It often hurts my head when I think or hear about the acors who were primarily offered roles, that ultimately went to other people. The movies would have obviously and undoubtedly been COMPLETELY different. For example: Will Smith was the original choice for Neo in The Matrix. Stuart Townsend was replaced by Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn a mere week before he was to begin shooting The Lord Of the Rings. But the closest call perhaps was Eric Stoltz, who shot several scenes as Marty McFly before being replaced by Michael J. Fox in Back To The Future.
Now curiosity has finally cleared up a long believed rumor that Jack Nicholson almost lost the part of the Joker in Tim Burton's Batman, to none other than Willem Dafoe. It's hard to imagine anyone else in the iconic role, but Dafoe can play crazy with the best of them. Let's not forget that he made a perfect Green-Goblin in Spider-Man!
MTV went straight to Dafoe himself for official word on the rumor. Though the actor denied that he was ever considered for the role of the Joker, he did confirm that he had an early attachment to the 1989 film. Dafoe explained:
Very early, they talked to me about playing Batman.
The role of the Caped Crusader would go on to be played by Michael Keaton. Like Heath Ledger as the Joker in Dark Knight, Keaton was viewed as an unconventional pick for the role, but his performance was ultimately embraced by many fans. Though it's not hard for me to picture Dafoe under the cowl, it's a bit more difficult to imagine him as Bruce Wayne, but he insisted it almost happened:
I hate to spread these things because unless you remember it well, you're stoking the fires of bull$h*^. But I remember [it]. I've had my brush with these things.
Though Dafoe wouldn't go on to cruise Gotham City in the Batmobile, we still got memorable performances from Nicholson and Keaton. Let us know if you think Willem Dafoe would have made a good BruceWayne/Batman in the rant-back section below!