After two Academy Award nominations and his directorial debut, actor Jonah Hill is squaring up for something new. Hill is reportedly in talks to play an iconic Batman villain in the new Batman film—directed by Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes)—opposite Robert Pattinson, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hill has been in “early talks” with Warner Bros., and THR writes that Hill and Reeves have been trying to decide which iconic villain he’ll play, though it looks to be either the Penguin or the Riddler. Other reports from Variety, Deadline, and The Wrap have also confirmed the news.
If Hill needs to transform himself physically, he has the experience, as he previously lost weight for his role in the Netflix series Maniac. Hill relied on boxing and cardio workouts, training multiple times per week. That said, neither the Penguin nor the Riddler are known for having particularly dominant, muscular physiques.
The new film is reportedly set to feature a handful of Batman’s most iconic villains. The storyline is expected to follow the hero as he investigates a series of mysterious murders that force him to confront Gotham’s seedy underworld. Pattinson was officially named to the role of Batman in August. Writer Thomas Polito, who has been right on a number of superhero castings in the past, reported earlier this year that the Batman film will feature “The Riddler, Firefly, Penguin, and Catwoman” as villains in the movie.
Reeves has been working on the script himself, previously stating he wants to create a “noir Batman tale” and that he wants it to be more of a “detective” story than previous films. “It’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation,” Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview in January.
Along with Hill, actor Jeffery Wright is “in negotiations” to play the role of Commissioner James Gordon in the movie, according to Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter. Moreover, Mahershala Ali was reportedly looked at for the role before he signed on to play Blade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Batman is set for a June 25, 2021, release.