I just want to get out ahead of this, since there are rumors going around about what and who’s going to be in the next Batman movie. Dan, Kelly, and I were discussing the next installment after we took in The Dark Knight for a second time (but, hey, who’s counting?). I think the Riddler would be an excellent villain in keeping with the Christopher Nolan philosophy of realistic, gritty Batman. He could be a Hannibal Lecter-type serial killer who toys with the police and thinks of Batman as his only worthy adversary. That’s all fine, although I think Johnny Depp is too OTT for the Nolan Batman universe. I’ve never seen him do anything with subtlety. Depp is great as Jack Sparrow, but he fits the Tim Burton Batman, not the Nolan one, and Tim Burton already had his shot at the Batman franchise.
That leaves these persistent rumors about the Penguin. The consensus when we were talking about this was that the Penguin is too weird and cartoony to be featured in a Nolan Batman movie. This is why, in fact, the writers of the current Batman franchise have said in interviews that they don’t want to bring in Penguin or Catwoman for their series. The only plausible way the three of us could come up with for introducing Penguin was if he was a mob boss whose nickname, maybe even behind his back (like “Harvey Two-Face”), was the Penguin. Maybe because he has a limp, maybe because he only wears tuxedos, I don’t really care (and I’m willing to loan those ideas to the Batman franchise, for some slight recognition). But it has to stay realistic.
And that’s all I have to say about that.