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

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

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

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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