Michael Emerson to Play The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 15th, 2013 at 12:07 pm,

The role of the Joker is popular with actors due to the character’s history, depth and the mere challenge of tackling the villain’s persona and psyche. Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger (who posthumously won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance) all reveled in the Joker’s madness.

Now we can add Michael Emerson to the list, as he’s signed on to provide the voice for Batman’s arch-nemesis in the animated film, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2.

The job will be a change of pace for Emerson, known for his Lost and Person of Interest roles, but it is one that the actor welcomes. Courtesy of TV Guide, Emerson said:

“He’s one of those great villains that an actor like me likes to play because he has layers – he has a face for the world and a face for himself.  He is, in a way, a villain who is a natural actor. All of that is delightful and confounding at the same time.”

Emerson, an Emmy-winner in his own right, joins a talented voice cast that includes Peter Weller (RoboCop) as Batman, Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Carrie Kelly, the first female Robin, and Mark Valley (Human Target) as Superman.

The animated Batman films have been a success as straight-to-DVD releases due, in part, to the popular comics from which they are based, but also to the success of Christopher Nolan’s megahit Dark Knight franchise. With the Nolan series now concluded, the animated versions give Batman fans something to look forward to.

Batman in The Dark Knight Returns Michael Emerson to Play The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

The story of The Dark Knight Returns animated movie, an adaptation of Frank Miller’s DC Comics series, chronicles Batman’s reemergence in Gotham City after a decade disappearance and of course, includes another epic showdown with his rival, the Joker.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download on September 25th. Look for Part 2 on DVD and Blu-ray sometime early next year.


Source:  TV Guide

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  1. I really believe that he has the Acting Ability to take over as the Newest Voice of the Joker, Even though Mark Hamill has done such Amazing Work. I say, Give the Man a Chance!! Why Not?

    • Agreed! It never hurts to give someone else a chance!! Mark Hamill’s voice will always be remembered for the “animated series” which is an excellent series in its own right!! I was hoping for John DiMaggio (did the voice of the Joker in “Batman: Under the Red Hood” and the voice of “Bender” from Futurama) to take over for the voice – but I guess he has other projects. Let’s see how it works out. Looking forward to this!!

  2. So happy its not hamill. Grew tired of his joker a decade ago

    • Blasphemy! ;)
      Hamill is THE voice of the Joker, just like Kevin Conroy is THE voice of Batman.

      That said, I think Michael Emerson can pull it off. I’m sure he’ll do a good job.

      Now, if only they could get rid of Peter Weller and get a better-suited voice actor to play Batman… it doesn’t have to be Conroy, just someone who SOUNDS more like Batman.

      • James Remar?

        But for the record I like Conroy and Hamill it’s just that I am tired of them.

        • Agreed. I liked both but they have been overused.

      • Absolutely agreed. Peter Weller is an absolutely fantastic actor, I enjoy his work immensely, HOWEVER, he simply doesn’t have the voice needed for a Batman portrayal, and I don’t necessarily mean a Bale’s gravely version, which I didn’t think was very good either. Weller just doesn’t sound like a Batman. I’m very disappointed with this casting, although I would like to see more Weller in other things.

  3. Yeah Michael Emerson has that capability. He will make an excellent joker.

  4. That chin!!!

  5. BRILLIANT Joker casting! Whoever thought of this deserves a raise!

    • I could almost see him on film too, with that face!

  6. um considering this film is out soon and has been animated for months, I’m thinking he was cast over a year ago in the role

    • Part one comes out this month. The Joker doesn’t make an appearance until part two, which will be out in the spring. So his casting is likely a bit more recent.

  7. I’m a little surprised. I know they go for regular actors for a lot of these, but The Joker has always been voiced by a voice actor (Mark Hamill, John Dimaggio, etc). But Bruce Timm and crew have a near spotless record, so I’m excited to see what Emerson brings to the table.

    • I wouldn’t be totally surprised. These films deal with significantly older versions of characters. It stands to reason they wouldn’t sound exactly the same as they would in their mid 20s to mid 30s.

  8. Interesting. He would be a good live action Joker too. has the face for it.

    • The skills too.

    • Or rather, the Riddler, or even Bookworm.

      • You might be right there about the Riddler. Good call.

        • Yeah, I agree, probably a better Riddler.

  9. Everyone who has seen lost knows he is one of the best actors out there to play a villain, they can be lucky to get him.

  10. they´ve changed the face of joker for the movie. he looks skinnier in the face in the graphic-novel. but this version looks good,too.

  11. a perfect choice!

  12. Never liked the oversized art of TDKR. Great Story and panel layout, just not a fan of the art.

  13. Strange choice, since TDKRe Joker is basically Serious Moonlight Bowie with a gun.

    • They should have bowie be the voice!

  14. I wonder if they’ll get David Letterman and Paul Shaffer to do the David Endochrine and Paul parts.