Recently, German-born actor Michael Fassbender broke through with a key role in Quentin Tarantino’s latest instant classic. Now, he’s looking forward to returning to screens next summer opposite another "Basterd": Jonah Hex. And while "Dark Knight" fans continue hoping The Riddler will be coming their way soon, Fassbender revealed to us that the green-leotarded one is actually coming to a different WB film.
Well, sort of...
“All the elements were in place to make it very attractive, even before I got the script,” Fassbender told us about the recently-wrapped June 2010 "Jonah Hex" flick. “I was a big fan of Josh [Brolin] before, and also John Malkovich is a big hero ever since I saw ‘Dangerous Liaisons.’ And when [director] Jimmy [Hayward] got on the phone with me I liked his energy, and I like the way he had a personal interest in each character and had each layer covered. Then, it was just a matter of me finding a real human being within the comic-book character.”
This presented a unique challenge in and of itself—considering that Fassbender had never actually picked up an issue of “Jonah Hex” before. “Don’t hate me, comic-book fans,” he winced. “But I haven’t read the ‘Jonah Hex’ comic book.”
Instead, the actor set out to seize on the human elements of his character—and found himself looking at a most-unexpected source of inspiration. “I don’t even know [if my character was in the comics]; Jimmy said that there was a character like that in there,” Fassbender explained of his baddie. “I took my inspirations from other areas. Once I put on my costume, I have a bowler hat and [added] some elements of 1970's Riddler.”
Um, excuse us? Do you mean 1966-1968 “Batman” starring Adam West? With Frank Gorshin as The Riddler?
“That’s it, Frank Gorshin,” Fassbender grinned, admitting he’s a bit new to all this comics stuff. “Jimmy just let me run with all those elements, and hopefully the character has enough dimensions in him. I know he’s a pretty sadistic character. He’s the kind of guy where this environment just suits him perfectly. It’s a wild west, and he gets to run amok.”
The return of The Riddler? Do you like it when actors embrace the theatricality of a comic-book role, or is such a move treading dangerous waters?