Robin Williams

The DC Villain Robin Williams Dreamed Of Playing (It’s Not The Joker)

When you think of Robin Williams, the first thing that comes to mind is his incredible talent for comedy and his ability to make people laugh. He will forever be remembered for breathing life into Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, creating iconic and timeless characters in films like Mrs Doubtfire and Good Morning, Vietnam, and, of course, for his endearing performance as the beloved Patch Adams. However, his comedy represented just one layer of his exceptional talent. He pulled off dramatic roles with equal skill and depth. From his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting to his haunting portrayal of a photojournalist in One Hour Photo, the actor showcased his versatility as an actor by seamlessly transitioning between genres. However, there is one genre the late Robin Williams did not get a chance to explore: the world of DC comic book villains.

Many people may not know that Robin Williams deeply admired the world of superheroes and expressed interest in playing a DC villain. You might imagine that it would be the legendary Joker who caught Williams’ fancy. However, you’d be wrong.

In an interview with Flexible Head, the manic comedian once revealed that he would have loved to portray the mischievous and enigmatic Riddler, known for his cunning mind and penchant for puzzles. Astonishingly, Williams even had the opportunity to play the DC supervillain in the 1995 blockbuster Batman Forever. However, fate had other plans, and the role ultimately went to Jim Carrey.

Yet Williams’ aspiration to breathe life into a DC villain never wavered. Williams felt increasingly optimistic about his chances of realising this dream after teaming up with the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan for the 2002 psychological thriller Insomnia. Nolan’s exceptional storytelling prowess profoundly impacted Williams, as he saw immense potential in the director’s ability to create a unique and enthralling role, just perfect for the silver screen.

In a telephonic Interview with Flexible Head back in 2010, Williams shared:

“I would work with Nolan again in a second, playing anyone in anything. It’d be fun to work with him again. I’d play the Riddler if they followed through with the offer! I’ve been screwed twice on that. Years ago, they offered me the Joker, then gave it to Jack Nicholson, then they offered me the Riddler and gave it to Jim Carrey. I’d be like, ‘Okay, is this real? If this is a real offer, yes! Don’t pump me again, motherf*ckers.’

While we never did get the opportunity to see the remarkable Robin Williams portray The Riddler in a Christopher Nolan film, it is clear that his talent and enthusiasm would have breathed life into the DC villain. With his unique mix of humour and eccentricity, there is no doubt the beloved actor would have offered a new and captivating angle akin to his other iconic roles. Sadly, the late comedian will never have his dream to play a DC villain realised. Nevertheless, his legacy as a diverse and talented actor will forever enrich the annals of cinema.

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