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SEQUEL UPDATE

'Dark Knight' spawns some interesting casting rumors

Posted August 25, 2008 at 5:01 PM CDT

By John Couture

If there's one thing that you see on the Internet every day, it's crazy Internet-fueled rumors about the casting of some upcoming blockbuster or sure-to-be greenlit sequel. It's a daily, nay hourly, discourse into the gossip mongering nature of our society and we're usually too lazy or uninspired to mention all of them, but there's movie and one rumor that grabbed our attention today.

The movie would be the as yet unannounced sequel to The Dark Knight. The question isn't whether there will be a third Christopher Nolan offering to the Batman universe, but when and how much money Warner Bros. will rain down on Nolan.

The Dark Knight is already the second highest North American grossing film behind Titanic and despite still going strong at the box office, pundits are already trying to shape the next cast. The main principals should all return with Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Nolan leading the way.

The main topic of discussion seems to be the bad guys that the caped crusader will face in the third movie. Heath Ledger's untimely passing in real life and impossible to imitate take on the Joker pretty much guarantees that he's out of the picture. The jury is still out on Two-Face's ultimate demise in the movie, but the consensus seems to think that he won't be able to return for the third movie. This is a shame because Aaron Eckhart knocked this role out of the park and had he not been overshadowed by Ledger's performance and tragedy, he could easily have been the breakout star of The Dark Knight.

The first villain to be rumored for inclusion in part 3 is The Riddler. It seems that Jim Carrey's take on him in Batman Forever left plenty of fans wanting more. I can't say I blame them. The Brits are leading the way in the rumor department. One popular theme is that producers are approaching Johnny Depp to play the quizzical one. Not to be left out in the cold, another former TV heartthrob is putting his question mark into the ring.

"I would love to be the Riddler," former 90210 star Brian Austin Green recently told MTV. Beyond sharing the last name with the character's trademark color, Green thinks that he'd have to take some time to get the character right.

"That would take years of preparation. It’s tough. Heath set the bar at a new level, which I think is fantastic for comic book lovers and movie lovers. He changed the face of what people expect out of those films. If you watch the old ones, I mean, they were great for what they were, having Danny Elfman’s music, but this is a new level"

The same article went on to call out Philip Seymour Hoffman as being sought after to play The Penguin. The role was last played by Danny DeVito in Batman Returns.

Another potential villain/ally being tossed about recently is Catwoman. She has quite the history being played by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns and spun off into her own movie when Halle Berry donned the spandex. One rumor that won't die is the alleged interest in the role shown by Angelina Jolie. The story goes that Jolie went so far as to call and inquire about the role.

The latest Catwoman rumor was the proverbial straw that broke our backs into writing this story. The Telegraph, another tabloidish British news source went on the record today stating that a "studio executive" confirmed that 62 year old singer/actress Cher is in the mix to be cast as Catwoman.

"Cher is Nolan's first choice to play Catwoman. He wants to her to portray her like a vamp in her twilight years. The new Catwoman will be the absolute opposite of Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry's purring creations."

I don't know about you, but that rumor made us realize that our gag reflex is still in working order. I have nothing against Cher, but I just can't imagine her in Nolan's Batman universe. But who knows, a lot of people were down on Heath Ledger when he was first announced as The Joker.

So, we'll keep an open mind on this. Tell us what you think of these rumors and which villains you want to see in the next installment and of course who you would most want to play them.

For the record, I would love to see Nolan tackle the character of Bane in the next film and he would be a villain that would fit into his take on the Batman universe.

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