So MTV is reporting that Michael Caine talked to someone who (may be) connected to Warner Bros. somehow and they told him that the villains for “Batman Begins 3” will be The Riddler and The Penguin, and that none other than Johnny Depp and Philip Seymour Hoffman, respectively, will be playing those roles. Which just goes to show you that no one tells Michael Caine anything. Seriously, I’m not trying to insult the man here, but let’s face it, no one of any consequence told Michael Caine that the villains for the next Batman movie would be The Riddler and The Penguin, and especially who will be playing them.
But hey, don’t take my word for it. Here’s MTV with the Caine stuff:
“I was with [a Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make another one?’ They said yeah. I said, ‘How the hell are we going to top Heath? And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath — Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’ I said, ‘S–t, they’ve done it again!’” [Laughs]
Here’s the deal: Michael Caine probably heard someone say it who read it in the tabloids like the rest of us, and got the person’s identity confused with someone who actually mattered — i.e. Christopher Nolan and, to an extent, David Goyer, one of the writers on the previous two Batman films. And Goyer has already said that they’re going to be digging deeper into Batman’s Rogues Gallery for a less familiar name to pit against the Bat in the third movie. Nolan, for his part, is on vacation somewhere trying to shake off the darkness of “The Dark Knight”, which was, frankly, pretty damn dark.
Johnny Depp has already said he hasn’t heard a thing about playing The Riddler, and he seemed just as amused by the “news” as anyone that he was in negotiations for the part. Although he did seem intrigued by the idea, which bodes well, and should probably signal to Warner Bros. that yeah, Depp MAY be interested. Enough for them to contact him and offer the role? That would, again, depend on what Nolan says, and he hasn’t said much yet.
As I said in a previous article, the only person I can imagine Nolan hiring for a Batman villain is Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin, with the Penguin character showing up in the movie as vastly altered from his comic book or Tim Burton roots — i.e. no stupid penguins with rockets attached to their backs. But even then, I can’t see the Penguin existing in the Batman-verse that Nolan has created. It just doesn’t mesh.
But hey, maybe I’m wrong, and maybe Michael Caine knows what he’s talking about, after all. I sure wish Nolan would come back from vacation and let us in on it already…
Below: The joke’s on Batman: The Joker doesn’t fight fair.