Robin Williams Almost Appeared in a Big Marvel Movie and you Didn’t Know
The actor, who became known for films such as Dead Poets Society, committed suicide in 2014 after spending the last years of his life being treated for dementia.
Robin Williams will always be remembered as one of the best actors in film history. What few people know is that he narrowly missed giving voice to one of the most classic characters from the Afternoon Session, Howard the Superhero. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actor Chip Zien, who was ultimately responsible for the voice acting, made this revelation.
The actor said he was hired by his agent when the filming of the work was already finished, during Howard’s dubbing stage. He was called in to replace Williams, who resigned after three days of work recording the duck’s voice. According to Zien, the main reason was that he was dissatisfied with the demands of the film’s producers, starting with the need to adapt his vocal skills to the limited movement of the movie’s protagonist’s duck beak.
“What I was told was that on the third day of shooting Robin said, ‘I can’t do this, it’s insane, I can’t pace myself, I’m feeling confined. I’m being handcuffed to be able to align with the movement of the duck’s beak’”, said the actor. “Then, on Memorial Day holiday in 1985, I got a call from my agent saying, ‘You need to run to the airport! Robin Williams has resigned and you will be Howard. You need to get there today. There is a ticket waiting for you at the airport’. I was very excited”, he added.
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Starring Tom Robbins and Lea Thompson, ‘Howard’ is inspired by the eponymous character from Marvel Comics. For those who don’t know the story, a duck with the characteristics of a human being who lives on another planet is hit by a laser beam fired by an experimental machine from Earth. So, totally by chance, he is brought by lightning to the planet of men, only along with him comes an alien who wants to take over the world. It became a major box office failure, grossing less than $40 million worldwide, and was widely criticized and won four Golden Raspberries, including worst film.