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“We had amazing puppeteers, but they were the ones doing the jokes,” Lea Thompson, who played Beverly Switzler in the film, told The Hollywood Reporter. “I was like, ‘It would be great if you could have an actor doing the lines to keep the ball in the air.’ The technical side of making the movie was so difficult and fraught. I kept saying to them, ‘The duck doesn’t work.’”
All of this meant that Williams wasn’t free to bring the kind of wild, improvisatory spirit that you’d expect from him.
“What I was told was by the third day, Robin said, ‘I can’t do this. It is insane. I can’t get the rhythm of this. I am being confined. I am being handcuffed in order to match the flapping duck’s bill.’” Chip Zien, who ended up voicing Howard in the finished film, told THR. “So, on Memorial Day 1985, I got a call from my agent who said, ‘You have to get right to the airport! Robin Williams just quit and you’re now Howard the Duck. You need to get there tonight. There is a ticket waiting for you at the counter.’ I was incredibly excited.”
In that same interview, Zien recalls that he had been signed on for a trilogy of Howard the Duck movies, but of course, they would never come to pass. But for fans who know where to look, whether it’s to the absolutely bonkers marketing campaign or the movie’s novelization which fleshes out a lot of the film’s world, Howard will always have a place in our hearts. Even as just a cinematic curiosity.
Source: Den of Geek