New ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Details: Studio Wanted DiCaprio as Riddler

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 1:10 pm,

The world starting wondering what Chris Nolan’s third Batman film would be about almost immediately after the end credits rolled on The Dark Knight way back in 2008, and there were plenty of forthcoming theories about who the villains would be. (Ironically enough, Tom Hardy’s character Bane was one of the most persistent ones.)

In a recent article for Empire, Batman trilogy co-writer David S. Goyer dropped some interesting details and anecdotes about The Dark Knight Rises - including Warner Bros.’ plan to have The Riddler be the villain, with Leonardo DiCaprio playing him.

Here are some of the details about TDKR, as per Batman News:

  • In Fall of 2008, Christopher Nolan and co-writer David Goyer came up with the ending to The Dark Knight Rises. They didn’t know what the plot would be, or which villains would terrorize Gotham, but they knew it would be the final Batman movie in their trilogy, and they knew how they wanted it to end. Goyer explained that the ending in The Dark Knight Rises is exactly what they talked about 4 years ago — it’s completely unchanged. When Goyer saw that final scene from The Dark Knight Rises, he got a lump in his throat.
  • More than a third of the film, 1 hour, was shot in IMAX.
  • As I mentioned earlier this week, Nolan confirmed that The Joker will not be addressed at all in The Dark Knight Rises. He was also nervous about adding Catwoman, but his brother Jonah convinced him that she needed to be part of the trilogy.
  • David Goyer said that at the premiere of The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. executives were already talking about a villain for The Dark Knight Rises — “it’s gonna be The Riddler, and we want it to be Leonardo DiCaprio…”.
  •  Christopher Nolan confirmed that Anne Hathaway’s character, Selina Kyle, is never referred to as “Catwoman” in the script.

There’s much more good stuff to find out – but you’ll have to go to Batman News or pick up the latest issue of Empire to get the full scoop.

Plenty of Batman fans were (and in some cases, still are) pushing hard for The Riddler to be the antagonist in Dark Knight Rises, with The Penguin and Bane serving as secondary picks. Ironically enough, back in 2008 when this DiCaprio/Riddler talk was allegedly floating around WB, the world had not yet seen the successful pairing of DiCaprio and director Chris Nolan on Inception. It’s now frustratingly interesting to ponder what DiCaprio and Nolan could’ve done with the character, and if that wouldn’t have been a better scenario than the one we have in front of us. Maybe we’ll find out if Nolan comes back for Batman 4?

 New Dark Knight Rises Details: Studio Wanted DiCaprio as Riddler

The part about Catwoman is also sure to elicit some strong reactions from the Batman fan base. Nolan’s version of Catwoman – from the hi-tech “cat ear” goggles to the spiked high-heel boots – has already caused some fans to hiss and swipe at the character, long before the Dark Knight Rises final trailer and TV spots gave us an actual look at actress Anne Hathaway’s work onscreen. To hear that Chris Nolan originally didn’t want Catwoman in the film, and that she’s never even referred to as “Catwoman” in the script (does that mean in the final film as well?), is only going to embolden those same detractors into claiming that their accusations of character mismanagement are valid. Expect to hear this debate continue – well after the actual movie comes and goes from theaters.

Definitely looking forward to that hour of IMAX footage, though.

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The Dark Knight Rises in theaters on July 20, 2012.

Source: Batman News & Empire

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  1. Just some comments. No riddler in the Nolanverse, it would just destroy the real world scenario he’s got going. The joker, the riddler, the prankster, the jester, etc.. It would just get out of hand. And when they do cast the riddler I have decided Denis Leary is playing him and I’m not up for any argument about it, it’s decided. Lol.

  2. Just some comments. No riddler in the Nolanverse. It would get too cheesy to fit Nolan’s theme. The joker, the riddler, the prankster, the jester, blah blah blah. And when they do the riddler I have decided Denis Leary is playing him and I’m not up for any argument about it. Lol.

  3. I personally believe that The Riddler would work very well in the Nolanverse, as it would be a darker, more realistic version of the riddler, possibly something like a serial killer leaving clues, like in se7en. That said, while The Riddler would work in that type of Batman universe, he simply would not fit into the storyline that Chris Nolan has been developing. This is very clearly going to be “the epic conclusion to the dark knight legend”, and Bane seems to be the perfect fit as the villain to “end the legend” (whether he kills him or not). The riddler playing mind games and leaving riddles and clues doesn’t exactly seem like the right route. I see where Warner Bros is coming from, and I think Leo would have been a great choice (though I would personally prefer Guy Pearce), but Chris had a vision for this series, and Riddler doesn’t really fit in the storyline. The only way I could MAYBE see the Riddler fit in this storyline is if he were behind the scenes, pulling the strings, and Bane was the physical threat (but still an intellectual one as well. We don’t want a repeat of Batman & Robin.)

    Also, another thing that comes to mind for me, and probably for many other moviegoers, is that The Riddler is too similar to The Joker. Now, I know as many people on this thread stated, there are many differences. But you cannot deny the fact that there are blatant similarities to their characters, both being behind-the-scenes villains playing mind games, while not posing a real physical threat. I just think that The Riddler would seem recycled, and especially after Heath Ledger’s iconic performance, a similar villain would pale in comparison.

    On a different note, I’m itching to know what that final scene is! Since they thought of it in 2008 and it’s been unchanged, it’s safe to say that neither Catwoman nor John Blake will be present in that scene, which I would say lends credence to the theory that Bruce Wayne/Batman will NOT die in TDKR. Just saying.

    This is all IMO. Feel free to reply.

    • agree with all those points — the riddler follows the same “archetype” as the Joker. The only notable difference that he brings that the other “freaks” do not is his direct connection to the detective genre. Batman is, at the end of the day, a noir detective solving clues and crimes, the Riddler fits that world like a glove.

      However, for the final Batman conclusion you need the ultimate DRAGON to Batman’s BEOWULF. You need the ultimate threat — and Bane brings that down hard.

      I would not mind seeing this as Bruce Wayne’s ending or his death. I have a feeling it’ll end the way it ended in DK:R — with his identity exposed, the Manor burning down for the last time, and Batman disappearing into his own mythology as the ultimate urban legend. The Dark Knight Rises as a SYMBOL and an IDEA. He accomplishes more in his absence — he is a hero reborn.

      • I would be very happy if that were the ending

  4. Bane is the ultimate villain after the freak-show that the Joker bought. It works just fine, if not better, than the Riddler.

  5. I Really like the idea of leo Dicaprio or johnny depp as chris nolans riddler in the near future, if they could let the batman series rest for a little while and if the could find a way for the riddler to not come off a weaker version of the joker, its all how its written and haveing a director with a great eye, leo is finally playing his first villain role in another film, so will see how that turns out and as for johnny i really believe he needs to do something like public enemies again and not play as many strange and goofy roles,hes been sadly getting very type cast as well leo playing all theses good guy/tortured roles.

  6. I still think it would be fun if the film ended with gordon giving bats a strange riddler fueled letter to batman and him saying ill look’en to it, like a nod to Begins, leaving people with a smile on the faces

  7. It just occured to me that imo, Willem Dafoe would look like the Riddler as pictured above.

  8. I think the riddler and clayface would be an excellent villain team. Cuz riddler could hang back at his hide out and have clayface set his puzzles across Gotham. Clayface would blend in.

  9. I think the riddler and clayface would be an excellent villain team. Cuz riddler could hang back at his hide out and have clayface set his puzzles across Gotham. Clayface would blend in with the civilians.

  10. I really wanted Leo DiCaprio or Jackie Earl Haley to play Black Mask as the secondary villian in the trilogy.

  11. It’s not about Riddler, git’s about Leonardo being in the movie. It’d have been great to see Bale and Di Caprio sharing the same screen.

  12. It’s not about Riddler, it’s about Leonardo being in the movie. It’d have been great to see Bale and Di Caprio sharing the same screen.

  13. looking back now i think he