Willem Dafoe is transformed into Batman‘s deadliest and most iconic villain, as artist Rahal Nejraoui imagines the talented actor as DC’s Joker. Dafoe has already made an appearance in DC’s filmography as Aquaman’s (Jason Mamoa) mentor Nuidis Vulko in the DCEU. The actor previously won comic book movie fans praise for his portrayal of Norman Osborn, AKA the Green Goblin.
Being no stranger to DC Comics characters, Dafoe starred in Aquaman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League as Nuidis Vulko, Vizier to the throne of Atlantis and mentor to Arthur Curry/Aquaman. Following his mother Queen Atalanna’s (Nicole Kidman) supposed death, Vulko trained Arthur in his Atlantean gifts, before later aiding him against his evil half-brother Orm’s (Patrick Wilson) plot to wage war on the surface world as the Ocean Master. Despite his prior role, Dafoe has a DC role he hopes to play in the future, revealing in an interview that he would like to face Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker in a possible sequel to the 2019 solo film as a Joker imposter. Following this discussion, one fan has imagined what Dafoe could look like in his dream DC role.
Digital artist Nejraoui shared his latest piece on his personal Instagram account, imagining Dafoe as the Clown Prince of Crime. The artwork features Dafoe wielding a handgun in a bar, dressed in black gloves and patterned purple shirt and tie, inspired by a recent photoshoot of Dafoe’s. Dafoe’s Joker make-up is rougher and messily applied in the piece, more akin to Heath Ledger’s portrayal than Phoenix’s, making him a stark contrast to the latter’s more traditional clown design. Nejraoui stated that his piece was inspired by Dafoe’s recent comments and fan discussion around it, teasing a Heath Ledger easter egg hidden in the piece. Check out Nejraoui’s artwork below.
Click here to see Nejraoui’s original post.
Despite his DC work, Dafoe returned to Marvel in 2021, reprising his role as another iconic supervillain associated with the color green in Spider-Man: No Way Home as the Green Goblin. Continuing his character’s story from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Dafoe’s Norman Osborn grappled with his Green Goblin persona as he tried to cure himself and the other villains pulled into the MCU by a failed spell. Despite Norman’s desire to redeem himself, the Goblin takes control in the worst moment, becoming one of the cruelest and deadliest foes that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man had faced, pushing him to his limit. Though the Goblin is often regarded as one of the most referenced and gleefully evil Spider-Man villains put to the big screen, Dafoe is wary of his portrayal being just a meme.
While not an idea seen on the big screen before, Dafoe’s idea is interesting and not unprecedented, as DC has created stories involving alternative copycat Jokers before. Furthermore, there are very few actors more suited to playing the Joker as Dafoe, with the talented actor being capable to strike a balance between manic glee and intimidating threat with ease. Though there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see a Dafoe versus Phoenix Joker face-off, Nejraoui’s artwork can at least give fans a glimpse of what can be.
Next: Willem Dafoe’s Joker Idea Is Perfect For Joaquin Phoenix’s Sequel
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