Not Every Movie Villain Has to Be “Like the Joker”

The director of "Jurassic World Dominion" likened a dinosaur in the movie to the overused Batman villain, for some reason

Heath Ledger as The Joker in "The Dark Knight." "Jurassic World Dominion" director Colin Trevorrow says he wants his dinosaur villain to be "like the Joker."
Heath Ledger as the Joker in "The Dark Knight."
Warner Bros.

Ever since Heath Ledger delivered his iconic performance as the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight and posthumously earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, actors and directors alike have been champing at the bit to piggyback on his success with their own interpretations of the character. Jared Leto went Method for the role in the much-maligned Suicide Squad, while Joaquin Phoenix delved into his Taxi Driver-inspired origin story with Joker. Even this year’s The Batman, whose primary villain is the Riddler, couldn’t resist dropping in an extremely creepy Joker in one jail-cell scene.

Even when the Joker himself is absent, his influence is felt in projects like Cruella, the gritty, Joker-esque live-action origin story of the Disney villainess who wanted to kill 101 Dalmatian puppies and turn them into a coat. And now it seems as though the beloved murderous clown has inspired another big-screen antagonist: the dinosaur in the new Jurassic Park movie.

Jurassic World Dominion director Colin Trevorrow said in a recent interview with Empire that the big, bad dino terrorizing park patrons in his movie will be a Giganotosaurus — which was actually a real dinosaur, rather than a genetic hybrid like Jurassic World‘s Indominus or Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom‘s Indoraptor — and he mentioned that he had the Batman villain in mind when choosing the creature.

“I wanted something that felt like the Joker,” Trevorrow said. “It just wants to watch the world burn.”

This, of course, makes absolutely no sense. For one, the Giganotosaurus is a dinosaur, not a human man hell-bent on becoming an agent of chaos. A dinosaur, with its tiny, tiny brain, does not “want to watch the world burn.” It mostly wants to eat and sleep and mate. Even in the Jurassic World universe where it’s living among humans, it cannot grasp nuanced concepts like “society” and consciously rebel against them — because, again, it’s just a big, dumb ol’ dinosaur. It’s not going on a murder spree to send a message about our social order; it’s just trying to find its next meal.

Not every blockbuster villain has to be a reimagined Joker. In fact, we could do with far fewer menacing clowns. There’s never going to be any topping Ledger’s interpretation, which is rightfully heralded as the best superhero movie performance of all time, so why bother? The rest just come off as wholly unnecessary, cheap knockoffs, and they tend to inspire directors like Trevorrow to draw meaningless comparisons in an attempt to get people to see their movies.

Maybe instead Hollywood can finally cook up a unique idea?

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