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Willem Dafoe Addressed About Those Joker Fan-Castings In A Delightful Way

Willem Dafoe in Spider-Man
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Willem Dafoe is one of those actors who’s contributed to both the Marvel and DC film landscapes, having starred as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in two Spider-Man movies (plus a couple cameos) and Atlantean advisor Vulko in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Aquaman. For years though, many fans have wanted him to play The Joker, Batman’s arch-nemesis, in a movie. Now Dafoe has responded to these fan-castings in a delightful way using a special platform at 30 Rock in New York.

Hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend, with Katy Perry accompanying him as the musical guest. Willem Dafoe talked during his opening monologue about how expressive his face often gets when performing roles. This led to an amusing comment about how he’s often associated with DC Comics’ Clown Prince of Crime: 

I can’t help that I have an expressive face, I can’t control it. I don’t think about controlling it, I’m not one of those subtle actors like Nicolas Cage or Al Pacino. Maybe that’s why people come up to me and say, ‘You know what role you’d be perfect for? The Joker.’ Always nice to hear that you got the vibe of a sociopath.

One simply needs to look at Willem Dafoe’s maniacal grin from 2002’s Spider-Man to know he’d be a solid fit to bring The Joker to life. Whether that day ever comes, who’s to say, but it’s good to hear Dafoe has a sense of humor about so many people associating him with one of fiction’s most famous mass murderers. Actors who have brought The Joker in live action include Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix.

Speaking of Joaquin Phoenix, Willem Dafoe’s comments follows days after he expressed interested in appearing in Joker 2 with the man who brought Arthur Fleck to life in 2019. However, with Phoenix officially holding the Joker mantle in this corner of the DC movies multiverse, Dafoe is interested in playing a “Joker impostor” who would clash with the real deal. That would certainly be a unique story to tell, especially if this film series is still wanting to keep Batman out of the narrative equation.

Although Joker was originally envisioned as a standalone story, talk of making a sequel emerged soon after the movie was released to the public. Considering Joker went on to make over $1 billion worldwide and earned numerous accolades (including Joaquin Phoenix winning the Academy Award for Best Actor), it’s hardly surprising Warner Bros. is reportedly at least considering making Joker 2. That said, there haven’t been any major update on the project’s progress in a while, although it has been rumored it could start shooting in 2023.

Obviously if Willem Dafoe does get the opportunity to play either Joker or the Joker impostor role he suggested, we’ll let you know. For now, you can still catch him reprising Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and his upcoming movies include The Northman, Dead for a Dollar and Poor Things.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.