“For me, I’d have an enormous amount of fun with The Riddler,” enthused the eight-time Oscar nominee (onetime winner for “The Lion King”), who composed the “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” scores. “There is such a wealth of fun to be had with a character like that.”
In Zimmer’s mind, Edward Nigma is the Batman villain most ripe with potential, in both musical score possibilities and elsewhere. Portrayed by Frank Gorshin and John Astin in the ’60s TV series and Jim Carrey in “Batman Forever,” the riddle-obsessed, stick-thin madman doesn’t possess any super powers — which would seem to make him an ideal fit for Chris Nolan’s realistic take on Gotham City.
“The exciting thing about any of these movies Chris makes is that they are really based in a solid reality, in a solid psychology way,” Zimmer explained. “It wasn’t easy for me at first to write about a character who was wearing a rubber mask.”
Although “Dark Knight” was a massive hit with a memorable score, Zimmer told us recently that he considers it to be among his most controversial.
“We had a bit of a tiff,” Zimmer said of an argument with undisclosed members of the Academy, blaming it on the reason “Dark Knight” didn’t earn an Oscar nomination. “It’s very complicated. The stuff I am supposed to do, I’m supposed go ahead, set a new trend, and be a little bit ahead of the cuff. Sometimes it takes people a while to get it.”
Zimmer said it might also take “Batman” fans until the third film to fully comprehend his scores, which have been laying breadcrumbs throughout that follow along with Bruce Wayne’s storyline.
“Yes, absolutely,” he explained. “When you think about it, Batman ended up in a bad place in the last one; I’m hoping that his character will get a couple new things added to it.”
“Once I knew [the ‘Dark Knight’ villain] was The Joker, I started to get a sense of what it could be, more than what it shouldn’t be,” he explained, saying that Nolan usually gives him a villain heads-up early on in the decision-making process. “Chris and I have this interesting way of getting together, throwing ideas around causally, and then slowly one little Lego piece comes together and another falls off and another comes together.”
Recently nominated for another Oscar for “Sherlock Holmes,” Zimmer is hard at work on several upcoming movies for the likes of James L. Brooks and others. But he’s also keeping a close eye on “Batman 3” rumors, and hoping Nolan sees fit to let him create a playful, sinister score for The Riddler.
“He’s a character that gives you ideas,” Zimmer said of the green-clad baddie. “Maybe I should talk to Chris about that.”
Is The Riddler your choice to be the villain in the next film? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!