Batman: Jack Nicholson and Tim Burton Initially Disagreed on the Joker's Hair

Jack Nicholson's Joker from Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film is iconic, not just in his performance of Batman's most famous villain but in the character's appearance as well. Nicholson's Joker is one that looks like he walked right out of the pages of comics from his suits, to his sinister, exaggerated smile, and all the way down to the hints of green in his hair. But when it comes to that green hair, it's one aspect of the character that Nicholson didn't quite agree with Burton on. In a behind-the-scenes featurette (via The Hollywood Reporter), it's revealed that Nicholson clashed with Burton who wanted the Joker's hair to be a considerably brighter green.

In the featurette, Nicholson explains that a great deal of thought went into the look of Batman's Joker especially when it came to hair and makeup and while Burton wanted the Joker's hair to be bright green, Nicholson didn't agree and looked to how the character appeared in comics to support his claim that a bright green wasn't needed.

"You know when you look at the drawings, his hair is not bright green," Nicholson said. "You see it almost as a lightning effect."

When Burton pushed for a brighter green, Nicholson made it clear his disagreement, noting that the director really didn't "want that level of clowning". Nicholson was ultimately proven right, too, and said that during a test of a bright green wig, Burton came to understand Nicholson's point.

"And we did the test on the wig and immediately, he saw too bright. Change the wig," Nicholson said.

Ultimately, Nicholson's Joker ended up having hair that was a more muted green with the bulk of the villain's look coming together around his exaggerated grin in an appearance that is arguably the most comics accurate adaptation of the character's look to date. It also turns out that Nicholson had ideas for the character's face to be even closer to that comics look, too, except an allergy prevented it. The actor explained that they had wanted to elongate his face as The Joker, but it couldn't be done without spirit gum -- something Nicholson is allergic to.

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"One of the ironies of my life is I am allergic to spirit gum, you know, the basic unit of movie makeup," Nicholson said.

What do you think about Nicholson's disagreeing with Burton about the color of the Joker's hair in Batman? Let us know in the comments below.

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