Sean Penn Says He Was Never Offered The Joker Role From Christopher Nolan

Virtually every performer who has embraced the maniacal darkness of DC Comics' the Joker has left their indelible stamp on the character, from Cesar Romero to Jack Nicholson to Mark Hamill, who voiced the character in Batman: The Animated Series. Actor Heath Ledger's portrayal of the character in The Dark Knight has been the defining live-action version of the Joker for an entire generation, yet some rumors claimed that Sean Penn was initially offered the gig by director Chris Nolan. Penn, however, has no recollection of these talks.

"I don’t recall that. If he did, he never told me himself," Penn shared with the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "Between the indelible one that Jack [Nicholson] did, and then when Heath Ledger came along and made it a new kind of rock and roll. Listen, yes, over the years I’ve been offered a couple of things that became extremely successful genre pictures, and in most cases when I looked at them I think that with me in it, they would not have been extremely successful genre pictures."

This wouldn't be the first time that rumors have spread far and wide on the internet without those talks being grounded in reality. Most recently, rumors surfaced that Joaquin Phoenix was approached for the role of the character in director Todd Phillips' upcoming standalone Joker film, which Phoenix seems oblivious to.

"What movie about a Joker?" Phoenix shared with French publication Allocine when asked about the film. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Between Chris Nolan's work on his Batman trilogy and what is being accomplished in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the superhero genre is enticing some of Hollywood's biggest stars, but both Penn, and Phoenix, sound happy with the decisions they've made with their careers.

"I think they make some great, fun movies," Phoenix told Little White Lies of the MCU and his decision to pass on becoming Doctor Strange. "There’s nothing wrong… I’m not a f-cking, like, cinephile. I’m not a snob and I’m totally fine with… I enjoy those movies sometimes, and I think they keep the f-cking industry going in some ways, so I don’t have a problem with it at all. I think that everybody was, is… I’m trying to figure out how to say this most diplomatically, okay… I think everybody was really happy with how things turned out. All parties were satisfied."

Jared Leto is the most recent actor to play the Joker, who is set to reprise the role in Suicide Squad 2, which is slated to debut in 2019.

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[H/T Happy Sad Confused]