I think we can all agree that The Joker is one of the greatest villains in the history of fiction, and that he's welcome on TV as often as possible. Beyond Gotham's current "Is he?/Isn't he?" debate, the Clown Prince of Crime is next set to show up on DC Universe's upcoming Harley Quinn series, with Alan Tudyk providing the villain's voicework opposite Kaley Cuoco. The esteemed actor has revealed his animated Joker will get to drop some F-bombs on the new show. In his words:
[My Joker is] different in the way that he can cuss. I think that's probably referring to be able to say, 'Ah, fuck off.' Having that in your ability and your Joker is fun. It's a very funny cartoon...animated series...so I think the style of it lends itself to allowing more flexibility.
Just about every mass-marketed Batman project that has been released outside of the comic books has been marketed to consumers of all ages, especially the live-action and animated movies and series. Sure, Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson's Jokers were scary as bawls at times, but PG-13 doesn't hinder sheer menace in the way that it hinders certain four-letter words from being used ad nauseam.
Not that telling someone to fuck off is the epitome of criminal mastery, but it'll be kind of fun and refreshing to see this iconic villain dishing out dialogue that is more suitable for real-world lowlifes. If fans freaked out over hearing Titans' Dick Grayson say, "Fuck Batman," then some might want to plug their ears before The Joker starts flapping his painted jaws. He might have a few unique additions to throw in there.
For all the fans of Batman: The Animated Series out there, how bizarrely wonderful would it have been for Mark Hamill's Joker to tell Kevin Conroy's Batman to take a flying fuck at the moon? Granted, Hamill has voiced The Joker in animated projects that skewed more mature than B:TAS, but it's all about the context.
Speaking of Mark Hamill, Alan Tudyk told ComicBook.com that he distinctly kept himself distanced from the longtime Joker voice actor's various performances. In his words:
So, knowing I can't be Mark Hamill, I haven't listened to Mark Hamill. I have heard him, but I didn't watch it so I couldn't recreate it.
That's usually a smart move, and one that actors tend to employ often when it comes to portraying internationally renowned characters like this. Most people probably wouldn't be able to dream of recreating Mark Hamill's Joker, but Alan Tudyk definitely has the talent to pull it off if that's what he wanted to go for. Wisely, though, he chose to bring only his own spin to the role.
In fact, Tudyk got an amusing warning of sorts from fellow Harley Quinn actor and Veep vet Tony Hale, who played the Joker in the English version of the animated feature Batman Ninja. As Hale put it, fans weren't the nicest to him, telling him that he sucked because he wasn't Mark Hamill. (Some might just say Hale's performance was meh in general, but it's arguable.)
We still have a while to go before Harley Quinn arrives on DC Universe, but we'll hopefully get to see and hear from Alan Tudyk's foul-mouthed Joker via full-length trailer soon. The animated series is supposed to hit the streaming service in the fall of 2019.