Many pop-culture fanatics admire Mark Hamill for the hero’s journey we all took with him from being an adolescent orphan to a Jedi master in Star Wars. But it arguably wasn’t until Hamill’s turn as Joker in Batman: The Animated Series that people truly began to recognize the wealth of acting talent the man truly possesses.
Indeed, many point to Hamill’s interpretation of the character as one of — if not the most — quintessential portrayals, going up against the likes of virtuoso thespians and Academy Award winners Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Joaquin Phoenix.
We’re now getting more insights as to how the voice director of the show ultimately decided Hamill was right for the role.
According to GameRant, Hamill wasn’t even the first pick for the role.
“A new producer came on to the series, didn’t care for the Joker we had cast, and asked us to re-cast it,” casting director Andrea Romano said in a recent interview.
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Complicating the matter was the fact that six or seven episodes had already been made, so whoever was cast as the new Joker would have to match the mouth movements of the animation to a tee.
“Just before this, Mark’s agent had reached out and said, ‘Mark is an enormous comic book fan, a huge fan of Batman, and would love to be part of the series,” she explained.
Romano said that Hamill was initially brought in as a guest, and though he did a great job in that role, he pulled the casting director aside and said, “Thank you for this gig, Andrea, but I really want to be part of Batman.”
The news of Joker having to be recast was eventually brought up, so Hamill was able to audition for that, too.
“He was stunning! Absolutely remarkable. His timing was right on, he came up with this terrifying voice and an iconic laugh and I think that’s the voice everybody hears when they think of The Joker. Even when they’re seeing on-camera performances, they can’t help but reference Mark Hamill in their minds.”
It’s crazy to think we almost didn’t have Mark Hamill as the Joker and just goes to show that luck truly is at the intersection of being prepared and seizing an opportunity.