largely in terms of the light skin and green hair aesthetic. With that in mind, it’s interesting just how long-lasting that original design has been.

One of the oft-cited inspirations of the character, however, is not just a random, generic idea of a clown, but the classic silent film, The Man Who Laughs. Quite fittingly, during a press conference for Joker at the Venice Film Festival, director Todd Phillips revealed that the silent film was also an inspiration for him and co-writer Scott Silver in their writing of the script.

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“We were able to pick and choose some elements of the past comic books…so there’s a little bit of The Killing Joke with the idea of a failed stand-up comedian. But another big influence, and the thing that inspired the original creators of Joker, is the silent film The Man Who Laughs, which is really where this started. It’s funny because co-writer Scott Silver sent me our first emails back and forth, and I was reading them, it was all about The Man Who Laughs, and I almost forgot that in the process of that being such a big inspiration to us.”

Sadly, Phillips did not dive into the reason why The Man Who Laughs was such a big inspiration. The 1928 German Expressionist film largely had little in common apart from the look of the lead character, so I can’t help but wonder what other aspects there are they pulled from, or if it was just the overall feel.

What do you think? Based on the original film and what you’ve seen of the Joker, do you see any comparisons? let us know your thoughts down below!

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