Every actor has some kind of role fetish or a pet project they would one day want to be part of. But, you will be stunned to find out what’s the character that Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/ Green Arrow) would like to play if given a chance.
He was on a press tour for his movie TMNT: Out of the Shadows, he was asked about which superhero would he like to play on big screen.
One would naturally believe it should be Green Arrow, but he said “I always get this question. I think all the superheroes are taken now. I’ll play The Riddler, okay? It’s a villain, but I like The Riddler.”
This isn’t the first time that he has expressed his interest to play the role of Riddler, back in 2014 at San Diego Comic-Con International when he was asked the same question, he then said:
“The Riddler”. I think I actually said that to Geoff Johns at like 2 o’clock in the morning Saturday. ‘Hey, Geoff, I want to play the Riddler.’ That actually happened.”
He further said:
“The Riddler, I mean that’s an awesome villain, and it hasn’t been in the modern…well, I guess modern, post-turn-of-the-century versions of Batman. So that would be cool.”
Riddler is a popular fictional super-villain based in Gotham, an arch-enemy of Batman, first appeared in Detective Comics, 1948, created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. In Gotham TV show, Edward Nygma portrayed a version of “Riddler” on a small screen.
He is a criminal mastermind with a genius-level intellect and has been a part of Secret six, Legion of Doom, Secret Society of Super-Villains.
Stephen Amell gained fame from CW’s Arrow TV series which is a dark, brooding & edgy superhero drama, and to a large extent inspired by Batman lore. The show has used Ra’s Ahl Ghul who is Batman foe in comics. It’s understandable that Stephen Amell would have a liking for Batman characters, but Riddler is a strange choice for sure.
The fans have often wondered – Does Batman exist in the CW/DC TV universe? The answer is in the affirmative. There have been multiple references to the character of Batman in the different seasons. In the particular episode of Flash season 2, when Barry goes to Earth-2 to fight Zoom, at his home’s speed-dial we see various names are mentioned, one of the names is Bruce. Further, Geoff John’s Flashpoint comic-book storyline was being adapted for Flash Season 3, where Batman is an integral part of the comic-book storyline. In the Legends of Tomorrow, Captain Hunter says “I have seen Men of Steel die and Dark Knights fall.” In Supergirl, Kara said, “My cousin worked with a vigilante once – tons of gadgets, lots of demons.”
There is also a possibility that several big Batman universe characters to make an appearance in future seasons of CW shows like Kathy Kane/Bat Woman, Barbara Gordon as Oracle etc. as they could form Birds of Prey.
One of the most direct reference was in Arrow when Felicity is given a code name Overwatch instead of Oracle as it’s supposedly taken. Moreover, the show has used Ra’s Ahl Ghul who is Batman foe in comics. In the latest Arrow episode, Oliver Queen name dropped Bruce Wayne to shield himself of the allegation that he is the Green Arrow. Flash TV show has never shied away from dropping Batman references, in season 1 we saw the 2024 newspaper where Wayne Tech was completing merger with Queen Consolidated. But recently in Season 4, Episode 2 titled ‘Mixed Signals’ we saw control screen for Barry’s new suit which had something called ‘Babel Protocol’ among the new features. In Justice League of America comics and the animated movie titled Justice League: Doom, we found mention of ‘Babel Protocol’ created by Batman as he does not trust his fellow team members which led to the downfall of Justice League at the hands of Ra’s Ahl Ghul in comic and Vandal Savage in movie.
There are different ways in which the Dark Knight can be actually brought into Arrowverse. Firstly, another Flashpoint like event can be created in future seasons which can be used as a plot device to bring Bruce Wayne into the alternate timeline. It would be big missed opportunity for DCEU not to utilize its biggest superhero to the fullest. Perhaps, in the previous timeline, his parents were alive and he did’nt transform into Batman. Secondly, DC has been trying to make a spin-off shows of sidekicks or other important comic-book characters such as Birds of Prey. The best one would be a Nightwing series based on Dick Grayson coming out of Bat shadows on his own. Bloodhaven has been referenced many times on Arrow, so it wouldn’t be difficult to eventually bring Batman into this world.
Thirdly, an easter-egg can be dropped in a Flash newspaper containing an article about the merger of Wayne Enterprises and Queen Consolidated. Bruce Wayne can travel to Star city to finalize business deal, but actually he is hunting a violent criminal (Riddler or Two-face) who escaped Gotham prison, both of them could team-up and take him down for good. Finally, the most obvious way to bring Batman in Arrowverse is the crossover event between Gotham TV show and CW Arrow.
Matt Reeves and Geoff Johns are currently working on the new Batman franchise, although the details are kept under wraps, the first movie may feature multiple Batman villains. Matt revealed that he will be taking a page from Christopher Nolan’s playbook as he was inspired by the Dark Knight trilogy. He explained:
“What I love about what Nolan did was that he took the genre seriously. What studios willing to make at the moment is a very, very narrow band of films. What I discovered is that this genre has the potential to be about something more. You can use metaphors of the genre to talk about a lot.”
He draws parallel between Caesar and Batman and said:
“I see a parallel emotionally between Caesar and Batman, in that they’re both tortured and trying to sort of grapple within themselves to try and do the right thing in a very imperfect and, to some degree, corrupt world. It’s really that emotionality that I’m interested in.”
He added on his approach to Batman:
“In all of my films, what I try to do, in an almost Hitchcockian sense, is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become that character, and you emphasize with that point of view. There’s a chance to do an almost noir driven, detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way, that will hopefully connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart.”
Recently, at MTV Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt Reeves dropped a bombshell and revealed that he has tossed aside the entire script written by Ben Affleck and that he will start afresh. He said:
“No. It’s a new story. It’s just starting again. I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be really cool.”
Moreover, this may just throw everything out of the window including the villain i.e Deathstroke which was the choice of Ben Affleck as he has not been done onscreen ever. The actor Joe Manganiello had already been cast to play him. He recently spoke with THR and was asked about his role as Deathstroke in the upcoming Batman solo movie. He said he has no idea what is going on and he just can’t say anything at this moment. This is what he said:
“I don’t. Well, I do but nothing that I can share. I know everything but I can’t say any of it. It’s not up to me. That’s a good question for Warner Bros. and D.C.”
Previously, there was a rumor that the movie will be crammed with major villains of Batman universe that fans ever wanted to see. They will bring all the big guns at the very first outing, and create a sprawling Bat-universe. Moreover, Batman will be locked up in the Arkham asylum by a horde of Gotham criminals and super-villains. But now speculation is that the new villain may be Penguin or Riddler.
Is it possible that Geoff Johns actually reach out to Stephen Amell and cast him for the role of Riddler? Is it too far-fetched?