Five Actors Who Almost Played Batman Villains

Five Actors Who Almost Played Batman Villains

When it comes to the world of Batman, there are a few villains who stand out more than others. The Joker, Bane, and Catwoman are all fan favorites. But what about the actors who almost played these iconic characters? Many fans may not know that there are quite a few big-name actors who almost got the opportunity to bring Batman villains to life on-screen. Although these opportunities didn’t end up panning out, it is still interesting to think about what these actors could’ve brought to the roles and how these characters could’ve impacted their careers. Continue reading to see our list of five actors who almost played Batman villains.

1. Robin Williams – The Riddler and The Joker

Robin Williams was arguably one of the most recognizable stars of his generation. Although comedic roles are what put him on the map, he also proved that he could do much more than make people laugh. Playing a villain in a Batman movie would’ve been another great opportunity to do that. In the late 1980s, Williams was offered the chance to play The Joker in the 1989 movie Batman. However, the offer was less about casting Williams and more about making Jack Nicholson jealous. Apparently, Nicholson was always the first choice for the role, and the casting team felt that offering the role to someone else would be a great way to reel Nicholson in. The plan worked and Nicholson ultimately ended up taking the part. As you can imagine, Robin Williams wasn’t too happy about this. A few years later, Williams was offered the chance to play The Riddler in the 1995 movie Batman Forever, but he decided to turn the opportunity down.

2. Patrick Stewart – Mr. Freeze

Comic book fans may be familiar with Mr. Freeze, but the character hasn’t made many appearances in live-action Batman productions. In fact, his only film appearance was in the 1997 movie Batman & Robin. Although the role would eventually go to Arnold Schrawzegger, Patrick Stewart was one of the actors who was initially being considered for the part. According to an old article from Entertainment Weekly, “The idea of Star Trek’s Stewart playing a walking Popsicle may sound like an Internet daydream, but Schumacher has confided to Stewart’s agent that his client is ”on the list.” The problem: Stewart is already booked to shoot three movies in ’96. ”

3. Ryan Gosling – The Joker

Villain probably isn’t a word that comes to anyone’s mind when they think of Ryan Gossling. However, that might not have been the cast had he gotten the chance to play The Joker. Unfortunately, however, we will probably never get to see him in the role. An article from Coming Soon reports that Ryan Gosling was the first choice to play The Joker in the 2016 movie Suicide Squad. The article notes that Gosling allegedly turned town the project because he ” was hung up on the idea of signing a multi-film contract, prompting the studio to shift gears and find another actor to take on this new iteration of the infamous villain”. The role ended up going to Jared Leto.

4. Al Pacino – Two Face

Al Pacino is a Hollywood legend, so it’s easy to see why he would’ve been considered to be part of the Batman franchise. However, the casting never actually worked out. Pacino’s name was on the table to portray Two Face in the movie Batman Forever. He decided to turn the part down although it’s unclear why. Tommy Lee Jones ended up being chosen for the role. To this day, there are still fans who would love to see Pacino get the opportunity to play a villain in Batman. More than likely, however, this isn’t going to happen.

5. John Lithgow – The Joker

It’s no secret that opportunities don’t usually come around twice. This is especially true for people in the entertainment industry. Surprisingly, however, John Lithgow had the opportunity to play The Joker in two different Batman movies. At one point, director Joe Dante was being considered to do a Batman movie and John Lithgow was at the top of his list to play The Joker. Dante told, “Well, the Batman that I was going to do would have been completely different from what they ended up making. This was right after Gremlins, and Tom Mankiewicz, who had written a lot of James Bond movies, had done this take on Batman which was certainly not Chris Nolan-dark, was certainly darker than the TV version. It started with his parents being killed, and it was a revenge story. But it was very outlandish, had a lot of giant props in it. The Joker was a major character in it. I wanted to hire John Lithgow for that part because I had met him on The Twilight Zone movie”. Sadly, the project never ended up moving forward. Lithgow was also one of the actors being considered to play The Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman.

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