Robin Williams is a capital "N" Nerd. He loves videogames, he loves anime, and he loves comic books. His favorite spot in New York City is the comic shop I used to work in, Forbidden Planet. Seriously. Look it up. One of the biggest and most exciting cities on the planet, and he's asking me if he can go upstairs and look at manga statues. Epic nerd, this man is. And an absolute delight.
And he loves Batman! So, you'd think, since Robin Williams is one of the biggest stars of the last 40 years or so, he'd have no problem being in a Batman movie at least once. But it's never happened, and it ain't for a lack of trying.
So let's run down his many attempts to be in a Batman movie (that we know of).
- In 1989, Tim Burton wants Jack Nicholson for the Joker in his Batman movie, but Jack's not sure about it. Who does Burton looks toward? Robin Williams, who would be a great Joker. But you know what happens when a girl starts courting another fella, don't you? The original dude gets jealous. And, lo and behold, no sooner did Williams' name appear than BOOM, suddenly Nicholson is on board. Sorry, Robin.
- In 1995, after years of Williams refusing to do Warner Bros. movies because of the Joker snub, suddenly it's looking like Robin might be the Riddler in Batman Forever. Until, that is, both Tim Burton and Michael Keaton walk. Enter THE DEVIL Joel Schumacher, who, sadly, already has a Riddler -- Jim Carrey.
- Big leap forward to 2008, and director Chris Nolan is bringing Joker to his take on the Batman mythos. You know Robin Williams wants a piece of that. In fact, he even publicly stated as much, saying, "Well, you want to do a different Joker. You know, if they do Arkham Asylum, it would be amazing. Arkham Asylum is one of the greatest, nastiest comic books ever. It’s truly, it’s like the Marquis de Sade on that level, and wonderfully damaged and quite tragic, in terms of when you realize [what happened to] create these characters." But, as we know, Nolan had a different plan in mind for The Dark Knight and, along with it, a desire to work with Heath Ledger.
- By 2012, Williams would have said yes to anything Nolan wanted in The Dark Knight Rises, even going so far as to say, "Chris, call me, I’ll do anything. I could be a great character — or some weird little man in the background in Arkham Asylum." We're gonna call Williams' exclusion from that movie a bullet dodged.
As someone who has had Robin Williams as a patron at his brick-and-mortar comic shop (and who is an admitted fan of the man), this is just one tragedy after another. However good or bad Batman v Superman may wind up being, what harm can it do to let Robin Williams in there somewhere? Heck, he could become the Stan Lee of the DCU! Just let him have a fun cameo in every movie you make. That would be incredible. Williams would be happy, we would be happy, peace on Earth could break out.
Think about it, DC.