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Did Tim Burton originally want Child's Play actor Brad Dourif for the role of the Joker?

Oct. 15, 2013by: Niki Stephens

It's always interesting to hear about who could have gotten a certain popular role. The one up for discussion today is that of the Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 version of Batman.

Several actors were looked at for the role including Willem Dafoe, David Bowie, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Robin Williams, James Woods, and I'm sure many others. Brad Dourif who most recently lent his voice once more to the role of Chucky for CURSE OF CHUCKY made some interesting comments about his Joker role that never was:

"Tim Burton saw me on a plane and wanted to cast me and they [studio Warner Bros] said no. He joked: "He [Nicholson] takes all my roles."

What's funny is that Dourif co-starred alongside Nicholson in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. Not only that but that was not the last time Dourif was considered for a Batman movie. Burton apparently also wanted Dourif for Scarecrow before he left the third film, and Joel Schumacher took the reins. When that happened, the idea to use Scarecrow was dropped.

While I do love me some Nicholson, seeing Dourif has the Joker would have been pretty cool.

Source: The Guardian

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10:42AM on 10/16/2013
That would have been interesting. But what I REALLY want to see is a 3rd Bat-flick from Burton. I wonder if that could ever happen.... hmmm. Bring Keaton back as an aged Batman. Probably too late for that now, but it would be better than most of the crap that Burton has been putting out in recent years.
That would have been interesting. But what I REALLY want to see is a 3rd Bat-flick from Burton. I wonder if that could ever happen.... hmmm. Bring Keaton back as an aged Batman. Probably too late for that now, but it would be better than most of the crap that Burton has been putting out in recent years.
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8:43AM on 10/16/2013
Dourif would have nailed it.

But I'll never wish Jack hadn't gotten the part.
Dourif would have nailed it.

But I'll never wish Jack hadn't gotten the part.
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7:52AM on 10/16/2013
Tim curry could've been an amazing joker. I think Douriff would've been better as either mad hatter or the guy who controls scarface. Think his name is Arnold. Can't remember.
Tim curry could've been an amazing joker. I think Douriff would've been better as either mad hatter or the guy who controls scarface. Think his name is Arnold. Can't remember.
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+0
4:56AM on 10/16/2013
That's a pretty fine list of names that were up for the role. It's funny where you first remember seeing certain actors and remembering them for only that role (more or less). I remember seeing Dourif first in an X Files episode...the one where Scully believes something supernatural is going on...and Mulder doesn't (he gets shot too).
That's a pretty fine list of names that were up for the role. It's funny where you first remember seeing certain actors and remembering them for only that role (more or less). I remember seeing Dourif first in an X Files episode...the one where Scully believes something supernatural is going on...and Mulder doesn't (he gets shot too).
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+5
1:11AM on 10/16/2013
Brad is an amazing actor. He always seems to be right on the edge. He's awesome in Exorcist III.
Brad is an amazing actor. He always seems to be right on the edge. He's awesome in Exorcist III.
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1:01AM on 10/16/2013
Willem Dafoe would have been the only one (other than Nicholson) who could have played the Joker. And he got the role of the Green Goblin for Spiderman. Robin WIlliams would have been better as the Riddler. Jim Carrey was alright. A comedian works for the Riddler. A comedian playing the Joker would be terrible. The Joker is NOT funny. He does NOT tell jokes. The things he laughs at are NOT funny. He is sick and twisted and scary.
Willem Dafoe would have been the only one (other than Nicholson) who could have played the Joker. And he got the role of the Green Goblin for Spiderman. Robin WIlliams would have been better as the Riddler. Jim Carrey was alright. A comedian works for the Riddler. A comedian playing the Joker would be terrible. The Joker is NOT funny. He does NOT tell jokes. The things he laughs at are NOT funny. He is sick and twisted and scary.
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11:31PM on 10/15/2013
Amazing actor, would've taken the character in a much different direction.
Amazing actor, would've taken the character in a much different direction.
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9:42PM on 10/15/2013
There was a long list of pretty interesting names considered for Burton's Joker, in addition to Dourif. Tim Curry, John Glover, Willem Dafoe, James Woods, David Bowie, Robin Williams...I think any of those would've had a pretty good take on the character.
There was a long list of pretty interesting names considered for Burton's Joker, in addition to Dourif. Tim Curry, John Glover, Willem Dafoe, James Woods, David Bowie, Robin Williams...I think any of those would've had a pretty good take on the character.
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5:32AM on 10/16/2013
Why even post this comment?
Why even post this comment?
9:23PM on 10/15/2013
Dourif would have been good, but I am more disappointed in not getting to see Burton's 3rd Batman w/ Scarecrow.
Dourif would have been good, but I am more disappointed in not getting to see Burton's 3rd Batman w/ Scarecrow.
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8:11PM on 10/15/2013
I also think Willem Dafoe would STILL make a terrific Joker whenever they decide to use the character again.
I also think Willem Dafoe would STILL make a terrific Joker whenever they decide to use the character again.
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7:51PM on 10/15/2013
I consider Nicholson the better Joker, but he would have made for a terrific, just as memorable Joker.
I consider Nicholson the better Joker, but he would have made for a terrific, just as memorable Joker.
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7:39PM on 10/15/2013
Ok it's stories like these that make me only 99% against remakes every couple years. Would have liked to see his take on Mr. J, but thoroughly enjoyed Jack's and Ledgers versions too.
Ok it's stories like these that make me only 99% against remakes every couple years. Would have liked to see his take on Mr. J, but thoroughly enjoyed Jack's and Ledgers versions too.
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7:39PM on 10/15/2013

Damn, I would have liked to have seen that

Probably a lot closer to Heath Ledger's take on the character. Tim Curry would have been f*****g awesome as well.
Probably a lot closer to Heath Ledger's take on the character. Tim Curry would have been f*****g awesome as well.
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7:27PM on 10/15/2013
Might have been neat, who knows?
Might have been neat, who knows?
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-75
7:25PM on 10/15/2013

This was many years ago.

Who cares...
Who cares...
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