The world of comic-book movies has always been rife with casting rumors, that verge from the ridiculous to the sublime. Even today we see Jake Gyllenhaal’s name thrown around the internet as the next Batman, and Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker. ScreenRant has recently published an article where Sean Penn debunks one of the most famous casting myths. According to the award winning actor, he was never approached by Chrsitopher Nolan to play The Joker in Dark Knight.
In a new interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Penn comments on a number of roles he’d been approached for, but clearly states that the Clown Prince Of Crime wasn’t one of them.
Here is what he had to say on the matter:
I don’t recall that. If he did, he never told me himself. Between the indelible one that Jack [Nicholson] did, and then when Heath Ledger came along and made it a new kind of rock and roll. Listen, yes, over the years I’ve been offered a couple of things that became extremely successful genre pictures, and in most cases when I looked at them I think with me in it, they would not have been extremely successful genre pictures.
The Penn Is Mightier Than The Sword
I am a big fan of Jared Leto’s version, but know that this opinion isn’t a popular one. Ledger’s take on the part is the yardstick that all Joker’s will be measured by, for years to come. I recently gave my opinion on the rumored casting of Joaquin Phoenix, which you can read here.
Whatever the case may be, Sean Penn is a terrific actor, and could well have made an absolutely incredible Joker. Sadly, he was never actually offered the part, so we will never know how that would’ve turned out.
Thankfully, Ledger’s performance was outstanding… so every cloud has a silver lining.