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From One Joker to the Next: Mark Hamill Gives Joaquin Phoenix His Blessing

The Batman villain has been voiced by Hamill since 1992 and is now being played by Phoenix in an upcoming movie.

Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill

Rob Latour/BEI/Shutterstock

Joaquin Phoenix left a huge impression in the first “Joker” trailer that Warner Bros. debuted this week, first to massive buzz at CinemaCon and then online where it quickly became a viral sensation. The Todd Phillips-directed movie stars the three-time Oscar nominee as the famous Batman villain. While previous bigscreen Jokers such as Jack Nicholson and Jared Leto have yet to weigh in on the “Joker” trailer, one person with Joker ties who can’t wait for the film is Mark Hamill.

Hamill took to social media in the aftermath of the “Joker” trailer premiere to share his excitement over the project and give Phoenix his blessing, writing, “A diabolically delicious character + a superb actor + a brilliant writer/director = YES PLEASE!!!” Hamill has voiced the animated Joker since the 1992 launch of “Batman: The Animated Series” on Fox. The actor’s voice work as the Joker has extended to several “Batman” video games and other animated series such as “Justice League Action” on Cartoon Network and the animated film “Batman: The Killing Joke.”

The upcoming live-action “Joker” is set in 1981 and stars Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a stand-up comedian whose failed attempts to become famous force him into the criminal underworld of Gotham City. The supporting cast includes Robert De Niro as a talk show host who factors into Arthur’s psychological downfall and “Atlanta” favorite Zazie Beetz as a single mother who is Arthur’s love interest. Frances Conroy, Bill Camp, and Marc Maron co-star.

While Hamill is not involved with “Joker,” he will also be hitting the big screen later this year in “Star Wars: Episode IX.” The actor is reprising his iconic role of Luke Skywalker one final time in the J.J. Abrams-directed trilogy ender, in theaters December 20. Before “Star Wars,” Hamill will lend his voice to “Child’s Play” and star as the killer doll Chucky. The horror film opens June 21.

Warner Bros. is opening “Joker” in theaters nationwide October 4.

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