Leonardo DiCaprio Riddler Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan

Warner Bros. Wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to Play the Riddler in Nolan’s Dark Knight Movies

According to writer David Goyer, Warner Bros. wanted Christopher Nolan to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as The Riddler in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Speaking with Josh Horowitz on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast, per Collider, Goyer confirmed that the head of Warner Brothers wanted DiCaprio to appear as the Riddler in Nolan’s third Batman movie.

“We had all these pitches,” Goyer said. “I remember at The Dark Knight [premiere], the head of Warner Bros. said, ‘You gotta do the Riddler. Leo [DiCaprio] as the Riddler.’ That’s not the way we work – not to take anything away from him.”

Goyer, who was involved in writing all three films in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, has spoken about the Riddler’s potential conclusion in The Dark Knight Rises before. In 2020, he told Empire Magazine a similar story about how Warner Bros. wanted DiCaprio as the Riddler in The Dark Knight Rises in order to give the film a Joker-like villain for Batman to go up against after Heath Ledger passed away in 2008.

Leonardo DiCaprio never made it into Nolan’s Batman movies

Nolan and Goyer ultimately didn’t include the Riddler in the film, which instead saw Tom Hardy’s Bane serve as the primary antagonist alongside Marion Cotillard’s Talia al Ghul. The Riddler has been played by a number of other actors over the years, including Frank Gorshin, Jim Carrey, and, most recently, Paul Dano in 2022’s The Batman.

Leonardo DiCaprio has only ever worked with Nolan on 2010’s Inception. His next performance will be in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which opens in theaters and IMAX in the United States on October 20, 2023.

Nolan, meanwhile, recently made Oppenheimer with Cillian Murphy, who also starred as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in the Dark Knight trilogy. Having released theatrically in July 2023, Oppenheimer has so far made $926 million at the worldwide box office, making it the third highest-grossing film of 2023 behind Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.