Should Heath Ledger Be The Last Joker On Film?

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Alex Mooney reminisces about the night she watched her favorite Joker, Heath Ledger, win the Oscar for best supporting actor. “I was bawling my eyes out along with everyone else in the Kodak Theatre and I could not stop for twenty minutes, ” said Mooney.  “Heath Ledger is not only one of my favorite actors, but his portrayal in The Dark Knight was phenomenal.”

Mooney shares the same reaction and opinion about Ledger as a number of other Bloomsburg University students. Many watched teary-eyed as Ledger’s parents and sister went on stage at the Academy Awards to receive his Oscar. It was extremely emotional and reflected the respect Ledger’s former colleagues felt about him and his work. Ledger may no longer be alive, but he lives on through his films and unforgettable role as the Joker.

Ledger died over a year ago of an accidental drug overdose, but he has stirred up the movie industry and people all around the world with his eerie and disturbing impersonation of the Joker. He received recognition for the role when he won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for best supporting actor. Ledger touched thousands of people worldwide with his role and the Web site www.theultimatejoker.com emphasizes how much people appreciate and believe the Joker will never again be portrayed as well.

The Web site first appeared on February 3, with the intentions of receiving 50,000 signatures of people who believe the Joker character should never be in another Batman movie. The signatures are supposed to convince Warner Bros. to withdraw the Joker from all future productions because they believe no one will ever be able to surpass Ledger’s performance or even come close. The site features different articles ranging from his Oscar win to quotes from magazines and other Web sites about Ledger. In addition, they list dozens of other alternative villains who can be used in future movies. Anyone can post an opinion about the articles and many are in a number of languages. The site had 31,409 signatures as of March 11, and organizers continue to be optimistic about reaching their goal of 50,000.

A number of Bloomsburg University have signed the petition and agree with the Web site. “I signed the petition because I absolutely love Heath Ledger and I do not think any actor can portray the Joker as well as him,” said Jess Campbell.

Another student, Roy Smith, agrees with Campbell adding, “Ledger was the best Joker I have ever seen in a Batman movie.” Although many students agree with the Web site, some oppose to it. “I would never sign the petition because I find the Joker amusing and I want the character to be in future Batman movies,” said Katie O’Donnell. “I would not watch future Batman movies if the Joker was not in them,” Vince Breese concurs with O’Donnell.

Mooney, Campbell, and Smith are only a few of many Bloomsburg students who have signed the petition in support of Ledger and his accomplishments. The Web site has brought mixed feelings from students across Bloomsburg’s campus and broadcasts the fan base Ledger encompasses.

To add your name to the petition, you can visit the Web site at www.theultimatejoker.com and click on “sign up” in the right corner at the top of the page. Then you must type in your name and your e-mail address. An e-mail will then be sent to you and once it’s received you confirm your signature. Your name will then be added to the petition and the Web site will be another supporter closer to the goal.

The Web site and all the buzz that came along with it allow Ledger fans to speak out about how much they love and miss him. It seems even years after his death he will still be in the minds of loyal fans, and his legacy will live on through his role as the Joker. Perhaps Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan said it best when he received the Golden Globe for best supporting actor on Ledger’s behalf: “He will be eternally missed, but he will never be forgotten.”

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