The legendary Rick Baker has designed a new bust of The Joker for DC Collectables. Baker is a legend in the field of special effects make-up and is responsible for some of the most memorable movie monsters of all time. He was behind the transformation sequence in An American Werewolf In London, which is still considered one of the best practical effects sequences ever filmed.
Baker has worked on projects like the Men In Black trilogy, Videodrome, Hellboy, and the original Star Wars. He also played the title role in the 1976 remake of King Kong, where issues with the mechanical effects forced him to play the role in a costume for much of the movie. Baker was also nominated 11 times for an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, winning 7 Academy Awards for films like An American Werewolf In London and The Nutty Professor.
While Baker has since retired from filmmaking, THR has revealed his collaboration with DC Collectables on a creepy new bust of The Joker. Only 200 of these busts will be made available this coming Halloween, and Baker was left completely alone while creating his unique take on the iconic villain:
“When DC Collectibles approached me about this project, I told them I was interested, but wanted complete control of the design. I figured they wouldn’t go for it, but to my surprise, they said ‘OK.’ I insisted that I would need a proper amount of time to create the bust and their answer was, ‘Take whatever time you need.’ I asked if I could choose the character and they said, ‘Fine.’ I told them I wanted to make a version of The Joker that’s never been done before,’ and they replied, ‘Sounds great.’ I then said, ‘You guys are just too difficult,’ and left. [Laughs]
It’s certainly a unique take on Mr J, and captures his nightmarish smile perfectly. Baker retired from the movie business in 2015, after years of CGI and accelerated schedules diminished the quality of his work. He had a particularly bad time on the 2010 remake of The Wolfman, where a lot of his work was replaced with subpar CGI in the final film.
DC’s cinematic universe seems to currently be in a state of flux after the financial disappointment of Justice League, and Ben Affleck’s non-committal stance on his future as Batman. Its unknown when - or if - Jared Leto will reprise his take on the Joker in a future movie, though given the amount of proposed Harley Quinn movies on the way – including Gotham City Sirens and Suicide Squad 2 – chances are good he’ll appear in at least a cameo role.
Meanwhile, the standalone, non-DCEU Joker movie by director Todd Philips is still active, and it appears Joaquin Phoenix is expected to play the character. Phoenix was previously offered Doctor Strange, but it appears the prospect of being attached to multiple sequels scared him off. The solo Joker movie is presumed to be a one-off and is rumored to be an origin story set in 1980s.