Gaiman: Cast David Bowie as the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

Posted by · 10:02 pm · April 22nd, 2009

I forgot to mention this in the item below regarding that Wired piece featuring Neil Gaiman and the current goings-on in the comic world.  The subject of “unfilmable” comics came up, with “Watchmen” having landed in March and Gaiman’s own “Sandman” at the top of such a list for some fans.

Regarding Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” — which has, as always, been bandied about as a potential film project in the wake of “The Dark Knight,” some have speculated for “Watchmen” helmer Sack Snyder — Gaiman notes, in passing, a fascinating casting proposition that would frankly be kind of awesome:

I was reading photostats of Watchmen that Alan would hand me months before they hit the stands, and I would puzzle over everything, putting it all together in my head. That’s a different thing than Dark Knight Returns, where the details of the story are more malleable and simple. Batman comes out of retirement. Cute Robin arrives on the scene. Joker kills himself. Is Batman dead or not? He’s not. There’s not much to unpack. If someone cast David Bowie, as he is now, as the Joker, I think The Dark Knight Returns is doable.

Alright, someone, somewhere.  Let’s make this happen.  (Although Tim Curry would probably be better.)

(from left) David Bowie and the Joker from The Dark Knight Returns

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10 responses so far

  • 1 4-22-2009 at 11:27 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Just as long as he doesn’t wear Labyrinth tights…

  • 2 4-23-2009 at 12:21 am

    Alex said...

    I think that’s great casting but I don’t know if it’s ‘casting’ enough for people to want to see it…it has to be a well known actor who might not be expected yet would still be good in the role like Heath Ledger was, or if that isn’t possible, Johnny Depp will do. I’d really like to see Johnny Depp do something slightly ‘indier’ with Noah Baumbach or the like because all the roles he does are so different that they are all the same in a way…

    Leonardo di Caprio is a possibility in my eyes.

  • 3 4-23-2009 at 1:23 am

    BurmaShave said...

    Interestingly enough Tim Curry and David Bowie were both considered in 1989. In keeping I vote for Bill Murray as Batman ha.

  • 4 4-23-2009 at 3:20 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I recently saw The Prestige again and Bowie was tremendous in that. I’m not really sure about this though. There’s a huge age gap between him and Ledger.

  • 5 4-23-2009 at 8:09 am

    sam said...

    there’s a huge gap age between the Dark Knight Returns Batman and Christian Bale as well. Batman is in his 60s, i think.

    David Bowie as the Joker is truly inspired casting. if they’re gonna tackle the Dark Knight Returns, i want this to happen.

  • 6 4-23-2009 at 11:41 am

    JAB said...

    um, no. Too much is not okay with that. They just need to leave the joker with Ledger.

  • 7 4-23-2009 at 12:46 pm

    Kyle said...

    Kind of funny, Grant Morrison based his design of the Joker on Bowie’s “Thin White Duke” period.

    On an unrelated note, but not, I’ve recently rediscovered David Bowie’s album period from Hunky Dory to “Heroes”…brilliant stuff with only a few slight hiccups. He was definitely cranking out some of the best albums of the 70’s.

  • 8 4-26-2009 at 12:51 pm

    Gah said...

    “There’s a huge age gap between him and Ledger.”

    Umm….yeah. I take it you’ve never read Dark Knight Returns. Anyway, genius idea and I remember thinking this way back when i first read DKR almost 10 years ago.

  • 9 7-27-2009 at 2:37 am

    Eric said...

    David Bowie is most likely the model for the Dark Knight Returns Joker way back in 86, the similarities are quite evident.