During an interview with Vulture, John Lithgow explained that he was considered for the role of the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman before Burton even entered the picture, but other commitments got in the way, which made him turn down the offer:

 “I was doing M. Butterfly on Broadway and it was an exhausting show. It would have meant leaving that show and going right into a movie, and I said, ‘I just don’t think I can’. How about that for stupid? Actors are not necessarily smart people.”

He also commented about the audition saying:

“I have never told anyone this story, but I tried to persuade him I was not right for the part, and I succeeded. I didn’t realize it was such a big deal. About a week later I heard they were going after Robin Williams and Jack Nicholson.”

Source: Vulture

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