Just as the Dark Knight rises with an appropriately titled sequel, the Riddler falls. Long considered a must include for Christopher Nolan's third "Batman" film, it turns out that the popular puzzler won't have a role to play in "The Dark Knight Rises."
The Riddler's exclusion from the next "Batman" is assuredly a blow to many Splash Page readers, as the character was voted the fan-favorite pick for the movie's villain. But come on, this is Batman we're talking about -- the sea of bad guys is virtually endless!
With Riddler out of the picture, it's time to dry those eyes and focus on the real threat: who is Batman's next nemesis? Join us after the jump as we weigh in on some candidates!
Before the major announcement revealing "The Dark Knight Rises" as the film's title, the day's big "Batman" news centered on Nolan taking meetings with actresses in their late 20s to early 30s about the film's female lead. We've long suspected that Selina Kyle could reemerge for Nolan's third Gotham voyage, and there are certainly still signs suggesting her involvement. Then again, we could have sworn the Riddler was going to be in the film...
Even though Riddler is out of the running, there are many villainous candidates that would suit "Inception" star Tom Hardy quite well. Previously announced for a role in "The Dark Knight Rises," Hardy's strengths and sensibilities lend themselves to excellent portrayals of Black Mask, Deadshot, Hugo Strange and Hush. Could the next "Batman" villain be one of these characters?
Aside from the villains we mentioned in our Secret Identity column some weeks ago, there have been many rumored bad guys for "The Dark Knight Rises." The most persistent gossip centers on Killer Croc and Bane, based on some unofficial concept art that made the rounds in recent weeks. We're skeptical on the Bane front, but Croc has yet to make an appearance in a live-action "Batman" flick. Perhaps he'll finally rise to the occasion of battling "The Dark Knight."
The "rises" in the new "Batman" movie's official title certainly seems to refer to Bruce Wayne himself, but what if it actually refers to another dead character -- like Harvey Dent, for example? Aaron Eckhart has expressed his willingness to return, and after delivering such a strong performance as the district attorney turned homicidal maniac, we might be able to take a leap of faith and forgive the character's resurrection -- if it can be done tastefully and respectfully, of course.
Here's an idea: focus the movie on Batman, not his villains. This is supposed to be the final chapter of Nolan's "Batman" trilogy, right? How about tossing in a whole variety of villains while keeping the spotlight on the Dark Knight -- it's not about the bad guys and their methods, but how Bruce rises to the occasion, beats them all and wins the day. If "The Dark Knight Rises" is the grand finale for Nolan, the film should be as explosive as the Fourth of July; including a multitude of villains would certainly meet that qualification.
With the Riddler out of the equation, tell us who you want to see as the villain in "The Dark Knight Rises" in the comments section and on Twitter!