Actors who were almost cast as The Joker

the joker

We’ve seen the various jokers that have been on the screen, from Cesar Romero to Heath Ledger and now Jared Leto.  We’ve seen some memorable performances.  While many may say that the Joker from the Dark Knight is definitive on screen joker, sometimes it is fun to take a look at a few might have been.  I’ve dug up a few actors that nearly faced the dark knight as that oh so iconic villain.  A few of these I’m kinda bummed that we didn’t get, others just left me scratching my head wondering what they were thinking.

So think back to Tim Burton’s Batman.  We saw Jack Nicholson bring the clown prince of crime to life.  But can you think how that movie would have been if they had gone with William Dafoe? William Dafoe as the joker
Go ahead…think of that line (“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight”)
in Dafoe’s voice.  There was also the thought of putting David Bowie in the role.  Now that would have been a bit odd. Robin Williams was also considered for the role, and as a repeat was considered again for the Dark Knight’s Joker.

And while we are looking at some actors that don’t seem to fit the role of The Joker but were considered, we have to mention John Lithgow.  It seems that he ended up turning down the role since he didn’t think it was a good fit for him. John Lithgow as the jokerIt would seem that Ray Liotta turned down the role when Tim Burton approached him.  Later Liotta has made some comments that lead me to believe he regrets giving up that role.

But if we take a step away from people that turned the role down, how about one that actively campaigned for the role?  Frank Sinatra as the jokerFrank Sinatra wanted very much to take up the role in the 1960’s show and appear opposite Adam West.
The only problem was that Cesar Romero was already under contract for the position.  But as a nod to Old Blue Eyes “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” shows up in the Arkham Knight Game.

And if we think back to when they were casting for the Dark Knight plenty of people believed that Paul Bettany was the top choice for The Joker.  May fans were just waiting for them to make the announcement.  Most of them were rather disappointed when Heath Ledger was announced as the movie’s Joker.  Though I doubt many would admit to that feeling now.

heat ledger joker

So do you have any favorites here?  No one will ever know how these casting choices would have changed the way each of their respective movies or shows would have come out.  It is a fun thought exercise to consider and it is a great place to start a friendly debate. Who knows, we might have gotten a performance even more memorable than Heath Ledger’s.  But at the same point, some of them might have taken a movie we know as great now and make it more forgettable.

You may also like:

The Worst Superhero Casting Decisions

Trailers and Spoilers for DC Superhero Series

Batman’s Motorcycle is for Sale