Long the foe of every costumed crazy to roam the streets of Gotham City, Batman is no stranger to long odds. But the Caped Crusader is about to come face to face with his biggest Gamble yet, rapper David Banner revealed exclusively to MTV News.
The "Black Snake Moan" actor has auditioned for the role of Gamble in "The Dark Knight," director Christopher Nolan's follow-up to the worldwide smash "Batman Begins," Banner eagerly divulged (see " 'Batman' Writer David Goyer Spills 'Dark Knight,' 'Invisible' Details"). And he's calling on his fans to help him win the part.
"I just tried out ... to be a villain in 'Batman,' " Banner enthused. "Y'all pray for me out there in MTV land."
A longtime comic book fan — Banner's rap moniker was inspired by Bruce Banner from "The Incredible Hulk" — the 34-year-old hip-hop star could barely contain his excitement when interviewed in South Central Los Angeles, even joking that there would be an extra-special surprise for his fans should he win the part.
"I promise this to the 'hood. ... If I get this part, I'm gonna smack Batman in the face," he exclaimed, laughing playfully. "Even if it's not in the script! [Then] we can tell the kids in the 'hood [that] Batman got smacked by David Banner."
So intent is Banner on winning the part, he even confessed to shaving off his trademark beard just to look more appropriate for the character.
With the multihyphenate potentially set to join Batman's rogues gallery alongside confirmed villains the Joker and Two-Face (to be played in the movie by Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart, respectively; see "Batman Villain Two-Face Speaks: Eckhart Reveals 'Dark Knight' Details"), the biggest question on the minds of comic fans is surely, "Who the heck is this Gamble anyway?" Is he a criminal mastermind, or perhaps a henchman or thug?
Banner isn't saying — the suddenly geek-chic rapper was hesitant to spoil any more details. "All y'all got to know is that he's pimping," he coyly stated, before puffing out his suit jacket and adding, "Look at me, it ain't even acting."
Banner expects to know if he's been cast in the film within the next two weeks. If he is, he would join returning actors Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, and new additions Ledger, Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Eric Roberts.
"The Dark Knight" is currently in production and will swoop into theaters July 18, 2008.
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight."
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