‘Dark Knight’ writer says studio bosses wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to play Batman villain

One of the writers of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy has revealed that studio bosses wanted to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as a key villain.

David S Goyer wrote the three Batman adaptations alongside Nolan. He’s now explained how, at the premier of The Dark Knight, the head of Warner Bros studio put forward the suggestion of DiCaprio as an actor to appear in The Dark Knight Rises.

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Goyer said the boss suggested that DiCaprio should play The Riddler in the final film in the trilogy. However, Goyer went on to say that the suggestion was quickly dismissed.


He explained: “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.”

He explained that the themes of the film written up would dictate eventually the actors that would come to portray the characters and not the other way round. Eventually, The Dark Knight Rises went on to cast Tom Hardy in the role as Bane, while DiCaprio went on to work with Nolan in 2010s Inception.

You can listen to the full podcast here:

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Elsewhere in the interview, Goyer went on to reveal how Jake Gyllenhaal was almost cast in the Dark Knight trilogy as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The role eventually went to Christian Bale.

“We would chat about all sorts of things…There were a number of people who had screen-tested, and I had advocated for Gyllenhaal. I mean, Gyllenhaal is amazing, Christian Bale is amazing, so who knows what.”


He added that footage of Gyllenhaal auditioning for the role in full Batman costume also exists.

DiCaprio is set to next appear in Martin Scorsese’s new western crime drama Killers Of The Flower Moon, which follows the FBI investigation into a series of Oklahoma murders in the Osage Nation.

Killers Of The Flower Moon premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it received a nine-minute standing ovation.

Alongside DiCaprio and Gladstone, the film stars Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, John Lithgow and Tantoo Cardinal.