Mark Hamill's performance of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series has stood the test of time. But as it turns out, he initially got the part for a very interesting reason.
Tim Curry, who was initially set to play the iconic DC Comics villain, was recently asked about the switch by ScreenGeek. And as the film and TV icon revealed, a bout of illness resulted in Hamill replacing him in the role.
"I did play Joker for a while," Curry explained, "but I had bronchitis and they fired me – and hired Mark Hamill. That's life."
This is sure to surprise many Batman: The Animated Series fans, as past statements have contributed Hamill's replacement of Curry to several different things. It was initially believed that Curry's performance as the Clown Prince of Crime was "too scary" for Batman: The Animated Series' young audience.
"Most of you guys probably know Mark first did the voice for us in the first Mr. Freeze episode; he played the guy who caused Mr. Freeze's wife to end up in a coma." Timm revealed. "He was so excited and full of enthusiasm for Batman. He's a huge comic book fan and he really wanted to play one of the big villains at that time and he specifically mentioned The Joker, and at that time we were using Tim Curry as the Joker. And he was really disappointed and he said, 'Well, if anybody else shows up like Hugo Strange or somebody, give me a call.' So many months later we made the difficult decision to replace Tim and we brought Mark in to audition for The Joker and he nailed it."
While Timm hadn't gone into why Curry was replaced, it appears that fans now know the answer. And while Hamill's performance has grown to be such a beloved aspect of geek culture, many are sure to wonder what Curry would have brought to the role.