What's going on, you guys! I'm going to break down the casting news we recently received for Matt Reeves' upcoming Batman movie! For a while now, we have been digesting the casting of Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman. My thoughts have been made clear in previous episodes of the podcast. To put it simply and quickly: Pattinson is a better actors than most give him credit for, but I can't really tell how good he will be in this role because it is unlike anything he has done so far.
The casting that I am writing about this time just as interesting. First off, we have Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games, Westworld) playing Commissioner Jim Gordon. I, and I don't think I am alone here, love this choice. Wright absolutely fits the Jim Gordon vibe. He usually plays characters that tend to be outwardly calm, calculated, and cool. I like his character I'm Hunger Games, even though they are great and amazing movies. I really like him in Casino Royale as well. So, Wright is not the reason I decided to post this article though.
We are here to talk about Jonah Hill. Funny man, Jonah Hill is in talks to play either Penguin or The Riddler. It has long been rumored that Hill would be a good fit for and was the target to play Penguin. Now, it has been confirmed that he has been offered a role in the film. It isn't quite as cut and dry as the studio would like though. Hill reportedly prefers to play The Riddler. I'm sure there are many reasons, but the two that are being reported are that the character is very prominent in the script. More so than Penguin and the other villains included in the story. Hill is also reportedly a big fan of Him Carrey. Carrey played the character previously in Batman Returns. The studio and Director, Matt Reeves seem to be okay with him playing either role. There are two problems that exist right now. Maybe not problems, but… things. One is that Hill has reportedly asked for $10 million either way. That is more than even Pattinson is making to play Batman. The other issue is that Hill is still deciding what role he wants and if he really wants a part in the movie at all. I think the movie should be questioning if he is worth their time.
Jonah Hill is a great actor. He has proven he can do the funny comedy bullshit kind of movies and he can do more, "legit," projects. I can't sit here and say he won't be a good Penguin or even The Riddler. I think he will be a different kind of Batman villain. Geoffrey Wright aside, this cast, all two of them, is already very left field compared to previous Batman movies. This is, as far as we can tell and I think, going to be a mostly grounded depiction of the character and his world. Reeves has said it will be a gritty story that really highlights that he is the world’s greatest detective, not just a guy in a batsuit punching and screaming at people (although who doesn’t love that?) So, Pattinson is an interesting choice. I am onboard with that and didn’t really question it when the news dropped. Jonah Hill? This potential casting really makes me think that we are going to see a Batman movie truly like no other. This movie has no vibe, so far. I don’t expect a Batman that resembles Bale, Affleck, Clooney, Kilmer, or Keaton whatsoever. I wouldn’t expect Jonah Hill to take from Danny Devito or Robin Taylor’s (Gotham on Fox) performances at all. In fact, I think that most of the design and outward aspects of Penguin from the comics will be lost in this film. That isn’t a bad thing, to me. It is something that makes me really wonder what kind of film we will see. It has potential because it sounds and feels so new and different, but if it fails to live up to it’s chosen tone (campy v. gritty) or fails in trying to balance the two, we will have a disaster on our hands. It is going to be a very hit or miss film and the cast (so far) shows that. The synopsis so far is, basically, that Bruce Wayne takes the investigation into a serial killer in Gotham into his own hands. Along the way he encounters some of his most famous enemies. There is supposed to be a pretty wild twist in the film involving who is really behind the killings and how it factors into Bruce’s investigation. Filming begins in January and we will be able to feast our eyes on the full film in 2021.
Thank you for reading! Drop a comment below and let me know how you feel about Robert Pattinson, Geoffrey Wright, and Jonah Hill to be among the actors leading Matt Reeves’ Batman film. Remember to watch or listen to the newest episodes of Back Row: Movie News! You can watch on YouTube or listen almost anywhere you get your podcasts! Thank you for reading this and listening to and supporting us!