Fight To The Death: Joaquin Phoenix’ Joker Vs. Heath Ledger’s Joker

by | Jan 14, 2020

Fight to The Death is an ongoing feature where staffers and readers get to vote and explain why one film is better than the other OR whether one fictional character would be able to kill another. This month’s featured rumble is Joaquin Phoenix’ Joker versus the late Heath Ledger’s Joker. Voting closes February 14th! Update – Winner chosen!

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Joaquin versus Heath –  Which performance is superior?!?! Who is the better JOKER?!?!?! You decide by clicking the above links and letting us know why in the comments:

The Reader Voting Results:

Joaquin 18%

Heath 82%


The Academy Award victory and recent success of Joaquin Phoenix’s bigscreen stunner was just not enough to stop the hordes of dedicated and dare I say rabid Heath Ledger supporters. There’s something beautiful about the whirlwind Ledger Joker that didn’t need a real backstory to engage fans or tell his story in The Dark Knight. Whereas Phoenix’s performance was embedded in character study and truly is an origin story from beginning to end, Ledger’s was a villain introducing chaos into Batman’s already established Gotham City. There was a rivalry there that brought out the very best in both characters and performers – it for me was the first time I truly was witnessing a genuine masterpiece in comic book cinema – still the best to this day forever and always. So although I absolutely loved Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the world’s most famous supervillain, I can’t argue with the people in their overwhelming response.

joker dark knight

If it were down to a genuine FIGHT TO THE DEATH between these two? Of course Ledger’s Joker also takes it. He’s a more seasoned villain in The Dark Knight, clearly he’s done some crazy shit before and would be more than prepared for Joaquin’s dancing lunatic. Alfred scares off Joker Joaquin and Thomas Wayne even smacks the shit out of the guy. He’s a punching bag for much of that film and it’s only by the end where we see a teaser of a madman who winds up becoming very adverse in the arts of creating DEATH.

Winner: Heath Ledger!