According to a report by FirstShowing.net, the conventionally-held wisdom that The Riddler would be the villain in the upcoming third installment of the Batman series (still tentatively titled Batman 3,) are indeed true. According to a "reliable inside source" a Warner Bros. casting grid has listed the character for inclusion in Christopher Nolan's next visit to Gotham. Additionally, listed in that same grid to portray The Riddler, is Nolan's Inception star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. However, the report seems to indicate that this news more so confirms the inclusion of the Riddler, than the idea of Levitt being cast for the role.
So, who do you think should play Batman's query-throwing, lime-green-loving nemesis?
As FirstShowing elaborates on Levitt's possible involvement, an actor's name appearing on the casting grid is not any kind of indicator of him being cast, adding:
"We're also cautious because the age range listed for the character is 35 to 45, and with Gordon-Levitt being 29 years old falls a little short of the mark. Of course, this wouldn't really be a reason for him to be excluded as characters can be modified in the script to accommodate a favored actor."
The role, therefore, is still essentially open, which makes me glad, because I think casting Levitt as Riddler would be a mistake. He seems to come from that same crop of young actors that gave us previous villains like Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow and even Heath Ledger's Joker. While they put in great performances, it would just seem to be cloning the process to cast Levitt as another "hipster-esque" type villain. When you also take into account that The Riddler, much like the The Joker, is a villain that uses psychological tactics to get under Batman's skin, you can see how even an actor of Levitt's caliber may come across flat in the wake of the late Heath Ledger's legendary performance as a similar character. There would likely be a lot of "been there, done that" if he were to be the new Riddler.
My Suggestion: The way to distinguish this version of Riddler is by going older. In the past, I've made the suggestion of Lost's Michael Emerson, and I am absolutely sticking to my guns on that one. He's so perfect for the role, it's ridiculous. Besides being older, this Riddler needs to carry the aura of an awkward introvert that hides a sadistic genius. This has to be an unassuming, deceptively meek-looking man who will test Batman in an intellectual way and is indeed, for all intents and purposes, smarter than him. Of course, like with all "genius" villains, his failing would ultimately be his own narcissism, and that will always be Batman's opening. I could also come up with other qualified names like Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, or even possibly Crispin Glover, but Michael Emerson needs to be our new Riddler. I can only hope that Christopher Nolan realizes that before he makes a flavor-of-the-moth casting of Levitt, who is hot off his performance in Inception.
**Steps off the soapbox**
Okay, it's your turn, now. Who do you think should carry on the legacy of Frank Gorshin, Jim Carrey, and....Nik Kershaw? (Okay, that wasn't him as Riddler, but it was an excuse to drop the reference.)