Between performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill, DC fans have had luck with some incredible iterations of The Joker thus far. But it's always fun to play around with the idea of what could have been. There are a lot of incredible talents out there who bring something new to the Clown Prince of Crime. One favorite is Spider-Man’s Green Goblin, Willem Dafoe.
One artist imagined the actor as the terrifying villain here:
Welp, that’s perfect. Anarchy Graphics convinced us of Willem Dafoe being a great choice for Batman’s greatest adversary with a single image. The fan account edited Dafoe with such precision that we can imagine there’s a movie with the actor out there right now for us to look forward to. He seriously looks like the comic book character. He has the kind of stature that reminds me of Joker in the Arkham games too. Plus, the guy has “foe” in his name already.
The actor was actually in the running for Joker back when Tim Burton was casting the role for his 1989 film starring Michael Keaton. Willem Dafoe has previously said he had conversations with Batman’s screenwriter Sam Hamm about the role. Hamm told him he would be “physically” “perfect” for the role, but it was never offered to him. Instead Jack Nicholson became the first Joker to lead a feature film (Cesar Romero's Joker from the 1960s Batman TV series was part of a villainous ensemble in the 1966 Batman movie).
Willem Dafoe did get to play a great villain in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man of course, which perhaps was ambitiously comic book-y, but iconic nonetheless. The actor has even moved over to DC to play Vulko in James Wan’s Aquaman. So he’s kind of already run the gambit. Plus, if Arthur Curry ever came face-to-face with Willem Dafoe’s version of Joker, he might be a little confused as to why he looks so much like his friendly mentor.
Hollywood has a number of Joker’s to work with right now. Joaquin Phoenix just won an Oscar for his role in Todd Phillips’ gritty dramatic take on the character, sans Batman antics.
Jared Leto’s version is either in limbo or never coming back since he broke up with Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey. Wouldn’t it be cool if Willem Dafoe was the Joker to Robert Pattinson’s Batman though? The pair’s chaotic chemistry really shined brightly in Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, where the two played lightkeepers stuck together on an island. Watch them play off each other in all The Lighthouse’s glory here:
It would be great, wouldn’t it? The Batman doesn’t feature The Joker, but maybe in a future sequel it will. We could see more of Willem Dafoe in a DC property for Zack Snyder’s Justice League coming out next year. The filmmaker has shared the existence of a deleted scene featuring Vulko with fans before. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more DC news.