France – October 8: Robin Williams’ Photo Shoot in Paris
A photo shoot featuring Robin Williams took place in Paris, France on October 8, 2002. The shoot was meant to promote his movie “Insomnia.” This particular image showcases Williams in a thoughtful pose.
The Joker Role: Jack Nicholson and Robin Williams
When it comes to the iconic role of the Joker in the 1989 Batman movie, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jack Nicholson playing the part. Nicholson’s performance garnered critical acclaim and multiple Best Actor nominations at prestigious awards like the Golden Globes and BAFTAs. His portrayal helped solidify Tim Burton’s film as one of the most memorable adaptations of the Dark Knight. However, Nicholson initially had reservations about entering the eccentric world of Gotham City. He almost dropped out of the project. To ensure his participation, Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, employed a strategic move to convince Nicholson that this opportunity was too good to pass up.
At the time, Robin Williams, a beloved and esteemed actor, was also interested in playing the Joker. Warner Bros. saw the chance to use Williams as a means to persuade Nicholson. They hoped that by offering the role to Williams, Nicholson would feel compelled to accept it, not wanting another actor to steal what could potentially become one of his best roles. Unlike Nicholson, Williams was excited about the opportunity to work within the superhero genre and portray this iconic villain.
Williams campaigned for the character and was one of Warner’s top choices to star alongside Michael Keaton in the film. However, despite Williams accepting the role, Warner chose to inform Nicholson that another actor had been cast as the Joker. This decision swiftly changed Nicholson’s mind, as he realized the potential of the character. Williams, on the other hand, felt betrayed by the studio’s actions.
Robin Williams’ Reaction and Possible Future Roles
Robin Williams shared his frustration with the casting choice, stating that Warner had misled him. He jokingly imagined a conversation with a studio representative who apologized and said, “Rob, I’m so sorry, maybe I’ll send you a couple of t-shirts.” Williams acknowledged the common occurrence of actors being used as bait or having roles promised to them, only to have them given to someone else. Williams speculated that perhaps there could be future opportunities, such as playing The Riddler in a future Batman film.
Interestingly, the mention of The Riddler turned out to be somewhat prophetic. Warner considered Williams for the role in Batman Forever, even writing the script with him in mind. However, an agreement was not reached, and Jim Carrey ultimately portrayed The Riddler. It is uncertain whether contract disputes or other factors led to Williams not landing the role, but the disappointment he experienced with the Joker casting may have played a part.
In a 2011 interview, Williams expressed his admiration for Christopher Nolan and his Batman films. He mentioned being open to working with Nolan again and playing any character. However, he humorously noted that he felt “screwed over” by the Batman movies twice before, having been offered the Joker role and then the Riddler role, both of which were given to other actors.
Ultimately, Robin Williams never had the opportunity to appear in a superhero film despite his interest and talent. The circumstances surrounding the Batman casting decisions left an impact on him and may have influenced his decision not to pursue such roles in the future.