Yesterday we got our first major casting news surrounding The Batman since Robert Pattinson was announced to be playing the title character, with reports linking Jeffrey Wright to the project as Commissioner Gordon, along with the reveal that Jonah Hill was in talks over an undisclosed villain role.
We’ve been hearing for months that The Batman was set to feature multiple villains and Hill is one of the many names that had been linked to the Penguin over the last year or so, but now it seems as though the two-time Academy Award nominee has been offered the chance to play the Riddler. At least, that’s according to Collider. For what it’s worth, though, THR says his role hasn’t been decided yet.
Regardless, while there’s no guarantee at this point that the Superbad star will even end up joining the movie, casting Jonah Hill as the Penguin might seem a little too obvious to some. The character was famously brought to life in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns by Danny DeVito, and despite Josh Gad embarking on a two-year trolling campaign in an attempt to get the role, it turns out that he’s not going to be involved.
Of course, the Riddler has also graced the big-screen before, played by Jim Carrey at the height of his scenery-chewing powers in 1995’s Batman Forever, but with The Batman set to be a more noir-driven detective tale than we’re used to seeing from the Caped Crusader’s cinematic adventures, there’s literally no chance that Hill’s potential interpretation of the comic book villain would even be remotely similar.
In any case, if the 35 year-old does finalize a deal to join Matt Reeves’ highly anticipated reboot, it’ll mark a further diversification of his screen persona that’s seen him move into writing and directing, along with some critically-acclaimed dramatic work. Clearly, Jonah Hill has long since outgrown his comedy roots, and it would be incredibly interesting to see how he would handle playing a comic book villain in a more grounded entry in the genre like The Batman opposite Pattinson’s Dark Knight.