Batman Sequel Rumors: Johnny Depp as The Riddler
With The Dark Knight continuing to break box office records (it went up to #3 all-time over the weekend, and is poised to surpass Star Wars before the weekend), the rumors are now flying fast and furious on the inevitable sequel.
Christian Bale is purportedly signed to do at least one more Batman movie, but for now, Christopher Nolan wants to do something else before committing to another sequel. Supposedly, Nolan began the writing and preproduction on The Dark Knight not long after Batman Begins came out, but this time he wants to take a break. With so much money to be made, I hope the producers don't try something foolish like replacing Nolan so they can fast-track another sequel. The last time the Batman series tried the quick turnaround, the result was the disastrous Batman and Robin.
For casting the villain, the rumors currently point to Johnny Depp as The Riddler, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin. Seeing how Depp can make just about any character his own, he would obviously be a solid choice for the role. However, another rumor points to David Tennant (the current Doctor Who) actively pursuing the role while the producers pursue Depp. Personally, I'm actually more intrigued by Tennant, who's probably the most charismatic Doctor since Tom Baker.
But, obviously Depp would bring tremendous star power to the role, and that's precisely what concerns me. Nolan's Batman series thus far has refreshingly steered clear of superstars. A lot of solid character actors in the key roles, and even Heath Ledger was not a huge box office draw when he got cast as The Joker.
Other rumors (or at least fanboy wishful thinking) include Angelina Jolie as Catwoman. The only potential character introduction that likely won't happen is Robin ... both Nolan and Bale have indicated that they would not want any part in that.
What brought down the previous Batman movie series was the inevitable temptation to make each sequel bigger and glitzier, with more villains, more sidekicks, more everything (except common sense and attention paid to the storyline). With two major villains and one major box office star in one of those roles, this would come dangerously close to the star vehicle formula that Joel Schumacher used in his Batman movies.
I trust that Nolan will make the right choices and steer clear of the excesses and star focus from the previous Batman series. But, the potential is there to totally botch the franchise all over again.
I don't think that big name stars will doom the Batman. I can certainly agree with many of your points however.
Johnny Depp would be excellent as the Riddler, unless he wears an eye patch and a poofy shirt.
Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin would be interesting. He is a very dynamic actor as well. I enjoyed him greatly in Capote, and Charlie Wilsons war.
Both would be great assets.
Now if Uwe Boll directs, well, that would be a disaster.
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I'm not sure about PSH as Penguin. I appreciate H's acting ability as much as you do, Beef, but as Penguin, I am concerned about a miscast. H plays well with roles that are either ambiguous or slightly effeminant: As "Capote" or in the movie "Flawless", his slippery way of getting through a scene was remarkable. Penguin is a strange character, to be sure, but I thought that DeVito topped the list, IMMHO....
I can get behind the idea of David Tennant as the riddler.
His scene-stealing, scenery -chewing, and facial muggings as The Doctor are a wonder to behold. I keep waiting for spittle to run out of the sides of his mouth and for him to start banging his head against the wall.
And I agree that Danny DeVito made a great Penguin. The only fly in the ointment that I see is that in this iteration of the Batman series they seem to be focusing less on totally bizarre prosthetics, makeup, and fantastical comic-book settings. While the Penguins underground lair, claw hand, and bizarre facial structure might have worked for Tim Burton's mescaline tinged world, I don't think it works on this one.
Peter Dinklage would be good in a pinch. sort of a euridite mini-me with a "don;t give me any shiite" attitude.
Halle Berry might make a good catwoman, given another chance with a real catwoman script, but it just might take a somewhat "harder" type. Carrie Moss might do in a pinch.
Last edited by markw; 08-11-2008 at 02:39 PM.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see Depp dig into The Riddler role. But, I think one of the things that has worked very well so far with the two Nolan Batman movies is that you haven't really had a superstar that sucks the oxygen out of the room every time they're on screen. By the time Schumacher took over the Batman series, it was already on the verge of turning into a star vehicle where the story arc was driven by how many big names could get stuffed onto a marquee.
Depp would probably work quite well as The Riddler. But, I just hope that the producers' rumored pursuit of Johnny Depp is not a sign that they want to direct the franchise back in the direction of star power and bigger means better. The Dark Knight is already the third highest grossing movie ever without any A-listers on the marquee, and I hope the studio doesn't start assuming that they can make even more if they bring the parade of superstars back to the Batman series.
When I read that Depp and Tennant as rumor fodder for the Riddler role, I instantly thought that Tennant would be an inspired choice for the role. It's pretty much the same reaction I had when I heard about Ledger getting the Joker role. It also helps that Tennant is more of an unknown to American audiences. Yet, he's one of the few actors I've seen that has a charismatic screen presence as well as a slightly unhinged goofball demeanor. Quite different from Depp, who tends to be somewhat dark and brooding.
Originally Posted by markw
I'm actually hoping that they don't put both the Penguin and Riddler into the same movie. I kinda like the focus on a primary arch-villain, and maybe have some supporting roles in between. The Penguin and Riddler are both major characters, so I don't know how the plot threads would get divied up.
Originally Posted by markw
I liked the casting of Danny DeVito in Batman Returns, but I thought that the movie was just too dark and bizarre, and with so much focus on Catwoman, the Penguin character was underutilized. I also thought that the deformity angle deviated way too much from the comics, in which the Penguin was just short fat guy in a tux with mob connections and some high tech weapons.
Originally, I'd read that Nolan wanted to explore more of the Batman villains that had not yet been on the big screen (hence Ras Al Ghul and Scarecrow in Batman Begins). Obviously, with Joker and Two-Face in the current movie, that didn't happen this time around.
seems a little too obvious
except for psh
Interesting note regarding Penguin as realised by Burton, Wooch. For lack of a better way of expressing myself on half a tank at this time of the morning (it's nearly 10 AM), you may be onto something with the notion that Penguin was more costume than character. Not being a Batman expert, but someone who enjoys the movies--having cut his teeth on the '60's series--it seems that the character of Penguin was always peripheral. Unlike Joker, who seems to be the principle arch nemesis, other villains were presented in sketches and bit parts. So, the next Penguin will need more to draw upon, more history and more of the fractured psychosis that makes Joker--and Catwoman (M. Pfeiffer was terriffic in that role!)--so fascinating.
In the meantime, I don't think that Depp's persona is near as "dark or brooding" as it used to be. With "Pirates", his image has softened. Maybe he needs to take on a few dark roles to get back into character: sort of like Chris Walken or Gary Oldman, who were able to toe the line deftly by keeping the horror and humor in precarious but sure balance...
I grew up reading bat man comics, and this series of movies comes the closest to emulating the feel of the comic books( especially the one-off mini series and graphic novels), so I hope they don't get stupid with the third movie. The next movie will be the one to put the stamp on the series, hopefully they learned from the Matrix's third movie fiasco.
I heard that they were gotting the cast together from Ocean's Thirteen. Ben Afleck as Batman, Julia Roberts as Cat Woman, etc....
...and they can cast Bernie Mac as Solomon Grundy.
Originally Posted by Auricauricle
(Yes, I know that's in questionable taste, but I can't resist a straight line)
Well, I think one potential use for the Penguin would be as the new mob boss. That would work at balancing out the villainy with the more clearly flamboyant Riddler.
Originally Posted by Auricauricle
The Burton interpretation of the Penguin was too much of a freak story, and seemed more geared towards disturbing and grossing out the audience. The comic book Penguin is much more of a straight forward criminal, and one of the more sane characters in Gotham.
Maybe a bad choice of words on my part. His interpretations of Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka are on the dark side in the sense that they are morally ambiguous and shadowy. Actually, both of those characters seem more stoned than anything. Of course, I never would have thought of Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon either, yet he has done a fine job with that role. Seems that the acting in the Nolan Batman series trends more towards understated than anything.
Originally Posted by Auricaucle
... and Spider-Man 3, Superman III, X-Men 3, Batman Forever, ...
Originally Posted by mbbuchanan
Among all the Batman movies, so far I actually think that the first Burton movie and Batman Begins seem to best capture the comic versions. Burton was actually inspired by The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, and kinda wrapped that around more of a gothic landscape and a lot of pop cultural references. I think if Batman Begins had drawn more from the Burton set design, then it might have been the most closest approximation.
The Dark Knight to me seems one more step removed from the comic book world, and more in the real world. That's not a bad thing, but it also makes it a different movie from Batman Begins.
See that shows how much I know! I had no idea Oldman was in a Batman film! As Comissioner Gordon! Whew, that's a mind-blower!
Agreed with you regarding the Burton "freak story" comparison. This seems to be Burton's stock in trade, however: a traditional story told with a carnival backdrop as atmosphere....But then, again, isn't the whole Batman thing a lampoon, anyway?
The Burton movie was good, but technology was not up to par until recently to allow a comic based movie to not feel campy and cheesy. And I owned the Dark Knight Series as well as the first several Legend of the dark Knight comics (which was an origin series) and I still feel that the Bat Man Begins was by far the best. I have not seen the Dark Knight yet, so I can't comment on that, yet. But for me in the era I collected ( mid 80's thru mid 90's) Begins was the closest in story and feel, and felt like it was more of an addition to the Bat Man mythology and less like a one-off story just for the sake of a movie. The first Burton movie came out when I was a kid, so it will always be one of my all-time favorites just for the sentimental factor,and it was a good movie after all.
they are completely different universes
nolan is more realistic, gritty, and of this world
there are zero supernatural elements
the scene where the cats reincarnate catwoman
would never work in a nolan film
also didnt he say hed never do catwoman or penguin
of course he also said hed never do joker
couldnt resist i guess
Now recognize that this is coming from the perspective of someone who has yet to see The Dark Knight but I've got some thoughts nonetheless...
Clearly this movie is a departure and from all accounts one that eschews some of the comical silliness of the character in favor of a certain grittiness. With that in mind maye introducing The Mad Hatter from the series might be inkeeping with the approach. That character also was based less on "super-powers" and based more on pathology. Almost Lechter-ish in fact. Willem DaFoe would be a good straight-man-with-a-psycho-edge to Depp's more comedic Riddler.
I don't know that Halle's publicists and agents are gonna want her to do the cat chick again. Think of it, for months preceding the release there would be nothing but a redredging in the press of that past failure. Not a great way to create anticipation.
Kim Smith who did the stunts and body double parts in the ill-fated Catwoman film might be an interesting choice...but only really 'cause I lust after her.
Actually, for dark and brooding and infinitely as lustable qualities would be Thandie Newton, a young lady with the added bonus of being able to act as well
Uh, Th...Th...Thandie would be tho...tho...nithe, th...th...thankth....
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Ah, yes: Khandi is at least as dhandi as Thandie....
Last edited by Auricauricle; 11-06-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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Ja, dandy indeed. Gimme gimme gimme Khandi and a coupla 40s of Rocket Fuel Malt Liquor and I'm good to go...
I don't know if I see her as Cat Woman though.
I have heard, from reliable sources that the next Batman hsa been cast...
Last edited by Auricauricle; 11-06-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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