Joseph Gordon-Levitt might play The Riddler in Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film?

By Sean O’Connell Could Joseph Gordon-Levitt be playing The Riddler in Christopher Nolan’s planned, third “Batman” sequel?

Honest to goodness, this thought crossed my mind a few days ago after the director told Empire Magazine that he would not recast the Joker, replacing the late Heath Ledger in his Oscar-winning role. As I contemplated substitute villains, the short list appeared to be Catwoman, Penguin and The Riddler.

It wasn’t until I saw the latest “Inception” trailer, however, that it struck me. Gordon-Levitt co-stars with DiCaprio in the dreamscape thriller. He’s already in Nolan’s universe, and on the director’s radar. Nolan enjoys working with the same actors — see “Batman” co-stars Christian Bale and Michael Caine in the brilliant “The Prestige,” if you haven’t already, or Cillian Murphy in two “Batman” films as well as “Inception.” And it clicked. Gordon-Levitt, an amazing actor, would kill it as The Riddler. He’d make as much sense as casting Ledger as The Joker, and would give Nolan a legitimate actor to add to his already impressive ensemble.

The Riddler also makes sense under the next steps of the story. When we left Batman at the end of “The Dark Knight,” he was forced to become a fugitive, and would be pinned with the murder of Harvey Dent so as to protect the reputation of Gotham’s “White Knight.” Understandably, some angry Gotham leaders will want to bring Batman to justice, and part of that process will be solving the mystery of his masked identity. That sounds like a Riddle that need cracking!

Fan art released shortly after “The Dark Knight” even took Nolan’s story down that avenue … whether the director had considered it yet, or not.

Will it happen? Hollywood Life is running a story saying Gordon-Levitt is being considered for a part in “Batman 3” and that “talks” have involved him playing The Riddler. The story says Nolan loved Gordon-Levitt as an actor (duh), and that the actor lobbied hard to read for a role in the sure-to-be-massive sequel (again, duh).

So it’s heresay right now. But it’s logical heresay. Stay tuned!

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