The current round of Batman films are due to end this July with The Dark Knight Rises, and it’s really too bad we won’t see Christopher Nolan bringing to life many of the villains we still haven’t seen on the big screen.
Indeed, Nolan and the late Heath Ledger did an incredible job reinventing the Joker, and it still remains to be seen how he’ll do with Catwoman and Bane.
Of course, there’s one villain many Bat-fans would have loved to see, the Riddler, and much like Venom with Spider-Man, he’s a character many wanted to see redone on the big screen.
I only saw Batman Forever once, but Jim Carrey was a fine choice for the last incarnation of the Riddler, although it also would have been interesting to see what Robin Williams, who was rumored to be up for the role, would have done with it.
So now reports are all over the ‘Net about how Warner Brothers wanted the Riddler for the Dark Knight Rises, and Leonardo DiCaprio was the studio’s choice to play him, at least according to Empire Magazine. Would it have worked? I’m honestly not certain, and the same could be said for Catwoman and Bane – who many not be the best villains for the last Dark Knight. Then again, I have a good reason for being skeptical, because Heath Ledger really raised the bar for Batman villains with the Joker.
With Batman Begins, there was more focus on Batman himself – rather than the villains. Unfortunately, the Joel Schumacher iteration of the caped crusader focused on the villains, and like the TV show, became overly campy and silly. Spider-Man 3 also made a huge mistake with three villains in the movie. From what I understand Sam Raimi never actually wanted to do Venom, but the character was basically forced on him.
So could Nolan have reinvented The Riddler as well as he did with The Joker? Who knows, but as with any superhero movie, it can be hard to balance the heroes and the villains. A good superhero film is nothing without a good villain (isn’t that what Unbreakable was trying to say?), but the wrong villains, as well as mismatched actors, can definitely spoil the fun if you’re not careful.