Written by Patti Pauley
Not once, but twice Tim Curry was denied the chance to etch his legendary name into DC history as Batman’s arch-nemesis and fan-favorite villain, the Joker. What a missed opportunity this was.
Tell me this man wouldn’t make a fantastic Joker?
Not that I personally have a damn thing against Jack Nicolson’s Joker in the 1989 Tim Burton spectacle. The man played the Joker brilliantly and stands as my all time favorite portrayal of the nightmare clown who aspires to take down Gotham and the Bat alongside it. It goes without saying however, I can’t help but wonder what could have been if the Curry who has made roles he’s taken on such as Frankenfurter, Pennywise, and Darkness LEGENDARY. So much so, it’s hard for die-hard fans, as they proclaim relentlessly, to picture anyone else surpassing his iconic take on multiple characters he’s represented throughout his illustrious career as a thespian. In the same breath though, it’s also not easy to see anyone else taking on the Joker Burton envisioned for his film because as stated, Nicholson brought out some of best for that role. All that being said, I do believe Curry been given the opportunity, would have made a very effective foe for Michael Keaton.
Tim Curry was one of the first choices to play the villain in the ’89 epic, but as fate would have it, Nicholson won over Burton and the role went to the latter. Later, Tim Curry was cast as the voice for the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series from the ’90s, but was ultimately replaced by Mark Hamill after studios deemed his voice to be too frightening for a show aimed at children. While it’s been said that Curry recorded his voice for the Joker in the early episodes, they have since been re-dubbed with Hamill’s voice, and personally speaking, I’ve never heard nor seen his voice-acting on the series as the original cuts have never been made public. So let’s just pretend for a moment shall we what Curry’s Joker would have at least sounded like with this YouTube upload from The Definitive Batman Resource.
Other names considered for the Jack Napier/ Joker role were David Bowie, Robin Williams, John Lithgow, and William Dafoe. Any one of these fantastic names could have spun an excellent take on the DC favorite. What are your thoughts? Could Curry have pulled off an epic Joker?