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Jonah Hill as the Riddler? But the Penguin Is Right There!

The Riddler? In this economy?

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street (2012)

You’d think that you would know exactly what villain Jonah Hill would play in a Batman movie, but apparently, they want to just throw caution to the wind and cast him as the Riddler? News broke that Jeffrey Wright will bring Jim Gordon to life in Matt Reeves’ foray into the world of the Dark Knight, but with that news came the rumor that Hill was being offered a role in the film, as well.

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That role? Not what you’d expect, because all of Twitter laughed off the rumor, assuming he was going to be the Penguin, but according to Collider, the role in question is the Riddler, and I have some thoughts about that casting—mainly that Jonah Hill is very much not who I would expect to take on the role.

In the world of comics, the Riddler has always been a tall, gangly man, willing to bend in weird ways and confuse us with his tricky words. So … not exactly what I’d see Jonah Hill succeeding in.

the Riddler in Gotham

Gotham, which provided a green suit-wearing Edward Nigma, also gave us an interesting look at the Penguin that was a departure from the caricature that Danny DeVito brought to the screen. That being said, it’s hard to look at Jonah Hill and picture him as any of Batman’s villains, even with the Penguin thrown into the mix.

Call me old fashioned, but I just think this is an extreme case of miscasting. Sometimes, there is a reason someone is typecast, and the energy that Jonah Hill has just fits more in line with the Penguin, because sure, the Riddler is funny, but he’s not the kind of humor that the Penguin has always embodied.

The Penguin from Batman

What I think might end up being a problem with this movie is the need to cast actors for these roles that are already established and will bring something to the table rather than exploring a lesser-known actor. There just seems like some kind of unnecessary push in offering Jonah Hill the role of the Riddler.

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot is an eccentric man, but for Batman’s villains, he’s probably the sanest of the lot. Worried about his business deals and playing with his fun umbrellas, he’s not diabolical like the rest, and to me, fits with the air of Hill more so than any other. Take, for instance, this description of the Penguin and tell me that you can’t see Jonah Hill killing this part:
The Penguin does, however, possess a few eccentricities. He is known for his love of birds and his high-tech umbrellas that serve some specialized function, such as hang-gliding and weaponry. He also keeps beautiful women around him, perhaps to remind others of his monetary power or to compensate for his own grotesqueness.

But then again, maybe I will be surprised and will love his portrayal of the wordsmith himself, and Reeves and company will surprise us all. That being said, I’m hesitant with this potential casting choice.

(via Collider, image: Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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