Following THR's report on Monday Maniac star Jonah Hill is in talks for a villain role in Matt Reeves' The Batman, scooper Jeff Sneider of Collider has named Hill's potential role: Edward Nigma, better known as the Riddler.
Sneider stresses Hill has yet to sign a deal but adds the Riddler — reportedly one of several Bat-enemies included in the film — would be the first cast because of his prominence in Reeves' script.
Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter, who also revealed Westworld star Jeffrey Wright is engaged in discussions to portray Commissioner Jim Gordon, notes studio Warner Bros.' talks with Hill are "at an early and sensitive stage." Kit says the two sides are unable to decide which character Hill will play, with both Riddler and Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. the Penguin, named as possibilities. And according to a source, it's "unclear if the two sides will be able to find common ground."
Should they join, Hill and Wright would star alongside Robert Pattinson, who was confirmed as the next actor to don the cape and cowl in late May.
A February report from Forbes claimed at least four different villains will star in The Batman, which reportedly gives focus to an already established rogues gallery. According to plot details that surfaced earlier this month, Pattinson's costumed detective will encounter numerous enemies as he attempts to unravel a deadly conspiracy.
"The Batman will explore a detective case — when people start dying in strange ways, Batman must go deep into the dark world of Gotham to find clues and solve the mystery/conspiracy connected to Gotham City's history and criminals," reads a leak from scooper Daniel Richtman. "In the film, all of Batman's Rogues Gallery are already out there and active, similar to the comics and animated shows/movies. The film will have multiple villains, as they are all suspects."
Penguin and femme fatale Catwoman were both named as prominent characters in a May report from THR. There Kit said it will be six villains encountered over the course of the story, earlier described by Reeves as a "very point of view noir-driven definitive Batman story in which he is investigating a particular case and that takes us out into the world of Gotham."
Despite apparent similarities to classic tale Batman: The Long Halloween, Reeves has denied reports his film is inspired by origin story Year One. Reeves says his film is not an adaptation of any particular comic book story.
The Riddler hasn't played a prominent role in a live-action Batman movie since 1995's Batman Forever, where he was played by Jim Carrey. Penguin has also gone untouched on the big screen since Danny DeVito played the character in 1992's Batman Returns.
Warner Bros. opens The Batman June 25, 2021.