Craft Tips and Techniques from Today’s Blockbusters
So, a great villain is human…
I love Batman. I don’t know why—maybe it’s the cool gadgets, but my fascination started with “Holy Toledo, Batman,” in the fifth grade as I watched Adam West run around in his blue pajamas. Even then, the villains scared me—the Penguin and Catwoman . . . but no one was worse than the Joker. And through the years, he’s only gotten scarier—first through Jack Nickolson’s portrayal in the 1989 version of Batman, and most recently the late Heath Ledger’s amazing performance.
But what makes the Joker so frightening, the quintessential villain? It’s not just his face, or his crazy antics, although they help. No, there is a formula to every epic villain and the Joker nails it.
First, however, let’s find out what makes a villain.
“Holy super-villain, Batman! Is that a list?”
1. A great villain is Human, a little bit like us. He wants what we want, or has been through what we’ve been through. For example, the sad (but untrue) story the Joker in The Dark Knight tells one of his victims about being abused by his father makes us, just for a second, feel for the sick, deranged Joker. Says our favorite caped crusader: “Criminals are complicated . . . we just need to find out what they’re after.”