On October 19th, on his Twitter page, Mark Hamill announced he was retiring as the voice of the Joker. Hamill, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, had been the voice of the Batman nemesis since 1992, when “Batman: The Animated Series” premiered.

mark-hamillDuring this 20 year run, Hamill took the character and defined for a generation the Joker. You can not watch the Academy Award winning performance of the late Heath Ledger in the “The Dark Knight” and not see and hear  Hamill’s influence.  You can not listen to the performance of  Kevin Michael Richardson as the Joker in the “The Batman” or John DiMaggio (Bender of Futurama) in “Batman: Under the Red Hood” and not think that they comes close to the mark set by Hamill, but they don’t hit it.

I don’t know who Warner Animation will chose to be the next voice of the Joker (both Richardson and DiMaggio are good choices), but whoever they chose, will have really big shoes to fill. Hamill was the Joker and all others will be compared to him for some time to come.

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