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Patton Oswalt’s DARK KNIGHT Joker Theory Will Blow Your Mind

2018 may be the 10th anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also marks a decade since the premiere of what may still be the greatest superhero movie of all-time: The Dark Knight. The second film in Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy was one of the rare comic book films to earn almost universal critical acclaim while being a mega-blockbuster at the box office. Heath Ledger‘s performance as the Joker was applauded by everyone and it led to a posthumous Oscar win.

Even 10 years later, this film is still giving us a lot to talk about, including a new theory about The Dark Knight‘s Joker that may shed some light on his origin. Today’s Nerdist News is all about Patton Oswalt‘s mind-blowing take on who the Joker is and where he came from.

Join host and Gotham City’s latest vigilante, Jessica Chobot, as she walks us through Oswalt’s theory that the Joker was formerly a military intelligence officer with extensive interrogation experience. Several fans have previously guessed that this Joker was possibly a war veteran suffering from PTSD. Within the movie, the Joker demonstrated a tactical genius that left police and Batman baffled about his far-reaching plans. However, Oswalt points out that this Joker is also “very good at the kind of mind-f**kery that sustained, professional interrogation requires.”

He may be on to something, as Ledger’s Joker constantly modified his approach and even his personality depending upon who he was dealing with in the film. He sensed their weaknesses and used them to attack them and get his desired results. He knew just what to say to make a detective attack him while he was still in custody, or to push Harvey Dent over the edge to insanity. And he did it with a smile.

The Joker even directed Batman’s interrogation of him late in the film, and his suggestions were very specific. That makes Oswalt’s theory seem more likely, but it doesn’t explain why the Joker’s fingerprints don’t exist in any database. Even if the military was keeping the Joker’s identity off of the grid, there should have been some record of him somewhere.

This is far from the definitive word on The Dark Knight‘s Joker, and it’s unlikely that Nolan would be willing to expand on his origins beyond what we saw onscreen. The movie more than speaks for itself, but it’s ongoing legacy is that we’re probably still going to be talking about it decades from now.

What do you think about Oswalt’s Joker theory? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!

Images: Warner Bros. Pictures

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