As one of the most—if not the absolute most—iconic villains in comic book history, The Joker has seen iterations that resonate across generations. Whether portrayed by Cesar Romero in the 1960’s Batman TV series, Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman, Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, or Jared Leto’s upcoming turn in Suicide Squad, The Joker changes with the times, with each new performance adding a different dimension to the terror of the character. While each live action iteration of the character has its pros and cons, one actor’s performance has been going strong now for over two decades, becoming almost as iconic as the character himself.
To the minds of many, no actor will ever truly embody the character of Joker the same way that Mark Hamill (Stars Wars: The Force Awakens) has done in his voiceover work. From its beginnings in Batman the Animated Series and its various spinoffs/tie-ins to his work on Arkham series of video games, Hamill’s performance opposite Kevin Conroy’s Batman stands out not just as remarkable but as definitive. His involvement with the upcoming animated film Batman: The Killing Joke is largely the reason for the excitement building for the movie, which comes out later this month and has become Fathom Events' largest release to date.
This involvement has left many wondering whether or not the Killing Joke movie will be Hamill’s swansong as the Clown Prince of Crime - a question which Hamill has now addressed. On his Twitter account, Hamill offered a succinct response to the question of whether or not he was done voicing the Joker. His simple, one-word reply is reason enough for man Bat-fans to rejoice, as the actor hinted that there might be more coming from his interpretation of the character:
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 13, 2016
In all fairness, it’s important to note that Hamill is typically a bit cheeky on his Twitter account, often playfully toying with fans in his trademarked, self-aware style. It’s highly possible that Hamill was merely giving his fan what they wanted after being told “please say no.” In the absence of any news about the future of Hamill and Joker, a grain of salt is almost a prerequisite.
Still, it’s tantalizing to think of the possibilities that could be in store, and Hamill has long expressed his love of voicing the character, which went a long way towards legitimizing Hamill as more than just Luke Skywalker. While there have been other vocal performances of Joker over the years, none have ever managed to reach the heights of Hamill’s, and just hearing that the actor would, at the very least, return to the role if it was offered is exciting in itself.
That sentiment will no doubt only be solidified when The Killing Joke is released. There, the actor returns to the role in what many consider to be the most terrifying Joker story ever written. Written by Alan Moore (Watchmen) in the '80s, the story is not only the closest we’ve gotten to a true origin story for Joker, it’s also a frightening meditation on the fragility of human life and the psyche. In recent years, Moore himself has disowned the work and modern critics have decried several of the story’s key moments for its depiction of violence against woman.
That hasn’t stopped fan obsession with the graphic novel, and its R-rated adaptation is, in some cases, earning more buzz than Suicide Squad, which is a testament to the beloved nature of both Hamill and Conroy’s performances. There are a lot of Batman stories within the comic book realm that have yet to be touched in either live-action or animated form, giving Hamill plenty more to work with should the opportunity arise in the future.
For now, all we can really do is stay excited for The Killing Joke and hope for its success. Surely, if the movie is well-received by critics and fans, we can expect to hear more of Hamill’s Joker in future releases. At any rate, it’s good to hear that Hamill still has love for the character and would be willing to step into the madman’s mind for another round of madness.
Batman: The Killing Joke will be released on Digital HD on July 26th, 2016 and DVD and Blu-ray on August 2nd, 2016.
Source: Mark Hamill