Jonah Hill as the Riddler? But the Penguin Is Right There!
The Riddler? In this economy?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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