Cast This: The Riddler
With news that Ben Affleck will direct and star in the next standalone Batman movie, the first since Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in 2012, it’s no surprise that there are already rumors swirling about a potential villain or even villains to go up against the caped crusader. Before things get too out of hand, I thought I would slow things down with a single casting debate of my favorite villain from the rogues gallery, The Riddler.
The last time we saw The Riddler on the big screen, he was being portrayed by Jim Carrey in an over-the-top, almost cringe worthy fashion. I was hoping he would have shown up in Nolan’s trilogy, as that would have made for some terrific marketing and smart screenwriting, but alas, he’s been MIA since BATMAN FOREVER over 20 years ago.
Edward Nigma is an iconic character and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly again in my opinion. I’d love to see him played in a serious way while still twisted and darkly comical too. The ingenious supervillain’s obsession with riddles and puzzles makes him the perfect foil for detective-mode Ben Affleck. The new version needs to be a genuine threat to Gotham’s Dark Knight, rather than a wacky sound-effect in a green suit.
Call me a sucker for comedians who want to show something different, but my top three would be Bill Hader, Adam Scott, and Zach Galifianakis. Hader is my lead choice, just when I had thought I had seen everything he had to offer from a comedy standpoint, he delivers a dramatic performance in THE SKELETON TWINS and blows me away. I have no doubt that he could bring on untapped potential for a reinvention of The Riddler. Then we have Scott and Galifianakis; the two funny men have also proven their versatility with various roles and continue to raise their standing among leading stars. Can I imagine these guys torturing their victims with convoluted puzzles, traps and disturbing clues? Yes I can!
Many actors have been linked to the role over the past twenty years; names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and the late great Robin Williams just to name a few. Should we hope for an older iteration on the character or go the way of new Hollywood and cast a young and rising star? Riddler is arguably as wild as The Joker but hasn’t had a fair shot from where I’m standing. I’d love to see an actor come along and just reinvent the character. Would you want to see an older actor like Jackie Earle Haley or John Hawkes for the role? What about younger guys like Jim Parsons and Ben Foster? Let's toss in Walton Goggins in just because.
Riddle us this: who should The Riddler?
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|Extra Tidbit:||A version of the Joker's origin reveals that Riddler was involved with the events that led to Joker's birth. Whether or not this is true has yet to be proven.|