Ooooh, this is a nice one.
First off, when it comes to giving characters a voice or a face in whatever media you’re looking at, I’m all for casting unknowns. I am terrible at dream casting for anything because there is a lot to look at. Is this person capable of giving off the subtle emotion I need? Do they have the skills I want them to have in order to play this part or do I have to train them and hope they don’t suck? If I were ever to make a movie or TV show, live-action or animated, it would be in pre-production for years, because I’m picky that way.
Now, casting a voice actor for Joker is just as hard as it would be if we were talking another movie. Forget past Jokers and focus on this one. It would, for me, depend on the direction and tone of the universe he’s in. Are we in a dystopian future, where someone like the Joker could conceivably exist or are we going to see him turn over a speakeasy and threaten to stab a barmaid? Is the world he is in perfectly fine and he hates it and decides to blow stuff to cause some chaos, bringing out that world’s version of Batman and thus, reversing the cause-effect of their relationship? There is so much to think about. And I do this with every thing I watch and read. I might need professional help.
The voice should suit the look of the Joker, who in turn should suit the universe he’s in, basically. And right now, Mark Hamill has left a spot open for the lanky Joker.
John DiMaggio was a great Joker. I liked his voice; a little deeper than I would have liked, but his Joker is this beefy brute of a guy so it makes sense. It would have been ridiculous to have that one sound like he was in a helium accident. Would I watch an entire series with him? Yes. Because as much as I like the Joker we got with Hamill and what has spawned from that, I’m think the world is ready for a Joker that has established his empire, and while he could kick your ass ten way to Sunday, he has competent goons to do that for him, who are loyal, smart and in a similar bracket of crazy.
I’m thinking massive street gang meets kingpin here.
Jeff Bennett was amazing and people who didn’t like it can just just not watch it. TBaTB is suppose to be that cartoony. It made me reminisce of a decade that I wasn’t even born in and that takes a certain amount of skill, as far as I’m concerned.
Under the guise of starting a brand new series of Batman, I would go with an unknown for Joker, but have it take place years into the established timeline, so he’d sound older, like a chainsmoker but not yet hacking up a lung. Batman would have been doing his thing for a while, the Oracle is shouting in his ear, he’s probably teaching his third Robin or something.
Or we could make the whole thing steampunk and sex-swap everyone and call it a day.