Brow Beat

Jonah Hill and Jeffrey Wright in Talks to Join The Batman

 Jonah Hill attends the "Mid 90's" press conference at the Berlin Film Festival.
The glasses say Bookworm, but the jacket is pure Colonel Blimp.
Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

Big news in Gotham City, as Deadline reports that Jeffery Wright is in talks to play Commissioner Gordon in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Batman movie The Batman, while Jonah Hill might play one of the film’s as-yet-unnamed villains. Cloverfield director Matt Reeves’ take on the franchise was originally supposed to take place in the DC Extended Universe back when Ben Affleck was going to direct and star, but now that Reeves is on board, the film seems to be shaping up as more of a standalone Batman story, with Robert Pattinson replacing Affleck as the Batman and Wright replacing J.K. Simmons, who played Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. If The Batman turns out to be in its own continuity, like Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker, it will be somewhere between the sixth and ninth live-action cinematic reboot of the Batman franchise, depending on how you count Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and New Adventures of Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder. Of course, without any reboots, we’d still be watching the Batman who supported Japanese-American internment, but if there’s a limit to the number of Batmen any one culture can support, we’re racing toward it with Batmobile-like speed..

The biggest subject of speculation at the moment is which villain Jonah Hill might play. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he is up for either The Riddler or The Penguin, as both characters may appear in The Batman, and Hill and the studio cannot decide which role he should take. Like Batman: The Movie before it, The Batman will reportedly feature a rogue’s gallery of classic Batman villains, although at present it seems unlikely to include Bat Shark Repellant or a submarine shaped like a penguin. But since the complete list of villains in the upcoming film is still under wraps, there’s still time for two-time Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill to lobby for a more challenging role. He could play Mr. Camera, who wears a helmet shaped like a giant camera on his head, or The Eraser, who wears a helmet shaped like a giant pencil eraser on his head, or even motion-capture a performance as Gorilla Boss, the gorilla with the transplanted brain of a dead mobster. Or maybe Jonah Hill will be the actor who is finally courageous enough to follow in Vincent Price’s footsteps and give the world the dark, mature Egghead the 2020s demand. Only one thing is certain: The Batman, in some form or other, will be in theaters on June 25, 2021.