Depp And Hoffman (NOT) Confirmed For Batman 3

Published 7 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 9:38 pm,

[UPDATE: This rumor is utterly and completely baseless. Confirmed by AICN.]

A little over a month ago we reported that noises were being made stating that Johnny Depp and Philip Seymour Hoffman would be joining The Dark Knight sequel (referred to now as Batman 3). Supposedly they would be playing the Riddler and the Penguin, respectively.

We took this with a very large grain of salt, but now there is more news indicating that the casting of these two actors may be moving forward.

According to MTV (again, following the Will Smith/Captain America rumor) Michael Caine (who played Bruce Wayne’s long time friend/butler Alfred in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) mentioned that Depp and Hoffman are firmly in the sights of Warner Bros for the (anti-)dynamic duo of The Riddler and The Penguin.

From the interview with MTV:

“I was with [a Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make another one?’ They said yeah. I said, ‘How the hell are we going to top Heath? And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath – Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’ I said, ‘S-t, they’ve done it again!’” [Laughs]

So is this just a wish list by WB execs or something more solid? So far there isn’t even a script or even a story for Batman 3 as far as we know, and Chis Nolan has been quoted as saying he did not want major, well known villains in the next film.

But of course money (box office) talks, and Warner Bros may override him. Of course it’s not like they’re trying to force lousy actors on Nolan.. both of these fellow are fantastic actors, and that could help seal the deal since Nolan wants to put out a quality film.

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  1. Oh yippy, riddler and penguin…

    Well, I’m not one of those “OMG Johnny Depp is soooo coool” people as I think his popularity is uncalled for, so there’s another reason why I’m not very excited to hear this news…

  2. not sure i want these characters in the next bat film… I mean how will they make the penguin in the realistic style of the first two. As for riddler, he’s basically a lighter version of the joker so I don’t know what to expect.

    I do believe that something like this will actually occur, the need to bring in A-list actors to live up to TDK.

    well, it’ll be exciting to see who’s actually who when an official announcement comes.

  3. Well, I guess I’m in the excited range; I would love to see these guys do it. As for the Penguin, I believe, if Nolan does have the penguin, that he wouldn’t be the comicbook-looking penguin that Danny DeVito did; he would be a normal looking guy with a penguin fettish, probably.

  4. OMG Johnny Depp is soooo coool!!!!lol No really he is, hes a talented actor and would bring a massive amount of people to watch the film, not only that but if anyone can come close to Heath, im pretty sure its him.

  5. The Penguin in the comics wasn’t actually like the DeVito version, he was more of a crime boss type if I remember correctly. I think they could do it. Depp as Riddler definitely interests me.

  6. Hoffman in MI:3 was an excellent villain for the genre. His ability to seem so sociopathic and ruthless, while retaining intellect, makes him a great fit for The Penguin.

    Depp, however, I’m with Ken J. If he makes casting, I’ll take precious heed towards the movie as nightmares of his Willy Wonka perfomance showing through in The Riddler. Ugh.


  7. Rob said,
    September 8th, 2008

    not sure i want these characters in the next bat film… I mean how will they make the penguin in the realistic style of the first two. As for riddler, he’s basically a lighter version of the joker so I don’t know what to expect.

    *To Quote Myself*

    Mark said,
    August 2nd, 2008

    Just a word to those who have not seen The Dark Knight. My post assumes you have seen TDK and may use SPOILERS casually.

    My take is this: it’s far too early to speculate what actors will be in the next film since they haven’t even decided which villains to use. However, if it were up to me the main villain would be the Riddler and a small supporting role would go to the Penguin. Here’s my take. With Batman now wanted for 5 Police Murders, the GCPD calls in a heavyweight profiler to find out who batman is. This man becomes obsessed with solving the riddle “who is batman” to the point that he starts to commit crimes, leaving clues and hoping to lure Batman into his trap. I almost feel that Edward Nygma should be an alias for the investigator (as the name is just too obviously made to spell E. Nygma, IMHO). In his obsessiveness, the puzzles get more and more dangerous, not only to Batman, but also to the residents of Gotham. Now, what about the Penguin? Well, in the serious world of the Nolans, the Penguin would be a mob boss who steps in after Moroni’s little accident (wasn’t Eric Roberts pretty well perfect in that role?). Let’s not forget that Penguin’s lounge was mentioned in the Viral Adverts for TDK. In the more recent Comics, Batman pays the Penguin for information, so that could be a useful part. The penguin, would simply be a short man who has a predilection for tuxedos. The portrayal need only be a short actor who takes the role of a severe mob boss seriously. For that matter, “The Penguin” is a nickname that he hates (and he reacts rather violently to anyone he hears using it). Forget the lame portrayals with the quacking laughter and Tim Burton’s interpretation with physical defects (good, but not right for Nolan). Oh, and no special umbrellas, except maybe one with a concealed knife.

    Who would be suited for such roles?

    I think that Johnny Depp could portray the Riddler Quite well (and would be my second choice, actually). For the sake of argument, though, here are some others: Why not get Jim Carrey for the role? I think that he has more than proved he has serious dramatic chops (think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and would be perfect for the role if he had not already portrayed the Riddler so flamboyantly. Would we be able to separate it from his portrayal in Forever?; Crispin Glover has the perfect balance of smarts, creepiness, and energy to pull it off; Jeff Goldblum would also be a strong choice.

    Everyone is saying that Philip Seymour Hoffman would be great for the penguin. Here are some other ideas: Bob Hoskins may be a little too old, but has a strange and distinctive look about him; Joe Pesci could be sinister (and he has the height). Think Goodfellas short fuse Pesci, though he may be getting too old, but then again mob bosses are usually portrayed as older; and (don’t throw things) Jason Alexander. We know he can act like a jerk, but has not been very dark. I think he could pull it off and still be a likable character. And just think of Jason Alexander’s perfect nervousness. I would love to see him against the wall, face-to-face with Batman.

    So, my two cents.

  8. warner bros. better not override christopher nolan on this…’cause if they do, it’ll all just be a mess.

  9. Now, did fans have anything to do with this or was the original rumor pure insider stuff?? One has to wonder given the general positive community buzz the original story generated. Could this be a new way for studios to do business throw something out there, “chum the net” see what shows up? Unless Nolan has aspirations to helm a fourth movie I would think he would try to tie things up with a third movie. I doubt Riddler and Penguin advancing that notion.

  10. There’s just this level of femininity in Depp that creeps me the hell out. And he seems to act in a similar fashion in all of his movies. He seems to always do goofy roles and tends to jerk his movements a lot. I think he specializes in exaggeration. Hopefully he can tone that down and act serious for a serious movie…

    I think he’s an OK actor, but not an exceptional one as it is popular to make him out to be lately.

  11. @the old man

    LOL, sometimes the internet can be a perpetual motion machine. Someone says something on a blog, it gets picked up by the media, and then is distributed by other blogs as “confirmed.” :-P

    I *did* add “unofficial” to the post title…


  12. I couldn’t be less excited about this. I really can’t stand Depp. I think he is one of the most overrated actors in hollywood. Can he do a movie that isn’t made by Burton or catering to the Tween audience ?

  13. Yeah Vic that is a good point. I’ve read around the net, I like your presentation style! :)

  14. Count me in the unexcited category. Nolan is in tough. He painted the Batman franchise in a corner with the no boundaries take on the Joker.

    Anything after TDK is going to be anti-climatic.

    Stuffing two villians into a sequel is not the solution – especially when their focus is so much smaller than the Joker’s ie they are just thugs.

  15. I hate all this talk about how the should stop making Batman films because TDK was so good or because Heath is dead.

  16. My biggest reservation here is that it’s the studio calling the shots on something that is essentially a creative decision. This is how we got a Spider Man 3 that was overloaded on characters, some of which (*cough*venom*cough*) wasn’t even part of the director’s plan.

    If Nolan accepts this, and moves forward, the studio better be prepared to let the film go as long as he needs to develop the characters properly, or even let him cast these actors (who as Vic said, are indeed excellent actors) as lesser known villains, the way it seems he would prefer to go.

    I would love to see Nolan’s take on the Riddler, but more than that I want to see a story on the same high level as the Dark Knight, and any decision that needs to be made creatively to make that happen should be left in the hands of the Nolan and the other artists hired to do just that.

  17. Who’s talking about stopping the franchise? The issue is how can the third film be anything but inferior to the second.

  18. There’s a lot of room for improvment,,,
    Let’s hope Gotham starts to hire some better cops for one thing.
    The cops in the last film reminded me of Reno 911,,, ;-)

  19. I think it’s got room to improve the next film could be better, but personally TDK was so great it probably isn’t very likely. However, Personally I don’t care if it’s a good film it’s a good film it dosn’t have to be better than TDK as long as it’s in the same league as BB and TDK i’m happy.

  20. Yah, it was pretty bad when they put someone like The Joker in an open cell, and then left him alone in the interview room guarded by ONE person INSIDE the room. Shouldn’t it have been multiple armed guards OUTSIDE the locked room? And shouldn’t he have been kept in a closed cell without any windows and only a slit on the door for them to attach and remove handcuffs without unlocking the door first? I thought any modern jail would have those proper facilities for high risk individuals…

    Then there’s the fact that the Gotham cops can’t shoot apparently because they were like within 3 feet of Joker while he was holding that guy at mirror point(?). I would have just shot him in the head, it was an easy shot with very little risk to the guy he was holding hostage. The LAST thing I would have done is to let him use a phone…

    LOL, but I guess if they had not given him all of those chances to escape, the movie would have been over. But then again, it kind of already felt over at that time so it might not have been so bad…

    You know, come to think of it, when the tragedy that happened with Ledger came to be, they could have cut it so that Joker does not escape the jail and they go after Harvey, that thing happens, Rachel dies and Harvey is burned, then they could show a glimpse of Harvey’s scars and end it without that entire ferry boat scene. They can then start off Batman 3 with a recut version of the remaining scenes, but this time since the last ended with Two-Face’s introduction, he can then pick it up to be the main villain.

    I think that would have been a heck of a way to recover from the Ledger tragedy. And they wouldn’t be in this situation of finding the LEAST corny of villains left for Batman. I say least corny because I can’t think of any others that are not corny…

  21. Mark,

    I love the Jeff Goldblum idea. I’d be all over that. Haven’t seen him around in a while :(

    when the Depp rumours first started flying around, no one could really say it came from everyone pointed to another site or said “the UK”. I asked around no one could answer me. I don’t think anyone could say from the 158 comments in the initial Depp thread here either, heh. Now its gotten to the point where Depp was asked in an interview and said it would be a ‘fun gig for a while’ and that offered more confirmation to some sites, lol

    Am I crazy or has Nolan not even begun work on the 3rd installment? Is he not doing another project first?

  22. Ken J, It would have been easy to re-edit the end of the movie,but with Ledger passing away, I believe they want to preserve the whole of Ledgers performance, after all it will be his legacy.

  23. To be honest I think there are still plenty of Batman Villains who are not corny, but for some reason people only want the mainstream villains. For instance I don’t think Black Mask is corny in fact I could give a list of Villains that are not corny or could easily be done in a way that is not corny in the Nolan verse.

    Black Mask
    Bain (If done right)

    Some might disagree, but I also think that Mr. Freeze, Clayface and Killer Croc could all be done in a way that is not at all corny as well. Hell even Penguin could be if they just made him a crime boss that is short and fat and Penguin is only a nick name. Get rid of the umbrella gimmick and no penguins with bombs attached.

  24. @ Jordan

    Yah, that is all very true, but we all know that everyone who liked the film will be buying the DVD, just make sure to include the “alternate ending” in every version of the DVD and not just the special edition. That way you know everyone interested will see it. Might help DVD sales for people who might have been on the fence, now they get the chance to see a whole different ending.

  25. Pure 100% malarkey and I won’t believe it until Nolan himself is quoted as saying this is true…

    What I don’t get is all the Depp bashing all of a sudden he’s the “IT” boy because he goes mainstream and now people are bashing him full speed ahead..Fanboys sure are a fickle bunch…

  26. I like the Wrath as a Batman villan…He’s definitely the anti-matter Batman and would make a great foe in the next movie…Forget mainstream villans…Wrath all the way…

  27. ANd in my fantasy movie world Gerard Butler would play the Wrath…Seeing Butler and Bale square off would be cool unlike in Reign of Fire (which I liked)

  28. I could definitely see hoffman as Penguin. I could see him being the crime boss from the comics, and maybe people just call him Penguin behind his back (like the 2face name origin in TDK). Probably be a more minor villain.

    Depp in a Batman movie? Burton kicking himself now saying “that’s what I planned for the third film!” BTW, doesn’t Depp have a lifetime supply of projects with Burton? When does he have time to do Batman???

  29. To be fair I’ve been bashing Depp for years and years. There have always been people who don’t like him you see the thing about forums or sites like this is you get a large group of people from all walks of life and oddly enough we all have different opinions. Just because you love Depp doesn’t mean that everyone who doesn’t is on some sort of band wagon or only dislikes someone because they are mainstream.

    The only film Depp has done that I even sort of kind of like is Cry Baby and Secret window wasn’t as terrible as some of his other stuff. I think the Pirates films are some of the worst pieces of garbage to hit the theaters in the last decade. Charlie and the Chocolate factory was terrible and just like Sweeney Todd ruined something that was great. Sweeney was an excellent play and the movie nearly made me cry to see it murdered like that.