Joker was popular in comics for being a chaotic nemesis of Batman. He was unique, interesting, and different from other villains. Perhaps what distinguishes the Joker as a villain, what makes him one of the most iconic and popular characters of all time, is that, unlike many comic book characters, he always appears to be having fun. This is important to his appeal because it connects him inextricably to his audience. But do you know who was originally supposed to play The Joker in the 1989 Batman Film?
Robin Williams was offered and accepted the role of The Joker in the 1989 film “Batman.” Warner Brothers had only offered the role to him to entice their first choice, Jack Nicholson, who eventually signed on. Williams was enraged and demanded that the film studio apologize.
Robin Williams as the Joker?
Robin Williams never had the opportunity to star in a superhero blockbuster. That wasn’t for lack of trying, as Williams was an avid comic book reader, particularly of Batman. Unfortunately, the stars never seemed to align for such a role, even though Williams has also flexed great dramatic acting muscles on multiple occasions despite his reputation for comedy.
Williams almost played two iconic Gotham City villains and faced off against Batman on the big screen. That would have been a dream come true for the legendary actor, but here’s why he didn’t play either part.
Even before Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film got going, Warner Bros. had a clear top choice for the role of The Joker: Jack Nicholson. However, Nicholson was uninterested in the project and declined it. Meanwhile, Robin Williams actively campaigned for the part of the Joker and was eventually cast. The problem is that Warner Brothers offered to entice Nicholson into signing on, and when Nicholson was told Williams would take the role if he didn’t, he relented and accepted the role. (Source: Screen Rant)
Why Robin Williams Turned Down The Role for The Riddler?
Williams was understandably enraged by Warner Brothers’ deception and demanded an apology before agreeing to work with them again. When it came time to film Batman Forever, Williams was approached about playing The Riddler.
At that point, reports differ on what occurred. Some say Williams turned them down because he was still upset about his Joker treatment. Still, statements made by Williams during a later interview with Empire Magazine make it pretty clear that he felt robbed of the Riddler role and that it was taken away from him and given to Jim Carrey, who other accounts say was director Joel Schumacher’s personal top choice. It’s a shame that a creative genius like Williams was never given a chance to play a comic book supervillain because it wouldn’t have been amazing.
The late, great Robin Williams was approached about playing both the Joker and the Riddler, but circumstances prevented him from doing so. As everyone knows, Williams died in 2014, leaving behind a life and legacy full of happiness and joy for almost everyone who knew him. It was rare for any of his Hollywood colleagues to say anything negative about him. Williams had mental health issues, but that didn’t stop him from entertaining millions for decades. (Source: Screen Rant)
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