By now, I’m sure that at least of fraction of those of you reading this are well aware of how Tim Curry was originally cast as the Joker for Batman: The Animated Series. Believe it or not, he actually did record dialogue for a few episodes before being replaced by Mark Hamill, who’s since gone on to voice the Clown Prince of Crime in various projects over the years.
When it comes to the subject of Curry’s removal, there are two explanations circulating, both of which are likely just as valid as the other.
One is that he came down with bronchitis not long after landing the gig, therefore Bruce Timm and company had to swiftly scramble for a replacement. The other is that Curry’s Joker voice was deemed as being too scary for young audiences, something that Batman actor Kevin Conroy spoke of while appearing at a panel this past weekend at Michigan Comic Con:
“Tim was great as the Joker. Tim was scary, ‘lock up the kids, don’t let them see it’ scary. Like sick, demented scary Joker. Mark is scary funny, like this is a great rollercoaster ride. Tim was fantastic. He was just doing it like it was a gothic horror show.”
After learning that, aren’t you also highly curious about hearing what Curry brought to the table?
Now, this is probably asking too much, but it’s my wish that we one day see an early episode of the show re-released, only with Curry’s voice in place of Hamill’s. Really, I’d like to know what our counterparts in a parallel universe got to experience.
Unfortunately, the reality of this situation is that there’s no guarantee of those recordings even being around anymore, but it’d be pretty sweet if Warner Bros. released the audio at the very least. That is, of course, if it’s survived the years.
Regardless of that, it’s highly recommended that you pick up Batman: The Animated Series as a complete collection when it arrives on Blu-ray on October 16th.