Late yesterday, FirstShowing broke the news that a studio casting grid for Christopher Nolan’s third Batman picture lists The Riddler as one of the characters. With Batman 3 as a working title, the name paired with the role is none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Looking more and more like his 10 Things I Hate About You co-star, Heath Ledger, he could have easily parlayed his looks and played The Joker if he was to resurface in the sequel to The Dark Knight, a film for which Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his devilish turn. However, Nolan has said that The Joker will not be a part of the third Batman movie.
Okay, so I’m a total homer for JGL. I watched G.I. Joe because he played Cobra Commander. He may have played the role just so he could wear an ostentatious costume, but it increased his visibility, especially to audiences that hadn’t seen his remarkable performances in Brick and The Lookout. With a high-profile role in Inception, fighting in zero gravity and brandishing firearms, JGL may not have to play the Cobra Commander ever again.
For those unfamiliar with casting grids, studios use them to “keep production companies, agencies, etc. in the loop on a project’s progress and the roles available for actors to potentially take.” This isn’t Internet fanboy speculation where they cast their own dream team of actors. While Joseph Gordon-Levitt is linked to The Riddler, that does not mean it is a done deal; it could change at anytime.
What’s questionable about Gordon-Levitt linked to the role is that on the grid the age range listed for The Riddler is 35 to 45, a range for which JGL falls short (he’s 29 years old). Not a huge deal breaker, but something to take into account. With that, consider Gordon-Levitt’s involvement as strictly rumor, but at least we know who will be the villain in the next Batman movie. The film, still in the genesis stage, won’t have a presence during the Warner Bros. panel discussion at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, but that won’t stop people from asking questions about the studio grid and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s involvement.
This revelation, plus cinematographer Wally Pfister’s comments about wanting to do the entire film in IMAX, already makes this the one to see come summer 2012 – a summer that also includes J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel, a third Men in Black comedy, Marvel’s The Avengers and Sony Pictures’ new Spider-Man.