Sean Penn was the first choice to play Batman's biggest foe, THE JOKER, in the BATMAN BEGINS sequel, according to internet reports. Top Batman fansite Batman-on-Film.com reports Penn was offered the role ahead of Heath Ledger, who will play the villain in THE DARK KNIGHT - but he turned the part down. Penn's good friend Jack Nicholson played The Joker in the first 1989 Batman movie.