Brad Dourif Was Never Approached To Play Scarecrow In Batman Forever
If you’re familiar with what went on behind the scenes in the time separating Batman Returns and Batman Forever back in the 1990’s, then you’re no doubt aware of how Tim Burton was originally thought to come back for a third tour of Gotham City. In short, his threequel would’ve still featured Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader and Robin Williams as the Riddler – and quite possibly Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face, reprising his role of Harvey Dent from the ’89 flick.
Of course, it simply wasn’t meant to be, as Warner Bros. couldn’t ignore the fury of parents’ groups saying that Batman Returns was too dark and sexy, and how said outrage led to McDonald’s pulling the line of Happy Meal toys from their restaurants. Thus, Joel Schumacher was brought on to replace Burton with the directive of taking the franchise in a more family friendly direction.
Still, Batfans the world over ponder how things could’ve panned out to this day, especially when it comes to casting. As it turns out, there’s an urban myth circulating that none other than Brad Dourif – best known as the voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play series of movies – was sought out by Burton to play the Scarecrow in Batman Forever at one time.
Here’s what Dourif had to say to Birth.Movies.Death. when asked if the bit of trivia on his Wikipedia page was accurate:
“Y’know, I’ve heard that! One time I saw Tim Burton on an airplane and he was looking at me very interestedly. But I never spoke to him about it, and I think I wouldn’t have been big enough a star for anyone to cast me in that role. He might’ve been interested, but I doubt the powers that be would’ve let him do it.”
From the sound of it, we may have to write off that Batman Forever legend as a Wikipedia fallacy. And as far as I know, Scarecrow wasn’t even meant to come in until the ill-fated Batman Unchained which was originally set to follow the box office bomb that was Batman & Robin. But hey, at least Jonathan Crane did appear in each entry of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, with Cillian Murphy finding himself in the role.