Commentary: Lay off ‘The Dark Knight’ sequel rumors
I’d like to take a step back and look the flurry of ridiculousness that have followed this summer’s — and possibly this decade’s — biggest blockbuster hit, “The Dark Knight.” There has been a roller coaster of excitement following these rumors, from the explosion of happiness when the “news” broke that Johnny Depp and Phillip Seymour Hoffman had signed on to play the Riddler and Penguin, respectively, to the lull in news to ensued — then to even more ridiculous rumors, like Angelina Jolie playing Catwoman to Michael Caan being replaced as Albert.
Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the last — and most overtly absurd batch — Eddie Murphy as the Riddler and Shia LeBouf as — ahem — Robin. Now, I have one simple plea to all of you who have, over the course of the last few months, freaked out about each successive “leaked” rumor — all of which I can guarantee you was simply made up:
Eddie Murphy is not playing The Riddler. He’s just not. There is no place for a goofy Riddler in The Nolan-verse. If the Riddler is in the next Nolan Batman movie — which everyone is just assuming, but the writers have said they may go into the well and find some villains that have yet to see the screen in any Batman adaptation — he’d need to be real; he’d need to be gritty and creepy. Nolan took an age-old Batman villain and turned him into a realistic terrorist in “The Dark Knight.” Expect him to do the same with The Riddler, is indeed he comes into the picture.
And for the second name that popped up in this crop of rumors, LeBouf, I actually chuckled when I heard this. Really? Really? Please, if you actually believed this rumor, let me know in the comments section. I’d like to know if there is anyone out here that really bought this steaming pile of lie. First off, both Nolan and the Caped Crusader himself, Christian Bale, have spoked out against the introduction of Robin to this trilogy. Bale actually said he wouldn’t come back until Robin was dumped from the script if, by some horrible turn of events, the Boy Wonder was actually and wrongfully written into the story.
These rumors aren’t true. And they’re not even believable anymore. At least with Hoffman and Depp — even Jolie — you could picture them actually playing these characters in the Nolan-verse. So, even though those rumors didn’t have a shred of evidence, you could at least get some enjoyment out of them, dreaming about how sweet a movie that would make.
Murphy? LeBouf? Fuck that.
I, for one, am sick of these rumors. I don’t want to hear them anymore. Nolan isn’t signed on for another movie, and, in fact, he hasn’t even come up with a legitimate storyline yet. They’re not going to sign Murphy to play the Riddle if they’re not even sure the Riddler will be in the movie. I believe these unsubstantiated and increasingly sensational rumors are a ploy — the last one was broken by London’s Sun, which is historically less than credible — to grabs readers and internet hits. That’s it. The most popular movie in a long time — “The Dark Knight” — means people are interested. Fake stories about potential sequels are going to get people to your website.
And if we keep eating up stories like Murphy as the Riddler, more and more of these ridiculous stories are going to hit the web. And each time people will freak out. And each time, we’ll all look like fools for buying it.
Let’s just not give them what they want. Ignore them. Don’t react when you hear that Rosie O’Donnell is pegged to play Poison Ivy or Michael Cera has been cast as Mr. Freeze (I feel like an idiot for saying this, but I just made these up — they’re not real rumors, just sarcastic choices to make my point. I just want to make sure I’m not responsible for the next round of madness). Don’t give them the satisfaction of listening to their childish plans to grab as many readers as possible.
I want news on the — hopefully upcoming — Dark Knight sequel as much as you do; believe me. But I want real news. I, for one, am going to ignore anything about the sequel until Christopher Nolan speaks out about it himself, and I encourage all of you to do the same thing. I wouldn’t expect any solid news for at least six months.
That way, we all can stop getting so upset about Eddie Murphy as The Riddler.