Back in November, John Lithgow revealed that Tim Burton wanted him for the role of the Joker in 1989's Batman, but Lithgow talked the director out of it. Now, another famous actor has come out of the woodwork to say that he could have had a shot at the role, which eventually went to Jack Nicholson. That would be Willem Dafoe, who is currently nominated for Best Supporting Actor at this year's Oscars for his performance in The Florida Project.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dafoe said that one of Batman's screenwriters, Monkeybone's Sam Hamm, thought he'd make a great Joker.
"Hamm said something about how physically I would be perfect for the part," Dafoe said, "but they never offered it to me."
So, the filmmakers never lobbied to get Dafoe like they did for Lithgow, but imagine if he did get the part. Mr. Dafoe has one of the creepiest and unnerving smiles in the entertainment industry. Yes, he can play average folks, but he really shines as bad guys. Just take a look at the GIF below and tell us he wouldn't have made a phenomenal Joker:
Of course, Dafoe got a second chance to play a deranged comic book villain in Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man movie (2002) as Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin.