Though classified mainly as rumor, an article at Hollywoodlife.com claims Director Christopher Nolan is eyeballing 29-year-old actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play The Riddler in Batman 3, scheduled for release in 2012. Well-known for his “3rd Rock from the Sun” days, Gordon-Levitt has a mounting list of television and screen acting achievements under his belt.
Eerily, he resembles the deceased Heath Ledger, who played The Joker in “The Dark Knight” in the 2008 film. From my standpoint, though, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s childlike (albeit handsome) appearance lacks the dynamism to pull off The Riddler’s complex character.
Consider sixty-something British actor, Bill Nighly in the role of The Riddler. His age and sophisticated flair at being downright creepy carries the potential of launching The Riddler to a proper level of contemporary scoundrel, which makes Bill Nighly my pick for the Batman 3 short list.
Why Not Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Batman 3
Here is a crazy thought: The resemblance between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Heath Ledger is so uncanny; it conjures up for me visions of Heath Ledger as The Joker reincarnating as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Riddler, in Batman 3.
Spiritually or spectrally, that would work in a vastly different type of movie; obviously, it would not be in a Batman story classic, but the thought is there all the same. The Riddler needs to stand alone in the upcoming film.
Take heart-perhaps The Riddler can find his niche on the side of the law, who of course he will be outsmarting in riddles the whole time they think they are using him. There are plenty of possibilities, not to mention the brilliance of Christopher Nolan at the directing helm.
Nothing should take away from Heath Ledger’s incredible performance as The Joker in “The Dark Knight,” even it if means leaving The Joker out of Batman 3 and putting the focus on The Riddler to carry the final Warner Bros movie. Frank Gorshin was the original Riddler in the Batman TV series.
Why Bill Nighy as “The Riddler” in Batman 3
Bill Nighy’s name may not immediately ring a bell or leave you spewing out all the movie titles credited to his name like Johnny Depp. However, you will recall his legendary role as “Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”
As Davy Jones, morphed into a half squid, half crab creature, Nighy’s Pirates of the Caribbean character definitely stood out in both films; despite the digital layers of special effects you saw instead of his actual face. It was almost difficult to look at Davy Jones’ squid-inspired head with the tendrils moving creepily as he spoke, but Bill Nighy displayed outstanding ability in this role.
Not only do I believe Bill Nighy fits Batman 3 “The Riddler” persona because of his loosely tagged sci-fi role as Davy Jones, but because of other phenomenal characters he has played in the film industry under the fantasy genre and beyond.
Vampire & Valkyrie Co-Star with Tom Cruise
Starting in 2003, Bill Nighy took on the role of Viktor, a vampire in the “Underworld” movie series, directed by Len Wiseman. Alongside Tom Cruise, he gave a stellar performance in the 2008 WWII thriller “Valkyrie,” which is about a final attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler before the war ended. Nighy played General Friedrich Olbricht in the film, which I feel was highly underrated.
I have mentioned only a few of Bill Nighy’s acting accomplishments in my ploy to have him cast as the The Riddler in the Batman 3 film. If you saw “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” Bill Nighy was Slartibartfast. Enough said…he would be terrific in The Riddler role. His grand age would only add to his genius when it comes to those complicated riddles.