Warner Bros. wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to play The Riddler in The Dark Knight Rises
In 2008, The Dark Knight had been filmed and much of the anticipation surrounded Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker, which would end up earning him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor after he tragically passed away.
With Christopher Nolan at the helm of his Batman series, Warner Bros. were keen to find out what plans were in place for a third movie, and they wanted DiCaprio.
David S. Goyer, who helped develop the story with Nolan, says that was never considered.
"We had all these pitches," he said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
"I remember at The Dark Knight , the head of Warner Bros said, ‘You gotta do the Riddler. Leo as the Riddler.’ That’s not the way we work – not to take anything away from him.”
Eventually, Bane was selected as the primary villain for The Dark Knight Rises, with Tom Hardy playing the role.
The Riddler would make a return to our screens in Matt Reeves' The Batman, with Paul Dano playing the villain on that occasion.
Paul Dano: I lost sleep playing The Riddler
Paul Dano previously told Entertainment Weekly that he struggled to sleep while playing The Riddler as he couldn't shake off the serial killer, maniac mindset.
“There were some nights around that I probably didn’t sleep as well as I would’ve wanted to just because it was a little hard to come down from this character,” he revealed said.
“It takes a lot of energy to get there. And so you almost have to sustain it once you’re there because going up and down is kind of hard. What I felt was the opportunity that Matt was giving with a villain in this film was more real, potentially more terrifying.”
Dano's preparation for the role was so intense that it impressed DC enough to the degree that he was commissioned to write his own Riddler comic book.
Dark Knight Rises, The
Action / Crime
2012 • 165 minutes
Dark Knight, The
Action / Crime
2008 • 152 minutes