Liam Neeson. Cillian Murphy. Aaron Ekhart. Heath Ledger. The lineage of Batman villains is a veritable list of acting excellence. Throw in James Lipton as the Penguin and you could spend weeks on set shooting sit downs for Inside the Actor’s Studio. Except there’s speculation that they’ve already cast the next penguin, and Bravo’s bearded interrogator isn’t on the list.
According to an MTV interview with Michael Caine at the Toronto Film Festival, Johnny Depp as the Riddler and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin have been confirmed with the studio. More entertaining than watching these histrionic heavyweights do battle with the bat? Michael Caine’s shock at hearing the news:
“When Christopher [Nolan] said we were going to do ‘The Dark Knight’ next, I didn’t what that meant in Batman terms,” related Caine, who plays Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. “I said, ‘What’s the story?’ and he said The Joker. I said, ‘Oh, s–t! How are you going to top Jack [Nicholson]?’ He said, ‘Well, I’ve cast Heath Ledger. And I went ‘Ha! I couldn’t top Jack, but if anyone could, maybe Heath could.’ And he did.
“I was with [a Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make another one?’ They said yeah. I said, ‘How the hell are we going to top Heath? And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath — Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’ I said, ‘S–t, they’ve done it again!’” [Laughs]
Click here for the full story at MTV’s Splash Page.