Joker's retirement?

Heath Ledger tragically passed away a little over a year ago, which is a tragedy in itself. But when you add in that his last performance was The Joker in The Dark Knight, well then you've got something of a mythos around his death. And his performance was not just any performance, rather, the definitive sociopathic incarnation of The Joker that is an eternal thorn in Batman's side. A thorn that some Ledger fans want removed. In an interview with Wired, Fer Barbella (team leader of site The Ultimate Joker) says he wants DC to retire the character of Joker from all future Batman movies. "We truly believe Ledger's performance as Joker is the best an actor could ever do," the site's team leader, Fer Barbella, told in an e-mail interview. "Any other performance will be below expectations for sure, so we want to forever keep Ledger's Joker as the one," "Television and animation is off our radar," he says. "And we like Jokers like Cesar Romero or Jack Nicholson, and even the voice of Mark Hamill. But we think this psycho in scarred whiteface is the best ever. No one can improve it. So please, Hollywood, use other enemies in the sequels to come." Umm...right. Look, I was as shocked as everyone else at Ledger's accidental overdose. And I also think that Warner Brothers should stay away from The Joker in the next film. But to ask that the character be retired from all future films? That's a little much. The Joker is Batman's most storied rival, and not that it would be impossible to do a movie without him, knowing he won't be coming back will destroy the illusion of Gotham City that DC is creating throughout their various mediums. I'm fairly certain that this won't really go anywhere, and that we'll see Joker at some point in the future of Batman films. This is a little extreme, and I don't think Ledger's friends and family would necessarily want part of his legacy to be the reason for removing one of the most villainous characters in history. Is he the definitive portrayal of The Joker? Yes. But we said the same thing after seeing Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill take their turns at the Clown Prince of Crime, and it seems to depend on what angle the actor is taking with the character. There's a petition over at the site if you're so inclined to sign. Fans seek Joker's retirement