The Joker is a dream role for many actors. Playing a villain is just more fun, and they don’t come more chaotic and enjoyable in the DC Universe than the Clown Prince of Crime. That’s especially true when he’s played by Mark Hamill in animated movies and TV shows. But it turns out we’ve heard Hamill’s perfect cackle for the last time.
Hamill is saying goodbye to the DC Universe‘s most notorious bad guy, more than 30 years after he first voiced the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. He told fans at a recent expo that his time as one of the greatest DC villains is now over, as he won’t voice the role again following the tragic passing of Kevin Conroy – the Batman actor he worked with most often.
Culture Crave tweeted from Fan Expo San Franciso, reporting that Hamill is saying goodbye to the most dastardly of DC characters. They added that the Star Wars cast member went on to quote one of his own lines: “Without Batman, crime has no punchline.”
Conroy and Hamill have been terrific dance partners over the years, with 1993’s animated classic Mask of the Phantasm standing among the best movies ever to feature the Caped Crusader. It’s a complex and layered Batman adventure, given a welcome dose of anarchic evil by Hamill’s take on the Joker.
With that in mind, it’s a shame that upcoming DC movies in the animated world will arrive without Hamill’s distinctive Joker voice. But we can understand why Hamill doesn’t want to return without Conroy. Any of the best movie villains are only as good as the heroes they oppose.
But the Joker has been reinvented just as often as Batman, so we’re sure there will be plenty of new Joker actors to pick up the mantle. And of course we’ve still got the Joker 2 release date on the horizon, in which Joaquin Phoenix will return to the villainous role that won him an Oscar.
But over in the main DC Universe, we’re going to have to rewrite our DC movies in order guide again because James Gunn is taking over for the Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters era. This year’s Aquaman 2 release date marks the final film of the previous regime, with Superman Legacy the next out of the gate.
You can learn more about our hopes for new movies with our feature explaining five things we hope to see in James Gunn’s DCU. Or for a final dose of the cruel clown, learn why Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix had a big disagreement over Joker.