Legendary makeup artist and monster-designer Rick Baker has been tapped by DC Collectibles (a division of DC Entertainment) to craft a truly horrific bust of The Joker. The new statue, the first in the new DC Gallery collection, was first announced back in February and was revealed as one of the exclusive prizes reserved for a drawing among early subscribers to the DC Universe streaming service.
Even those who do not recognize the name of Rick Baker have almost certainly seen something of his work. Baker's career as a make-up artist has spanned over four decades and includes both high-grossing blockbusters and some of the most acclaimed horror movies in history. Baker first achieved international notice by winning the first ever Academy Award For Best Makeup in 1981 for his work on An American Werewolf In London. Since then, Baker has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Makeup on six additional occasions and worked on such films as the Men In Black trilogy, Hellboy and Tropic Thunder.
DC Collectibles has released an exclusive video to Screen Rant, which can be viewed below, showing Baker at work. The time-lapse video captures Baker as he works on sculpting the bust, first tweaking the clay with his bare hands to craft a more angular face with a pointed chin. Baker then adds the details of The Joker's frightening visage with fine tools.
Baker's skill is apparent in the video, as is his passion for his work. The design of The Joker was obviously a labor of love for Baker, who has created some of the most memorable screen villains of all time. Indeed, Baker said that he "jumped at the chance to do something with The Joker" that had never been done before in a physical medium.
“The Joker is one of the most notorious Super-Villains of all time, and I had a blast depicting his twisted and demented personality through this bust. The DC Collectibles team was great to work with and gave me complete creative freedom to bring my version of the character to life.”
The fully painted Joker bust is a frightening thing indeed. With all due respect to Pennywise, there is a reason why The Joker has been the quintessential scary clown for the better part of a century and Baker's bust perfectly captures the glorious madness of The Clown Prince of Crime. This is no smiling Cesar Romero content to make Batman slip on a banana peel and laugh at the proud Dark Knight being humbled. To gaze into the orange, jaundiced eyes of this Joker is to stare into the face of madness incarnate... or perhaps into the fires of Hell itself!
The Joker bust is being released in two versions, which are pictured below. The Standard Edition features The Joker wearing an orange shirt with a light purple vest. Only 150 copies of this bust have been produced and it sells for an even $1000.
The Ultimate Edition features The Joker wearing an orange vest with a dark purple shirt. Only 50 copies of this bust have been produced and each one was forged from Rick Baker's original molds, only one step removed from the original bust. It retails for $1500 and comes with a certificate of authenticity hand-signed by Rick Baker himself.
Both versions of Rick Baker's bust of The Joker will be available for purchase on October 31. It seems fitting that such a scary statue should be ushered into the world on Halloween. Doubtlessly it will make for an interesting conversation piece at many a costume party, though it may be a good idea to keep the lights on around it. Just in case.