Johnny Depp As The Riddler In The Dark Knight Sequel?

Published 7 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:00 am,

theriddler Johnny Depp As The Riddler In The Dark Knight Sequel?(My dear readers, you have permission to treat this rumor as hostile.)

Not two days after wild rumors started circulating that Angelina Jolie was looking to play Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s third chapter of the Batman Begins series, comes an even wilder rumor from out of the UK that Warner Bros. execs have begun eying top-notch actors Johny Depp and Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman for the roles of The Riddler and The Penguin in the next Bat-flick

DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID JUST YET. For every new rumor of which villains will be featured in the next Batman film, comes another statement from Dark Knight scribes Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer, saying that they are trying NOT to take the obvious route of throwing the second-most iconic villains from Batman’s rogue gallery into the next film. However, as Spider-Man 3 taught us all, when a franchise reaches a certain $tature, the studio’s wishes quickly begin to trump any creative desires. Don’t be surprised to see The Riddler, The Penguin, or both, show up in the final draft of the script.

riddlerandpenguin Johnny Depp As The Riddler In The Dark Knight Sequel?However, we won’t really know anything until a script for BB3 is actually done. But that hasn’t stopped fan debates from raging 24/7. Personally, I don’t think Goyer and Nolan should be working too hard to try to pull out obscure villains and/or plotlines for the next installment. If Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight taught us anything, it’s that an actor at the top of his or her game is able to take what is iconic and totally redefine it. (And fanboys, really, is that not the essence of all the best comic books: re-definition of the status quo?)

Which villains do you think should make into BB3?

Source: Comic Book Movie

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  1. Wow what a great photo with (Old School), Penguin, and Riddler. !
    Having the Joker in the background with his head choped out of the photo was purely a coincidence I’m sure Kofi,,,lol, nice touch, grim but dark like these latest films. ;-)

    First time I heard of Depp playing Riddler was talking with Stan Lee, over at Movieguysorg a few days ago.
    Then next thing I notice a few other ppl are mentioning this on other sites. Next thing its in the National Inquirer. Now its coming from the UK. ((Power of the net my friends.)) Wow. This might just happen due to heavy chatter,,and the huge Depp fanbase.
    Nolan has to at least try and come close with another great performance from his villians.

    I would hope Dent has some reconstructive work done and also returns as a easier on the eyes TwoFace.
    I’m pretty sure Riddler WIll BE in the next chapter. Nolan hasn’t ruled it out like he pretty much has on Robin and the Penguin. ;-)

  2. Daniel Day Lewis as The Riddler

  3. Whoever the villains are I hope they are well written and well portrayed .
    Thats all I want .

  4. If this rumor holds any water…
    I weep for the future.

  5. Nowhereman,,,,
    That’s the same thing they said when Ledger got the role to play Joker. ‘-)

  6. Deep could do the Riddler, I can see that. But I fear you simply cannot match Ledger as the Joker.

    Pengiun is a bad idea as the series would lose the dark, gritty edge its kept so well.

  7. Johnny Depp is a good actor, but I don’t think I would be able to overcome the funny side of him attached by the Pirates – he will, I’m afraid, remain Captain Jack Sparrow forever for me.

    So I would like if someone else would take the role.

  8. I’m hoping now Nolan invents a new character. I wish he would call a retreat, like scientists sometimes do. Take a couple of DC creators and just hammer out something they can keep a lid on, just long enough to get expectation up. Then, slowly leak out the details like clues in a detective story.

    Their’s really no downside, except maybe Time Warner’s stock. I guess the company has been doing underwhelming for awhile now. :(

  9. I hope they won’t make same mistake by making the villains increase every sequel, since the plot will be all cramp up together.

  10. Since Jul 19 2008, I have been wishing Depp to play Riddler and Hoffman to play Penguin at the iMDB forums all the time. Maybe because of my spam posting, these rumors started circulating I guess. Or is it just a coincidence to my wishes?

  11. I wouldnt want to see Depp in a riddler costume playing depp in a riddler costume. His work has been the same for the last decade. Pure wooden performances.

  12. I really hope they have the riddler in, but the penguin i wouldn’t like at all, i don’t like him and never have, i just don’t see how they could make him work for nolans movie style.

  13. The Riddler? Unless he’s played by David Tennant, I don’t think so. Tennant is a great actor with something to prove. This will give him the vehicle to do so. But I doubt the Riddler will be in the movie. If the Penguin is in it, he’ll be the arms dealer or fence — not a major threat. Personally, I think Nolan will go left with the villain choice. BANE…

  14. Think Hoffman could be better as the Mad Hatter.

    Agree on not overloading on villains.

  15. I’d like to see Bane come back. They ruined him in Batman & Robin, but he’s one of the mightiest villains that Batman ever faced.

    I of course would not mind seeing Riddler come back, but I’d hope it’d be in an unusual role. He wouldn’t be so much a hindrance as an annoyance, for example, like he now is in Detective Comics, where he’s a fellow detective himself interfering with Batman’s cases. Of course, once a Batman rogue…

  16. First, let me state that I personally don’t think we need another Batman movie. But since we’re talking hypothetically, I think focusing on new villains is a bad move. Ledger’s Joker has been setup as Batman’s ultimate foe. To base a film around any number of smaller villains would immediately reduce the epic nature of a sequel. Additionally, the most important quality of the Nolan’s Joker/Two-Face combo was that it necessarily required Batman to reevaluate himself and his vigilante role. For a sequel to do less would also set it up for failure.

    So, I say the best character to bring in for a third Nolan film would be Azrael. Not as a villain per se, but as Batman’s greatest threat; a vigilante more potent than Batman himself. This will allow for the “redemption” of the Batman. In TDK, Batman became, in the end, as bloodied and stained as the Joker himself (in the mind of the city), for the sake of maintaining Dent’s purity. When Azrael, a lethal vigilante, blows open Arkham and goes on a villain-killing spree, Batman will prove that he is still a hero and not the criminal vigilante that Gotham has come to see him as. But more interesting still would be to reveal that Azrael was a pawn, part of a larger plot to eliminate the criminal power base of Gotham so that a mysterious figure could take over.

    Azrael would, ideally, be played by Daniel Craig. I don’t necessarily like his work as James Bond, but what he did with the character suits the Azrael role perfectly, and I feel that between him and Bale, the tension would be palpable. Depp would show up as a new, seemingly minor character who wears green as the only hint to his true identity.

  17. where did this rumour arrive from that execs actually approached Depp? All the articles I’ve seen just seem to point to another country as the origin.

    In any case, Depp would be pretty awesome, I just don’t see how we can go from the Joker to the Riddler, to much similarity…crazy dresscode, jokes and tricks and humour.

    It’ll be interesting, whatever they do, I think the studio Execs are gonna let Nolan do what he wants, if they interfered in any way with all that’s happened with X3 and Spidey 3, there would be riots on the streets, lol.

  18. Azriel really would be the best move, I’ve come to think. Whatever “villains” they throw in there would just be fodder for Az and Bats to stomp on. Maybe connect BB3 with BB1 with making Azriel another prodigy of the League of Shadows? Like Bruce Wayne, if he HAD picked up the sword and cut the head off that criminal for his final test? Now THAT would be interesting.

  19. … No one’s even THOUGHT about Black Mask? Hmm? Or Hush? Think outside the box, avid graphic novel readers. I think that either Riddler or even Mr. Freeze could be used, as incredibly secondary characters. Sort of as a Hannibal Lector type character, confined to a cell. Not as much Mr. Freeze, but it would work with the character versus having a suit run on DIAMONDS. But Riddler could give riddles as to what another criminal organization is doing, sort of cat and mouse with Batman and Gordon. And unfortunately, I think they will have to recast the Joker. It would be disrespectiful, but c’mon, he is Batman’s biggest baddie. In TDK Joker even said that they could do this forever. Nolan wasn’t counting on Ledger’s untimely death, and his franchise should go on as intended with the characters he intended. Nolan’s sort of like Batman; “Endure, Master Nolan. Take it. They’ll hate you for recasting the role, but that’s the point with your franchise. It can be the outcast, a good comic book franchise.” He can make the choice that no one else can make—the right choice. Haha, I don’t know, there’s just so many routes to take.

  20. Nolan relies on a core element of each villain to make them work, rendering that core into a more “real” and therefore more threatening villain (which is why Ra’s al Ghul was such a limp menace IMHO). By having Scarecrow utilize just the burlap mask and the drugs, Nolan made him more effective but no less representative of the comic book character. The same goes for Ledger’s maniacal Joker, whose gritty makeup made his rendition that much more dangerous. And finally, Two-Face’s painfully realistic disfigurement not only made him that much more gruesome but also justified more his twisted nature.

    but Bane? his creation was inspired by luchadores. i’m sorry, but even Nolan can’t make that threatening. true, Bane’s combination of brutal intelligence and raw power did make him Batman’s most directly superior opponent, but the character is so bound by comic book convention that it is part and parcel of his identity. Nolan could no more do Bane than he could do Dr. Freeze or Poison Ivy. Nolan’s Batman is a realistic Batman, and those characters are very non-real. even more so, one of Bane’s most important aspects is his “breaking” Batman’s back, and that plotline alone would require at least a second film to chronicle his recovery. additionally, Bane doesn’t provide that deeper design, that twisted element that will really dig into Batman and hurt him and make him question himself, like Joker and Two-Face did, because the next movie will have to have even more sadistic villains. Superhero movies are forced to play this stupid escalation game, and the third Batman movie needs to circumvent that altogether by bringing in Azrael (and his puppetmaster), who will change the whole face of Gotham, much like Joker did.

  21. sYnthYte,

    I understand your points very well. That’s why I’m not saying they follow the comics exactly, and also precisely the reason why I didn’t even mention that Bane should “break Batman’s back” in the movie. Instead, I’d like to see Bane being rendered as a mere henchman – but one tripping on a superhuman drug (think steroids) – that gives him an unexpected and surprising advantage over Batman, beating him almost into a pulp. Instead of his back, his arms and legs would of course be broken, something like that that would give the movie a little more plausibility.

    Imagine the challenge of Christian Bale acting as Bruce Wayne having to recover from such a crisis, from being so soundly beaten for the first time in his life as Batman. Does he have to drive to fight back, to heal, not only physically but mentally as well? Or would he give up on his mission of revenge? Meanwhile, Gotham City is under attack by some mastermind – let’s say the Riddler or whoever – and everybody thinks Batman has abandoned them.

    It would make a compelling tale.

  22. I think they should think twice before considering Johnny Depp as he’s an odd ball personality that ruined the Willy Wonka remake with his Ridiculous portrayl of Wonka. I like alot of his work but I would not use him for a Batman villian in Chris Nolan’s world. Daniel Day Lewis would be at the top of my list!

  23. 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.

  24. Daniel Day Lewis would be incredible as the Riddler. Hell, he could have been spectacular as the Joker as well!

  25. I’m sick of hearing about johnny deep, angelina jolie, and hoffman as these go to actors for movie; Big name hot shots with a little bit of indie cred.

    The reason why Batman Begins and The Dark Knight was so successful is that Nolan chose to pick a relative obscure or not obvious choice for the role of batman, the joker, and other characters.

    As for The Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman…as if! The Riddler is essentially “Joker-lite”. The characters are just to similar. The Penguin is extremely hard to translate from the comics to the big screen. As for Catwoman–cheesy on-screen romance anyone?!

    I think the next villains with be Black Mask, Deadshot, Hush or Bane. All these characters are grounded on reality.

  26. Sang, we’ve already established that Bane is the most Comic-Booky villain of all the ones mentioned so far and could only work as someone hyped up on steroids. He couldn’t have the “Venom” enhancement, though. I agree that Catwoman would most likely be a bad idea at this point. However, I do trust Nolan to do what is right and not what is expected. Honestly, I believe that he could make almost any villains work.

  27. They need a villain that can amplify the fact that Batman is on the run from everybody.

    I want Hush. He’s obscure, he’s strong enough to do it without another villain and he has the dual identity that would make it even more interesting. He’s the anti Bruce Wayne/Batman

  28. I do think Nolan can make all kinds work, judging by what he has achieved so far. When I heard about Ledger as the Joker, I refused to believe it for a while as seemed such a bad idea.

    Hush – I did think of him, but then could be a bit Joker like, making Batman runs through hoops.
    Another vigilant type for Batman to contend with would be great. I would say get a grown up Jason Todd in, but that has obvious problems. ;)

  29. I want the next film to at least include somebody Batman can really go toe to toe with. We have yet to see a really good fight scene from Mr. Nolan.

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