Batman 3 Rumors and My Thoughts

The dust hasn't even settled and already the rumors for the next installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman movie series are doing the rounds. Who will the villains be and who will be able to match Heath's Joker performance?

The success of The Dark Knight guarantees another film - not that they were counting on success to make a third film happen. As far back as Batman Begins it was already confirmed that Christian Bale, Michael Cain, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman were all signed on for three films.

Live News is reporting in Batman buzz: Johnny Depp as The Riddler? that Johnny Depp has been approached to play The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman is being considered to play The Penguin.

The story is questionable. On the one hand Johnny Depp would certainly be an exciting choice for any male villain in the Batman universe but on the other hand, mention of the Penguin suggests the source isn't reliable.

I've read direct quotes from Christopher Nolan stating that the Penguin isn't a character he's interested in. In fact Live News in this story, Jolie the perfect Catwoman, says original Catwoman, Christopher's quotes on the Penguin are, well, quoted as follows:
“In the first movie we use Ra’s Al Ghul and The Scarecrow, who had not been in the movies before, and had not been in the sixties TV show before. And there are dozens if not hundreds of other characters that fit that bill. Everyone says its gotta be the Penguin or Catwoman… well, I completely disagree,” Nolan told Totalfilm.
As much as I would like to see Catwomen in the next film hopefully that quote will kill any chance of Angelina Jolie getting the part (sorry, I just think she's too obvious a choice and doesn't have the range to bring anything new to the role that she hasn't done in other movies). I have no suggestions for Catwoman but I'd be looking for someone who has done gutsy roles and can handle the emotional baggage as well.

Back to Depp and the Riddler. I've heard it speculated that the Riddler might be a good choice as a Joker replacement (assuming the Joker was part of the third film - very likely since he didn't die in the second). If that's the case then my own thoughts are that the Joker should simply be re-cast. I think Depp could certainly fill Heath's shoes.

Heath was outstanding however, no matter how much people think no one can touch his performance, the Joker is Batman's number one arch rival. People will want to see the Joker again. Someone is going to have to play that role.

Depp is a great character actor and he puts the same amount of thought into each role as Heath did with his Joker. I think Depp would be smart enough to not only take on Heath's interpretation of the Joker but could build on it with his own ideas. Depp is 'fearless' like Heath.

All that aside, Nolan's quote reveals that another Batman movie may go for lesser known villains as he did in the first film. It would be a big gamble. The first film was an origin story, thus you'd expect lesser known villains. If the third movie doesn't have a popular villain then the story will need to be even stronger to compensate. A tough ask to pull off for a third film but Nolan's team are clearly up to it.

Nolan has also said he's not interested in bringing Robin into the series. I'm someone who wants to see Robin given the Nolan treatment. It's a difficult character to bring in but I tend to agree with this essay on the Batman on Film web site, OPINION: "Robin - To Be or Not To Be, the timing is right.

Batman lost the love of his life, Rachel Dawes, in The Dark Knight and the film ends with him being pursued as a murdering vigilante. Batman is at his lowest and could use something to help bring him back. Robin could be a good beacon of hope.

I haven't seen a good live action Robin since the 1940's cinematic series. In that Robin was played seriously, almost as an equal and was a very capable sidekick. I'd like to see Robin brought in by the very capable Nolan. It would certainly make up for the lack of a major villain. Here's hoping but I'm not holding my breath.

Getting back to the rumors...

I can't see the Riddler in the third movie because he's too similar to the Joker (at least if you go by previous, live action interpretations). I'm predicting it probably won't happen.

As much as people would like to see Catwoman, she's almost as problematic as Robin to bring into this new, more realistic Batman universe. Again, probably won't happen.

The Penguin I can see in Nolan's world (so long as you erase from your mind Tim Burton's origin story of being raised by real penguins) but he's hardly a 'super villain'. Seems more like a high society, rip off merchant side story than a major force in crime. I've read that Nolan thinks the Penguin is too campy for his universe so there's a good chance he won't be included.

I'm sure there are many more rumors out there. Surprisingly no one's talking Mr Freeze or Poison Ivy (I'm not serious - let's hope it stays that way). I could be wrong on all my conclusions.

What I do know is that it's too early to know anything about a third film for sure. I'll be looking forward to more rumors.

5 comments:

  1. Johnny Depp as The Riddler

    I disagree. Joshua Harto will play The Riddler. Yes, the man known as Coleman Reese, aka. Mr. Reese, aka. Mysteries will transform into The Riddler in the third installment. It makes perfect sense mostly because he already knows the most important riddle of all, "Who is the Batman?"

    Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin

    I agree. He will play the same role as Carmine Falcone and Salvatore Maroni played. He won't be called The Penguin until after his "accident" (Victor Zsasz will try and kill him and instead of slitting his throat, he will cut a bit of his nose off, leading to a surgery that gives Mr. Cobblepot an oddly shaped nose and a funny sounding voice). He will start to get the Penguin nickname and he will hate it more than life.

    Angelina Jolie as Catwoman.

    I disagree. First of all, Catwoman will not be in the third installment. However, I do believe that she will play a role in the 4th and 5th movie if there are any. She won't be Jolie though. It will someone unexpected.

    Johnny Depp as The Joker

    I agree. He is already in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnusses or whatever you call it. That is a movie that Heath Ledger was going to star in but he never finished all of his scenes, so they threw some celebs in to finish the job. One of them was Depp. I think if the Joker spends most of his time in Arkham while swinging Harleen Quinzel to the bad side during B3, I think Depp will be able to win over the crowd.

    Nolan having minor villains in the 3rd movie

    I agree. The Joker will in Arkham so he won't be in Batman's way at all. The Penguin like I said will act like Falcone and Maroni, someone that isn't a big threat to the Bat. Victor Zsasz and Ruby Ryder will be the villains.

    Victor Zsasz was in Batman Begins for a bit and will return with a huge role. He will crash a party which Cobblepot is holding for the city, attempt to kill Cobblepot and also stab Alfred. This is the challenge Bruce faces in the third film. Dealing with Alfred's near death experience. Zsasz finds out that Alfred is not dead and must go and kill him (if you don't know Zsasz's comic story, look it up and this will all make more sense). He goes to kill Alfred and fights Bruce Wayne, not Batman, Bruce Wayne in the hospital. What happens net? Not telling.

    Ruby Ryder is another new mob problem doing deals with the Penguin. She is also has an interest in Wayne. This leads to a few dates and also leads her to trying to persuade Wayne to join the crime business. She invites him to a meeting she will have with the Penguin. Wayne declines but obviously shows up as Batman. What happens next? Not telling.

    Robin

    I disagree. Batman is in an underdog situation and he has to make things right all by himself. That is what an underdog does, he makes due with what he has and does it all himself. Bruce will already have emotional issues with Alfred's injury, and Ruby Ryder. No room.

    Other things to bring up.

    Two Face is dead.
    The Scarecrow will play a big role in Arkham when he tries to use his gas to scare the Joker.

    The Joker VS The Scarecrow will compete with Batman VS Zsasz for the most entertaining part of the first half.

    The Joker, Harley Quinn VS Arkham will compete with Batman VS Ruby Ryder and The Penguin for the most entertaining part of the second half.

    As this goes on, Coleman Reese will gradually become The Riddler.

    This may seem like too much, but when you look at it, itgets balanced. The little name villains like Scarecrow, Zsasz, and Ruby Ryder and Harley Quinn are given huge parts and the big villains like The Penguin and The Riddler are given smaller parts. So the only big villain that gets big air time would be the new Depp/Joker combo. Giving Depp lots of scenes will give the audience time to get use to him.

    If the real thing is anything close to this, I will be pleased

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  2. Hi Jay,

    I'm liking some of your thoughts/predictions. I'm guessing you're more of a Batman, comic fan than me - to be making such detailed analysis. I've always been first and foremost, a live action, batman on film fan (right from the 1940s version to present day). Never really had the money for regular comic reading - though from what I've seen Batman is awesome in comics from the past two decades.

    All of the villains mentioned will eventually work their way into the current Batman Franchise - assuming they can make it last like the James Bond one seems to.

    I can't see the Riddler in the third installment and if he is it'll be a set up for a future film rather than the main event. Nolan will want to take Batman somewhere more unexpected or will want to continue with the Joker.

    Seems to me, a place like Arkham isn't likely to hold the Joker for long with his resources. He was kind of just left hanging in Dark Knight. Not really stopped at all - just inconvenienced a bit.

    Johnny Depp would be a good choice for the Joker. It would give people confidence and raise a lot of hype/discussion about where Johnny may take the character.

    Can't see them going with a lesser known actor for the Joker. Heath may not have been that widely known but still had an impressive resume of outstanding performances.

    I don't see the Penguin in the third film - simply because Nolan has said no to the Penguin.

    I'd like to see Robin and I do think The Dark Knight set up a possible progression to Robin's introduction in the future. Bruce was looking for someone to replace him as Gotham's White Knight in Dark Knight but saw that fall apart in Harvey Dent. The next step could possibly be to train up a new 'Batman' which would be a nice lead in for Robin. All this is mute though since Nolan has said he's not even looking at Robin.

    The only chance Victor Zsasz has going for him appearing in the third film is the fact that he was in the first. Aside from that he doesn't sound that interesting a character to build a story around. Very weak back story IMO. Likely to stay as a minor villain and not become the main event. He's no Ra's al Ghul.

    Victor is too random like the Joker, however the Joker is calculating like Ra's. Nolan likes to challenge Batman with intelligent criminals. The only reason Harvey Dent got a look in was because it was a nice way to see a good person go bad due to Gotham's crime situation. Thus necessitating the need for Batman. Otherwise Harvey would never have made the film as two face.

    There's seems to be an expectation that Nolan will adapt an existing comic story as the third installment but I can't see it happening. Nolan's trying to create a new Batman. One that deals with real criminals that are players in a corrupt system. Victor isn't a player he's a side story.

    Nolan's more likely to take elements from several existing comic stories and wind them together to create something new. He's one of the few people that can mess with a legend and not be torn to shreds for it because what he comes up with is usually beyond our expectations.

    Unlike Joel's two Batman movies, Nolan doesn't tell his cast they're making a cartoon. Nolan makes films. He wants us to believe Batman and his enemies could exist in our world.

    Many of Batman's comic book foe's are 'wanna be Jokers', random and chaotic (and seem obsessed with Batman). These are not the norm in the real world. Powerful criminals have purpose and seek respect from their peers. Nolan will probably lean towards realistic and 'sane' characters. The Joker should be an exception rather than a role model for criminal masterminds.

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  3. Interesting video here disputing Coleman Reese becoming the Riddler. Though if Mr Freeze ever makes an appearance he had better be well thought out. I kind of liked Mr Freeze in the previous Batman Franchise but he was ruined by a lot of stupid gadgets, vehicles and... well everything really. But there were glimmers of what could have been a great villain.

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  4. Joshua Harto should turn into Robin. I'm sure that's what they're planning. It would make the Robin character and storyline very interesting, seeing someone go from 'bad' to 'good', instead of the other way around, which is usually the case.

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  5. I don't know BandiChime? I watched The Dark Knight again just the other day and I agree they're likely setting up Joshua for something.

    Can't imagine it's the Riddler though - you'd expect a higher profile actor for that role. But then again Heath wasn't that high profile but he was certainly more of a lead actor than Joshua.

    Setting Joshua up for Robin would be way out of left field. It has a certain kind of sense about it since Coleman Reese was itching to tell his secret. Bringing him under the Batman wing would be one way to keep him quiet.

    Doesn't seem like a 'Robin' kind of guy though. His character was an accountant of sorts. Hardly the type to be chasing down criminals with his bare hands? Not too bright either as Fox pointed out with his blackmail attempt.

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