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Ray Liotta turned down Tim Burton’s Batman because it was “stupid”

One of Ray Liotta's biggest regrets was turning down the opportunity to audition for the role of the Joker in Tim Burton's Batman movie

Ray Liotta in Goodfellas

Ray Liotta was probably best known for playing gangster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s crime epic Goodfellas (one of the best movies ever). While he got his big break playing a crook in a different world, he could have made his name playing an entirely different class of criminal, the Joker.

In an interview with The Irish News, Liotta revealed that Tim Burton approached him about starring in his gothic action movie, Batman. “I wish I’d handled my career differently but, you know, hindsight,” he explained. “When I did my first movie, Tim Burton was getting ready to do Batman, and he was interested in me because he wanted it to be edgy and real.”

“I thought, ‘Batman? That’s a stupid idea’,” he continued. “Even though he’d had just done one of my favourite movies of all time, Beetlejuice. So yes, I regret not auditioning for that. That movie and the success of Jack Nicholson? My career could’ve taken off in a different kind of way!”

Liotta, 67, passed away in his sleep on May 26, 2022. While he may have slightly lamented how his career went, admitting to The Digital Fix that he had been slightly “precious” with his career, it’s undeniable that in the last few years of his life, he was enjoying a popular resurgence.

He appeared in David Chase’s long-awaited Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, the Oscar-nominated Marriage Story, and  Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move. Liotta worked up until his last day and has several movies, including Cocaine Bear and Dangerous Waters, that will be released posthumously.