Who Will Joseph Gordon-Levitt Play in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

We’ve spent a lot of time here at Screen Rant dissecting the characters of The Dark Knight Rises. A couple of weeks ago, I spent some time wondering how Bane might figure into Nolan’s final Batman film, and just this week, Screen Rant Senior Editor Kofi Outlaw explored how Selina Kyle/Catwoman might play into the movie.

Without patting myself on the back too much, I thought that we both did a pretty good job. Of course, that was before Christopher Nolan decided to throw a monkey wrench into our casting speculation with the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was joining Batman 3.

Within minutes of the announcement that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be involved in the movie, fans began debating over what character he might play. Somewhat predictably, the two most popular guesses were that JGL was playing the Riddler or that he was taking over Heath Ledger’s role as the Joker. I don’t think either of those will turn out to be right, but more on that later.

In this article, we take a look at all of the possible characters that Gordon-Levitt could play in The Dark Knight Rises, and offer our opinion as to which character is most likely. Read on for our picks, arranged from least likely to most likely.

The Joker

The Dark Knight Joker 570x328 Who Will Joseph Gordon Levitt Play in The Dark Knight Rises?

As I mentioned before, as soon as the Gordon-Levitt story broke, many people immediately assumed that the young actor would play the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s final film, reprising the role that won Heath Ledger a posthumous Academy Award.

I won’t go on the record to guarantee that this won’t happen, because you never know for sure, but let me say that I would be extremely surprised if it did. The fact of the matter is that Ledger’s performance was a one-of-a-kind and anybody taking over the role, even the exceptionally talented Gordon-Levitt, would be held to an unfair standard.

Plus, Christopher Nolan already said back in June of last year that The Joker wouldn’t appear in the film. While I acknowledge that Nolan is something of a trickster when it comes to casting, I’m holding him at his word here. Sorry Joker fans, but I wouldn’t bet on seeing the Crown Prince of Crime on the big screen again anytime soon.

The Riddler

theriddler Who Will Joseph Gordon Levitt Play in The Dark Knight Rises?

Back before we found out that Bane would be the villain in The Dark Knight Rises, many fans were hoping that the Riddler would show up in the final Batman film. Now, with the announcement of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s involvement in the film, suddenly those hopes have been reignited. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

While the Riddler is definitely a great villain, fitting him into The Dark Knight Rises in a way that enhances the plot and doesn’t diminish the importance of the character in the Batman mythology would be immensely difficult. We’ve seen what happens when comic book movies squeeze too many characters into the story (X-Men 3) and I doubt Christopher Nolan would let that happen.

If the Riddler were in the film, he would be the primary antagonist. Since that role belongs to Tom Hardy as Bane, I don’t think Batman will be spending too much time deciphering riddles in The Dark Knight Rises.

Hush/Black Mask

Hush Black Mask Batman Who Will Joseph Gordon Levitt Play in The Dark Knight Rises?

We’re getting closer, but still no cigar. Black Mask and Hush are both great villains, and they definitely would work in the more realistic world of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, but the same problem we had with the Riddler comes up again here.

Unless they were just crime bosses competing with Bane for control of Gotham, Black Mask and Hush would be too complex to fit into the narrative that Nolan has established going into The Dark Knight Rises. Like the Riddler, Black Mask or Hush would be great primary antagonists. Relegating them to second-string status seems like a mistake, and a misuse of quality characters.

Of all the famous villains Gordon-Levitt could play, either of these guys is probably the most likely, but I still think it’s a stretch.

Continue to other roles JGL could play…

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  1. Nightwing would be the studio’s choice so they could make a movie based on him. I doubt that would be the final choice though. I like Nightwing or Riddler.

  2. I like the Falcone character. There is some much character development with this character being that he is the son of Carmine which we have already been introduced ti in the first. Add Catwoman to the mix and you have a story that has been developed over three movies.

  3. the “Alberto Falcone” scenario would kick ass! Hope thats what they go for.

  4. @”The fact of the matter is that Ledger’s performance was a one-of-a-kind and anybody taking over the role, even the exceptionally talented Gordon-Levitt, would be held to an unfair standard.”

    That’s what everyone said about the over-rated performance Jack Nicholson gave.

    I see Levitt as playing a cop attached to Gordon’s unit (maybe Harvey Bullock) out to get Batman.

  5. I doubt it’ll be Falcone- he would have to have been introduced or mentioned in the previous films for that character to work.
    Personally, I’m betting that JGL plays the guy replacing Lucius Fox as head of Wayne Industries.

    • That could work.

  6. Riddler could still work as the primary villain. You’ve got Batman who is a genius, you’ve got Bane who is a genius, and you’ve got Riddler who is a genius. The movie is obviously going to focus to some degree on the identity of Batman, figuring out who it is. The Riddler could show up, having deduced Batman’s identity and lay out a string of puzzles to lead others to it. It could then be a race between the Dark Knight and Bane to follow the clues, one seeking to protect the secret, the other seeking to expose it.

    But Catwoman wouldn’t fit in as nicely as she does in the Alberto Falcone scenario you’ve laid out. And since the Falcone crime family has had major influence in the first two movies, I would definitely lean toward that as the likely route Nolan is going to take this.

  7. Another great article, and I like how your mind thinks, I agree with yourthought process and I think they will be going with the Holiday killer Alberto , it Makes the most sense and i always felt that Nolan was going to continue along the lines of Long Halloween, and Dark Victory.

    The Nightwing idea, just doesnt fit with the current story that Nolan has built, We have seen Bruce Wayne convert into Batman and he hasnt had a chance to Train anyone so there for it would be a big problem story wise to introduce Dick Grayson into this current incarnation

  8. Dick Greyson! Jk I think he’s gonna be involved with Wayne Enterprise or the tool that gets Bane to be Bane

  9. Well if Batman had the Bat-computer he may need to use it to solve riddles and actually do some detective work. So I’m really hopping for Riddler.

  10. Now they just need to include Rupert Thorne, Black Mask, Dr. Hugo Strange and Deadshot and this movie will have all the major villains it needs. Christopher Nolan is the undisputed best and greatest director in the world. The Dark Knight Rises will be the biggest movie of 2012. Watch out Avatar!

    • I like this idea

    • That was my first choice also. :)

      • Jean paul Valley is horrible , I mean I respect your Idea but Azrael is just plain lame, and i dont think the public wants to see robo batman not to mention JPV is a nut job.

        • Him being a nut job is what makes his character not horrible and actually interesting. I don’t want to see him replace Batman but I wouldn’t mind seeing him try to be Batman while Batman is still active. Trying to imitate him thinking he’s the real Batman and using brutal Force so Bruce has to stop him.

  11. I think hes not going to be a bad guy,maybe he helps TDK?

  12. Great Article!
    Love these ideas.

  13. Sgt. Max Court / Night Scourge idea makes a boatload of sense. Batman is accused of murder. How better to rid him of these charges than for someone else to be parading around as Batman doing horrible things, only for those who are hunting him realize that this isn’t the real Batman. Night Scourge/Fake Batman takes on the murders in TDK, and the real Batman can return to being a symbol of hope for Gotham.

  14. what about deadshot? as a small villain that Bane hires?

    • Lol i love how Dead shot is relegated to a small villian hired by Bane, when Deadshot could take Bane anytime.

      • And here we go……

  15. As soon as thy announced the casting i thought he would be a socialite. A brother or fiancé of Kyle that would be protective but unaware of catwoman alter ego. This would give Kyle more screen time without wayne.

  16. I like the idea of JGL playing a reporter/blogger (Batman’s very own Jimmy Olson?) but he’s such a talented actor I could really see him play anyone. The Falcone idea is also very intriguing.

  17. PLEASE! Be Azrael.

  18. The only interesting one out of the list is Alberto Falcone. I can definatly see Gordon-Levitt playing him.

  19. I’ve previously said about the falcone start line they could make the other female cast member hangman as they both aim for revenge against bats

    Tbh I’m just happy there is another talented actor joining the cast let’s hope our mystery female is just as good

  20. I think Azrael makes the most sense but I like to be surprised by Nolan.

  21. I wouldn’t mind having Mr. JGL play either The Riddler or Alberto Falcone. But I’d rather see him play other characters from the Bat rogue’s gallery like Mad Hatter, Clock King and even Hush.

  22. what if he played a new interpretation of the red hood

    • It would be awful.

  23. I would love to see the Riddler,

    but for Riddler would have to be presented a Simon Gruber from Die hard three way as well as introducing Da Vinci Code type game to present Batman in.

    Try doing that with Bane and Catwoman it would seem kinda cluttered and unfulfilling. Riddler in dark real gritty context would be the complete anti Joker, aka Order vs Chaos.

    I don’t think Nolan is going that direction with this film. This film will most likley be more about the action between Bane and Batman and the flirtation of the darkside Catwoman presents.

    So i would assume he is in fact a new DA( Anti Batman ) or the lead of the (Anti Batman Taskforce) if he is villian he will be Dr Strange. He may not resemble him but judging by the end of TDK there is some room for him in the story line.

  24. I suggested Mario Falcone yesterday! The only reason why I see Mario as a more likely character for JGL than Alberto Falcone is that he is a more complex character. Alberto is a villain at the end of the day (One of the Holiday killers), while Mario is a moral character who saw the error in his ways. Not only that, but Mario is depicted as a rather handsome and charismatic character, while Alberto looks borderline weak. I doubt that JGL would lose his looks in order to play the role, especially if it’s as a crime boss/Falcone.

  25. What? No Penguin? lol… just kidding… I like the alberto scenerio… although, as far as I know, nolan never said that hugo strange WOULDNT be in the movie… so unless im mistaken (and it has happend before believe it or not :) ) then that would be great too… out of all these characters mentioned, ild say alberto, hush/black mask, and a new character… having bane as the main bad guy, riddler wouldnt be good in the movie compared to if he was the main bad guy… and night wing? i have to agree with you, his back ground wouldnt be so good because he wasnt robin…

  26. I love these in depth write ups. The only site to fully go the distance to sniff out Nolan’s thought process. You could be wrong, but at least you are stirring the pot of discussion while we sit and wait for official announcements. Keep ’em coming.

  27. Well what if JGL ends up playing a dual part? I think that would blindside us all. Even though the probability is low, it could be a super short Joker scene (still don’t decide how I would feel about that). And I like the Albert Falcone angle as well. Guess we are in for a surprise any way it goes…