One of the most iconic Batman actors has weighed in on the proposed origin film for The Joker and thinks it’s a fascinating idea. After a week packed full of news, DC fans are still attempting to get to the bottom of multiple conflicting reports of new projects involving the Joker. With the character already rumored to appear in Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens, we also previously broke the story regarding a Joker vs. Harley Quinn movie, and now that movie also has a pair of directors attached. Almost immediately after the report surfaced, rumors starting emerging stating the movie was replacing Gotham City Sirens, though that idea seems to have been debunked.
The even bigger news, however, concerns a Joker origin film set in the 1980s that will sit outside of the DCEU. Not only will an actor besides Jared Leto step into the role, but a team of producer Martin Scorsese and director/co-writer Todd Phillips (The Hangover) will be tackling the project. Naturally, the announcement was met with mixed feelings from fans. On one hand, could confuse DC’s shared universe and pulls focus from other characters and potential franchisees. On the other hand, the idea of the legendary Martin Scorsese tackling a comic book movie – much less a Joker movie – isn’t something to scoff at. The inclusion of Phillips has also raised some eyebrows, as most of his work to date has been in broad comedy. One person who is excited about the prospective film, though, is an actor with deep ties to the Joker and his world.
HeyUGuys sat down with veteran voice actor Kevin Conroy, best known for playing Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League: Unlimited, and the recently released Batman and Harley Quinn. Having played the character for so long in so many different projects, Conroy is the de facto Batman for many fans. He’s also spent decades acting against Mark Hamill’s Joker. When asked about the origin film for the Clown Prince of Crime, Conroy seemed quite enthusiastic.
“I think that will be a really interesting film. There is an episode of Batman: The Animated Series which dealt with that and told that story. It’s really interesting. I had not heard they were doing a film version of it but I hope that Mark [Hamill] gets it!”
Of course, it’s pretty much a sure thing that Hamill won’t tackle the role. He’s still actively performing and even channels the Joker from time to time, most recently in The Killing Joke (which includes a version of the Clown Prince of Crime’s backstory), the origin film will naturally be casting a younger actor to explore the early days of the Joker. The move will be similar to one seen a few different times in the DCAU. While Batman: TAS didn’t ever tackle Joker’s origin, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm touched on it and the episode ‘Beware the Creeper’ from The New Batman Adventures did as well. Considering all three projects exist in the same shared universe, they’re likely what Conroy is referring to when he says the show covered Joker’s origin.
Conroy was also asked to follow-up on his claim that Ben Affleck is his favorite take on Batman, weighty praise coming from one of the key actors people associated with the role.
“I said that and it’s been kind of amplified. I said it in addition to saying that everyone’s is valid and that I like Michael Keaton, I like Christian Bale…I like them all! The one thing Ben Affleck did better than anyone is he got the balance between Batman and Bruce Wayne. There were two personas there and each of the actors have gotten one or the other really good; some people are better as Bruce Wayne, some are better as Batman. Ben Affleck, uniquely I think, was good at both and he did a really good job of it. I just think Ben Affleck got the balance of both characters better than any of them.”
Of course, Affleck himself is the subject of many rumors saying he may not be long for the role of Batman either. Even if he stays in the role, the landscape of DC films will clearly go through a number of changes in the coming years, including some changes that could bring multiple interpretations and portrayals of major characters. Until more news arrives on the origins film for The Joker, we won’t know for sure.
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