While I was losing horribly at “cards with the ‘tards” last weekend (that’s Poker Night for you non-Dempsey fans), the subject of summer movies and Batman Begins arose, and one of the guys said “Did you hear who they cast as the Joker in the next one? Paul Bettany.” This was quickly followed by "Really? I heard it was Crispin Glover." I tried to explain (after everyone’s initial astonishment that I found the movie significantly less than perfect) that in fact nobody has been cast yet, because there’s no movie yet. Or to put it another way, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Don’t get me wrong — even though the movie is probably being perceived as underperforming in the eyes of the beancounters, I’m still relatively certain we’ll get a sequel. But the studio hasn’t actively put one into production, and neither director Chris Nolan nor writer David Goyer has committed to return yet, which means there’s no official deals in place, which means there’s no script, which means there are no roles, which means there’s no casting. That’s just sort of how the process works, or so I’ve been led to believe.
And yet there’s still a lot of online chitchat about actors, mostly done by overeager fans or publicists or people who just enjoy making shit up and putting it on the web (which we sometimes do, granted, but only on slow news days). Therefore, we’ve already got two new names being floated for parts in the Warner Bros. vaporsequel: hoofer/crooner Justin Timberlake (also once falsely linked to the Iron Man movie) is being courted to play bipolar baddie Two-Face, while Katie Holmes’ replacement for Bruce Wayne’s romantic interest is rumored to be Isla Fisher, who apparently has a minor role in The Wedding Crashers.
Now, I’m sure the people (potentially) involved in the (potential) sequel have kicked some names around, but it’s all about as concrete as me playing Beach Pervert #3 in an upcoming big-budget shark movie. Assuming another Batman movies flaps into theaters, you’ll no doubt see Christian Bale and Michael Caine and Gary Oldman (I think they’re the only ones who signed multi-picture agreements) but beyond that is dreamcasting at this point. Seriously, this sort of rubbish is almost as amusing as all those unknown actresses on the “short list” to play the Amazon of Joss Whedon’s still-unwritten Wonder Woman. Personally, I’ll wait for the official casting announcements (or as close as it gets) to hit the trades, which should happen in about a year or so. Until then, let the conjecture continue!