In late September, it was widely reported that Jonah Hill had been offered either the role of the Riddler or the Penguin in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. This came hot on the heels of a bunch of casting news for the film, including that Jeffrey Wright would be playing Commissioner Gordon and was followed by the announcement that Zoe Kravitz was our new Catwoman. But while the latter two are now locked in, it seems that they couldn’t nail down Jonah Hill, as Deadline is reporting that he’s no longer involved with the project.
This is a big loss for the film. Hill has repeatedly proven himself a talented comedic and dramatic actor, and I think he could have been a fantastic Riddler. Not to mention that despite being one of the more prominent Batman villains, we haven’t seen too much of the character in live-action movies. His last big screen outing was as played by Jim Carrey in Batman Forever, and that performance hasn’t aged well. You have to go all the way back to the ’60s and to Frank Gorshin’s Riddler to find one that’s truly excellent. All of which makes Hill’s departure from the project (presumably because they couldn’t meet his pay demands) rather disappointing.
However, just because Hill isn’t associated with the part doesn’t mean that the script is being rewritten, so expect to hear some more casting news on the film fairly soon. But they’d better get a move on, because by the time this comes out it’ll have been nearly ten years since a solo live-action Batman movie, largely caused by Ben Affleck’s uncertainty on whether or not to continue in the Cape and Cowl.
The Batman begins shooting in early 2020 and naturally, as soon as Pattinson is in costume and on set, we’ll start to see leaked pictures of him in the Batsuit, so let’s hope Warner Bros. do the smart thing and unveil their star, along with Kravitz, Wright and whoever ends up as Riddler or Penguin in some hi-res official photos before production begins.