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Joker must retire, insist Heath Ledger fans

'Any other performance will be below expectations'

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Fans of the late Heath Ledger have launched a net campaign aimed at ensuring that his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight remains the ultimate and definitive outing for the character.

That's according to website The Ultimate Joker, which is pressuring Hollywood to retire the Joker on the grounds that Ledger's interpretation of the villain "is the best an actor could ever do".

Site co-founder Fer Barbella elaborated to Wired: "Any other performance will be below expectations for sure, so we want to forever keep Ledger's Joker as the one."

Barbella assured, however, that his concern is merely with celluloid representations. He added: "Television and animation is off our radar. 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."

The Ultimate Joker's Ledger mission is backed by downloadable media (pdf) and a Flickr page inviting fans to show their public support. ®

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