Eddie Murphy: ‘Riddle Me This!’

Director Christopher Nolan’s third take at the Batman franchise—tentatively titled Gotham—is at the “casting rumors” stage of pre-production.

Intense family man Christain Bale, 34, is on-board to return as the caped crusader, with venerable British actor Michael Caine, 75, reprising as Bruce Wayne’s right-hand man Alfred.

Beyond those two certainties, potential supporting players are being discussed in frenzies of insider speculation.

One name buzzing around agencies and studios, according to UK paper The Sun, is 47-year-old Eddie Murphy to play the Riddler.

Fresh off his multi-role tour-de-force in Norbit, Murphy has a proven ability to infuse several characters at once with manic personality switchbacks. This is definitely an energy suited to the Riddler, Batman’s most cruelly taunting nemesis.

The Batman franchise has become an attractive job for actors seeking both an epic payday and a boost to their reputations.  The late Heath Ledger’s reinvention of the Joker in The Dark Knight generated Oscar demand and provided Ledger with a legacy-making performance.

Murphy was visibly upset at being passed over for a Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in Dreamgirls at the 2007 Academy Awards in favor of Alan Arkin from Little Miss Sunshine.

Maybe Eddie sees the Riddler as a role to redemption?

There is some question of how seriously Murphy is being considered as the Riddler.

Other names mentioned in the same speculative report included Shia LaBeouf, 22, as Batman’s trusted sidekick, Robin.  But director Nolan has previously insisted that Robin did not fit into his concept of the Batman story.

Other names suggested, and not yet verified, for Batman III supporting roles have been Academy Award-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin and Oscar-kissed Rachel Weisz as Catwoman.

Seriously though, Eddie should be given every consideration to play the Riddler. Consider the farting possibilities!

In your face, caped crusader!