What happens when a man who just wants to watch the world burn meets a guy who can't wait to show you his toys?
The new Joker vs. Joker fan film from Ismahawk answers that question by imagining Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight squaring off against Jared Leto's Joker from Suicide Squad.
The Ismahawk team - and especially the actor who portrayed Ledger's Joker - recognized the responsibility it had to be respectful to the late actor's memory. Noel Schefflin, who plays Ledger's Joker, had to be convinced to step into the clown shoes. The team persisted, and Schefflin eventually agreed to audition, recording himself on his phone performing the scene from The Dark Knight in which the Joker videotaped himself tormenting a man he'd captured.
"He was really nervous and didn't want to do it. How can you do that role justice?" writer and co-director Hisonni Johnson tells Heat Vision. "I think his goal was to make people remember Heath and be a reminder for how much you enjoyed that role."
Johnson has been making fan films for years and has Superman and Green Lantern projects in the works for 2017. In a world when leaked test footage helped install Tim Miller in the Deadpool director's chair, Johnson sees these films as a calling card for the big leagues.
"My only hope is to have the fans look at it and go, 'Why isn't this guy working for Warner Bros.?' " says Johnson. "I love Man of Steel. I love Batman v. Superman. But critically, they are not performing how the studio needs, and if I can make a Superman fan film or a Joker fan film or anything that connects with the audience, you never know. Maybe Warner Bros. will look for that fresh breath."
The Joker video was made with the help of many, including Hal Rydberg of Pixel Arts Props, and featured costumes donated by CosplaySky and makeup from Chrissy Lynn Kyle. Jan Flugum played Leto's Joker, and Charlie Starling plays a mystery character revealed later in the video.
Check it out above.