Look. There are lots of worthy villains in the DC universe to counterbalance the heroes. Lex Luther. Darkseid. Sinestro. Doomsday. General Zod. Braniac. Catwoman. Circe. Black Adam. Batman has some of the best. R’as al-Ghul. Two Face. Scarecrow. Mr. Freeze. Poison Ivy. The best of them all – The Joker. And of course, there are a bunch more. But not all of them are big enough to go mano-a-mano in a big budget feature film. So, when we found out that The Riddler was a potential candidate for the primary villain in the last film in the Christopher Nolan story arc, we were disappointed. The Riddler? He’s kind of a zany character and often a thug, but he pales in comparison to The Joker. He’s smart, but then so is R’as al Ghul and R’as is a more sinister villain. True, Nolan does quite a bit of good stuff with the material he’s given but after The Dark Knight, he had to go with someone really different to one-up that masterpiece. There was no way The Riddler was going to give The Dark Knight Rises the oomph it needed to end the series brilliantly.
We’re sure a lot of our bias is based on the impish portrayal or Eddie Nigma in the campy 1960s series as well as the ridiculous buffoonery of Batman Forever. But, the Joker came through with flying colors in The Dark Knight after the goofiness of the Caesar Romero and the odd Jack Nicholson versions. In fact, The Joker is a versatile enough character it’s hard to go wrong with him. But The Riddler just isn’t a strong enough villain and Christopher would really have struggled to make him a truly full-on foe.
So, when the studios pushed for Riddler, it’s fortunate that more reasonable minds prevailed (what is it with studio bosses? no wonder bombs exist – those guys are a special kind of dangerous idiotry). Having said that, we are at least curious about the “what if?” since Leonardo DiCaprio would have been running the villainous side of the good guy/bad guy conflict. But, while a superb actor, we just don’t see him as the annoying jerk that The Riddler is.
Well, anyway, we all dodged a bullet. See more details at Yahoo Movies.