The Dark Knight Rises Original Villain Confirmed By Writer

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The Dark Knight Rises almost included an appearance by the Riddler. The revelation was made by Jonathan Nolan during an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. Nolan co-wrote the highly successful The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises with the film’s director (and his brother) Christopher Nolan.

Why We Never Got The Riddler

leonardo dicaprio

When asked if other villains were considered for The Dark Knight Rises before Bane was given the green light, Jonathan Nolan said, “I sort of started playing with ideas with the Riddler and what could be done with the character. But it did feel like it was close enough to the space of what we’d done with Heath [Ledger] that you really needed to … shift there.” 

Bane Better Fit The Movie’s Aesthetic

tom hardy bane

According to Jonathan Nolan, they decided to go with Bane because the character brought a fresh perspective to the movie while still capturing its post-apocalyptic aesthetic. So, in the end, The Dark Knight Rises skipped over the Riddler. Fortunately, his absence from live-action Batman adaptations was broken when Paul Dano signed on to play the bad guy in Matt Reeves’ The Batman.

The Villains Of The Dark Knight Trilogy

scarecrow batman

The team behind the Dark Knight trilogy, which began with Batman Begins in 2008, intentionally made the decision to choose some of the more obscure villains from the DC Comics. Speaking to the media, writer David S. Goyer said the team wanted to showcase characters that hadn’t been seen in live-action before. As such, Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarecrow were chosen as the main antagonists.

Leonardo DiCaprio Could Have Been The New Riddler

leonardo dicaprio

Goyer specifically cited Catwoman and Penguin as characters he wanted to hold off on, considering their extensive screen history in Batman movies. However, Warner Bros. was not very happy with Bane as the primary baddie for The Dark Knight Rises and made a slight push for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the Riddler. In the end, this idea was rejected.

Eight Decades Of The Riddler

Despite not appearing in the Dark Knight Rises, the Riddler is one of Batman’s most iconic adversaries in the DC Comics. Created by writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang, the Riddler (also known as Edward Nygma) made his print debut in Detective Comics #140 in 1948. With cunning intellect, he is known for leaving complex puzzles and riddles for Batman to find.

Away from the Dark Knight Rises, Riddler has been seen in various on-screen adaptations. Frank Gorshin played the villain in the 1960s Batman television series, with John Astin portraying him in one episode. Gorshin brought the character to life with a manic energy and distinct laugh, which was used as a benchmark for various future interpretations.

Paul Dano Portrayed The Most Recent Adaptation Of The Riddler

Jim Carrey brought his trademark comedic style to The Riddler when he took on the character in the 1995 film Batman Forever. His portrayal emphasized the character’s eccentricity and obsession with outsmarting Batman, complete with elaborate costumes and over-the-top mannerisms. Cory Michael Smith played a younger version of Edward Nygma in the popular television series Gotham, showcasing his descent into madness and gradual evolution into the cunning villain.

After the character was overlooked in the Dark Knight Rises, Paul Dano brought the Riddler back to the big screen in 2022’s The Batman. Dano’s version of the character showcased a twisted serial killer who targets Gotham City’s elite, leaving behind riddles for Batman to solve as he tries to unravel the mystery of the crimes.

Source: Happy Sad Confused