Mark Hamill rose to global fame when he brought Star Wars' Luke Skywalker to life. Despite receiving a lot of love from the Star Wars community, Hamill did another iconic portrayal of the Joker that cemented his place in history. Hamill first portrayed the character in 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series, with several spinoff series, video games, and films following.
Despite the love fans feel for his Joker voice, Hamill opened up about why it would be impossible for him to return now as the voice actor. In an interview with Empire Magazine, he revealed that he’s only on board to reprise his role as the Clown Prince of Crime if his late, longtime friend Kevin Conroy will be able to join him.
“They would call and say, 'They want you to do the Joker,' and my only question was, 'Is Kevin Batman?' If they said yes, I would say, 'I'm in.' We were like partners. We were like Laurel and Hardy. Without Kevin there, there doesn't seem to be a Batman for me.”
Given that Hamill's Joker had an opposite with Conroy's Batman, the idea of him returning to the screen at this point in time becomes something that involves a two-man act as well. However, following the saddening death of Conroy, the upcoming return of the duo will remain a wish now and forever.
Many considered that Conroy’s version of Batman was a well-executed and effective adaptation of The Dark Knight from the comic, as the cartoon perfectly captured Gotham City with a generous amount of characters and storylines. Conroy's Batman and Hamill's Joker worked well together in the story, but after Conroy died of cancer in 2022, their acclaimed duo performances will be difficult to replicate.
The best Joker laugh was bestowed on Hamill after he voiced the Joker across several animated series and films, including Batman: The Animated Series, Mask of the Phantasm, New Batman Adventures, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. The actor's portrayal of the Joker was felt intensely on and off the screen, with Hamill's Joker regarded as the most authentic of Batman's greatest comic book villains.
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Hamill has also extended his Joker voice's responsibility to other forms of media, with his turn in the Batman: Arkham series of video games helping to modernize the villain and introduce new generations of DC fans to his version of the character. The first game in the series, 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum, was released 14 years after the ending of his first time playing the character in Batman: The Animated Series.
Conroy might have captured Hamill’s heart and will to return in the animation, but Hamill had successfully been the most affecting and best Joker of all time, as most fans believe.
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