Mark Hamill explains why he likely won’t return to voice the Joker again and mourns the passing of Kevin Conroy.
For many, Mark Hamill is the definitive Joker. The actor first voiced the Clown Prince of Crime on Batman: The Animated Series and went on to portray the character in various TV shows, movies, video games, and more, but his time as the Joker may be at an end.
While speaking with Empire Magazine (via ScreenRant), Mark Hamill suggested that he can’t imagine playing Joker again without the late Kevin Conroy as Batman. “Hamill doubts whether he’ll ever take up the Joker mantle again without Conroy there to trade lines with – it was heading that way anyway, he says,” reads an excerpt from the article. “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.’“
You can’t deny that Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy were a perfect match for decades, and it’s easy to understand why Hamill doesn’t want to return to the Joker without his partner. Kevin Conroy died last year after secretly battling cancer. “Stunned by the loss of this brilliant actor,” Hamill wrote at the time. “Words can’t express my admiration and respect for the man. I loved him like a brother.“
Kevin Conroy didn’t know much about the Dark Knight before auditioning for Batman: The Animated Series. “I had no preconceptions about the character, either,” Conroy said. “Bruce Timm said, ‘What do you know about Batman?’ And I said, ‘Well, I know the Adam West show from the ’60s.’ He said, ‘Oh, no, no, that’s not what we’re doing! Forget that!’ He had to explain to me the Dark Knight legacy and how dark this character was: ‘He’s avenging his parents’ deaths and he’s got these dual identities.’” One of Mark Hamill’s last significant appearances as the Joker was in Batman: The Killing Joke back in 2016, a project he had long expressed an interest in.