Riddle me this: why did Leonardo DiCaprio never show up in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy? Writer David Goyer reaffirms that the idea was floated – but there’s a very good reason why it never happened.
"We had all these pitches. 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 said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
Goyer pointed to what was then an emerging trend in the superhero genre – to pick a villain and then build a movie around it – as something that he and Nolan specifically wanted to avoid.
"I had a sense – with the Spider-Man movies or when superhero movies started getting made and you had sequels – that the studios would always say ‘OK, who’s our villain of the next movie going to be? And let’s build a movie around that.’ Chris was staunchly against that… let’s figure out what story we want to tell [first], and what we thematically want to explore with Bruce. Then let’s figure out a villain that fits the story."
Tom Hardy’s Bane, a figure that could break both Bruce Wayne and Gotham, was chosen as the villain of The Dark Knight Rises. The rest, as they say, is muffled history.