John Lithgow Was Almost The Joker In A Joe Dante Directed Batman Film

Batman has gone through many on screen adaptations. Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder and Leslie H. Martinson have all had a go at bringing the Dark Knight to the big screen. But, before Burton’s turn there could have been another incarnation of Batman. In a recent interview with Psychotronic Cinema, Director Joe Dante(Gremlins) revealed that WB was looking to ride off of the success of Richard Donner’s Superman films and produce a Batman film. They hired Tom Mankiewicz to write the script and approached Joe Dante to direct. Joker was said to be the villain of the films and Dante wanted John Lithgow in the role. In the interview Dante states:

“I wanted to hire John Lithgow for that part because I had met him on The Twilight Zone movie. And for whatever reason, I started to gravitate more towards The Joker than towards Batman. And I actually woke up one night and I said to myself, ‘I can’t do this movie—I’m more interested in The Joker than I am in Batman, and that’s not the way it should be. I think I was not the right guy to do the movie.”

As fascinating as it could have been to see Lithgow as the Joker, Dante ultimately turned it down and the movie was never made. Till this day Dante doesn’t regret his decision.

“I don’t regret not doing Batman, in the sense that I’m not sure what it would have ended up being like. But I certainly can’t say it was a major career-booster, my decision not to make it.”

What do you guys think of all of this? Would you have liked to see the Gremlin directors interpretation of the Batman or are you happy that it never happened? Sound off in the comments section!

Source: Psychotronic Cinema

Nathaniel Brail

Nathaniel Brail

Running things at HH. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NateBrail