Academy Award-nominated actor Jonah Hill (Superbad, The Wolf of Wall Street) and Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, Westworld) are rumoured to join Matt Reeves‘ upcoming film The Batman, with Collider reporting that Hill is set to play the Riddler, while Deadline reports that Wright is in early talks to play Commissioner James Gordon.
These rumours follow the casting of Robert Pattinson (Twilight, Maps to the Stars) as Batman himself. As of now no other casting news has been announced, likely because the film won’t be coming out for another two years.
This isn’t the first time the Riddler has terrorised Batman in a live action film; Jim Carrey terrorised audiences everywhere with his portrayal of the Riddler in 1995’s Batman Forever, which signified a shift in tone for the Batman film franchise until Christopher Nolan got his gritty hands on the character all those years later.
Meanwhile, James Gordon has been played by multiple actors over the last thirty years, most notably by Gary Oldman in Nolan’s Dark Knight films. This marks the second superhero universe that Wright will play a part in, as he has been cast as the Watcher in Marvel’s What If animated series on Disney+.
Wright’s rumoured casting indicates that Reeves may be straying further from previously established films in the DCEU where Gordon appeared briefly and was played by J.K. Simmons.
Hill’s casting has been rumoured since at least late last year, though those claims pegged him as playing a long-time Batman rival, the Penguin. Which, I must say, is interesting since those rumours are unsubstantiated. Considering Hill’s body size, the fact that some immediately think of the Penguin as a potential character for Hill comes across to me as mildly offensive.
Of course, you can imagine a certain contingent of “fans” coming out of the woodwork any minute now with news of Wright’s casting. Gordon has been portrayed as white for his entire existence, though some precedence has been set since his daughter Barbara was played by Rosario Dawson in The Lego Batman Movie.
You can probably catch Jonah Hill as the Riddler and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon in The Batman, which hits theatres on June 25, 2021. The film will be directed by Matt Reeves and stars Robert Pattinson in the title role.