Talks between Warner Bros. and Jonah Hill to have the two-time Oscar nominee play a villain in The Batman have broken down, Collider has confirmed.
Matt Reeves is directing the superhero movie, which will star Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon.
It’s unclear why Hill passed on The Batman after engaging with Warner Bros. for the last several months. Initial reports claimed that Hill had asked for $10 million — more than twice what the studio is reportedly paying Pattinson to don the cape and cowl — so it’s possible that his decision came down to money, though it’s also possible it came down to the role.
Multiple sources have told Collider that Hill was in talks to play The Riddler, as Reeves is said to have approached at least one other actor for the somewhat smaller role of the Penguin. Shortly after posting, we were told that the role was a sticking point in the negotiations, as Hill had hoped to play the Penguin when things didn’t work out for this other actor. A separate individual reached out to say we had it backwards — that Reeves wanted to cast Hill as the Penguin, but Hill wanted to play the Riddler, who is said to be the primary villain in the script.
Frankly, it got so confusing that I was content to just wait for an official press release regarding Warner Bros., but now we know that no such press release is forthcoming. I have no doubt there are a long line of contenders waiting in the wings for both roles. Could Mahershala Ali wind up being the Riddler? Who knows? Could Josh Gad or WB’s own Richard Jewell star Paul Walter Hauser wind up as the Penguin? Possibly, depending on Reeves’ interpretation of the character. The truth is, I’ve said all I know about The Batman, and will just plainly admit that I’m in the dark on this one, as WB is understandably keeping things extremely close to the vest.
The Batman is slated to fly into theaters on June 25, 2021, and with production slated to start at the top of next year, be sure to stay tuned to Collider for more casting updates.