Rubber-faced Willem Dafoe has already won over comic book fans with his perfectly pitched take (apart from the costume) as the Green Goblin in 2002’s Spider-Man. Not to mention that more recently, Netflix subscribers were treated to Dafoe’s decidedly disturbing portrayal of Ryuk, a Shinigami with a peculiar connection to the famous Death Note. Given that, it makes total sense that he was previously considered for another cackling supervillain, right?
As you may or may not know, the actor was once looked at for 1989’s Batman before Jack Nicholson ended up nabbing the part. And according to him, he even had conversations about playing the role. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview, Dafoe recounted the experience, saying:
“[Screenwriter Sam] Hamm said something about how physically I would be perfect for the part, but they never [formally] offered it to me.”
Obviously, Nicholson went on to do wonders with the role, becoming one of the best Jokers of all-time. But that doesn’t mean fans won’t always wonder what Willem Dafoe could’ve been like as the Crown Prince of Crime, as he really is perfectly suited to the part and it’s a shame he never got the chance to take a stab at it.
Still, like we said above, the actor did get to dabble in the comic book genre on more than one occasion throughout his career and will do so again later this year, when he shows up as Nuidis Vulko in James Wan’s Aquaman, which swims into theaters on December 21st. Granted, that’s not exactly a villainous role, but we’re excited to see him in the film regardless.
Circling back to 1989’s Batman though, and tell us, do you think Willem Dafoe would’ve made a better Joker than Jack Nicholson? Sound off below with your thoughts.