So, Inception’s finally out. If you’re a sci-fi super-nerd, a fan of Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight (or any of his other clockwork-like films) or just an admirer of Leo DiCaprio’s extra-tan face, you’ve probably already seen it. And that’s great! I’m going to post something later this week about one of Inception’s source materials: the 17th Century idea of memory-as-architecture, but for now, let’s look ahead. To Batman 3 (or whatever Nolan ends up calling it.) Michael Caine’s already been quoted saying that filming starts next April, so let’s start with some dream casting.
For me, I’d like to see a version of the Riddler. Unlike the goofy, annoyingly preening Frank Gorshin version, or the sycophantic Jim Carrey version, the definitive Riddler for me is the one from Batman: The Animated Series. Once described as “the world’s meanest sissy,” this version of the Riddler seems like the kind of guy who’d torture someone just for fun. Not to prove a point, like Heath Ledger’s the Joker, or to extract information, but to make a game of it and prove that he’s just as tough as he is smart.
And make no mistake, the Riddler is smart. He designs games and clues the way Nolan creates films. One interlocking piece at a time, with vague clues laid out before-hand and a confidence and technical skill that can seem unmatched. But below the smarts is this need to get back all the kids who called him sissy. He’s not a thug. He’s not a thief. He’s not necessarily a killer. He’s the world’s meanest sissy, and if this were 1995 instead of 2010, I’d vote for a still relatively unknown Kevin Spacey.
But Spacey’s too old now, and comes with too much baggage. Once upon a time he’d have been perfect, but no longer. But! If we’re dream casting from the past, I’d like to suggest a young Tony Randall. Check out this scene from 1959’s PillowTalk:
Quick, someone get Chris Nolan a time machine!
Although from what we know about him, he’d probably prefer to build it himself.