Jim Carrey's Riddler In Batman Forever Was Written In Robin Williams' 'Voice'

Monday, 5 December 2022 21:42

A couple of long shadows cast themselves over Jim Carrey's performance as the Riddler in "Batman Forever." For one, there's the legacy of Jack Nicholson, who so memorably played the Joker in the first major "Batman" movie from 1989. Casting Carrey — an actor with the same maniacal energy as Nicholson — was a gambit to produce a villain of the same ilk.Then, there was Frank Gorshin's TV Riddler from the 1966 "Batman" series. Gorshin is often ranked as the most memorable of that series' special guest villains, elevating the Riddler to an A-list Batman rogue. "Batman Forever" director Joel Schumacher embraced the legacy of Adam West, unlike previous "Batman" director Tim Burton, who pushed the hero and his infamous rogues' gallery into a more gothic realm.Then, there was the shadow of the actor who was almost cast as the Riddler before Carrey stepped up: Robin Williams.A History Of Robin Williams Almost Being In BatmanRobin Williams had a few connections to the Batman franchise, even though he ultimately never starred in it. He was offered the part of the Joker in 1989's "Batman." Sort of. In actuality, it was more of a ploy, positioning Williams as bait to get Jack Nicholson to sign on. Williams dismissed this with good humor (and a flawless Jack impression) in a 1993 interview, acknowledging that this sort of industry tactic happens more than one would think, even to Nicholson himself.In that same interview, he expressed interest in playing the Riddler. He also told Entertainment Weekly, ''I loved Batman when I was growing up because we didn't have Barney then. I am just waiting to see the script, and if it's right, then I'll sign on.'' The same outlet reported Carrey's casting in 1994. Apparently, Williams passed on the role, out of concern he'd be overshadowed by Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of Two-Face.Lee Batchler, the film's screenwriter, told the Hollywood Reporter about Williams' lingering influence on the film:"With the Riddler, we wrote it with Robin's voice. He read our script and loved it, they just didn't make the deal. So when it came to Jim Carrey, he very much did our script. It was just a little less Robin Williams. It was a little more straight. It was very much the same character and the same lines."If Carrey's Riddler was the "straight" version, then Williams might've (literally) burst off the screen from the sheer energy of his performance.The Nolan ConnectionRobin Williams was always known as a theatrical performer, going back to his time as a stand-up comic. Even if he never abandoned comedy, he proved throughout his career that he could play dramatic parts well. He played not one but two inspirational teachers, first in "Dead Poets Society," and then in "Good Will Hunting," and no one has done the archetype better.One of his most against-type performances was "Insomnia," where he played Walter Finch, a murderer hounded by Detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino). Serial killer roles present an easy chance for actors to go hard, but Williams instead delivered one of his most subtle performances. Not many actors could mine empathy from such a cold-blooded character."Insomnia" was directed by future Batman director Christopher Nolan, but Williams, unfortunately, wasn't able to parley this connection into a part in Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy. There were rumors of Williams having a part in "The Dark Knight Rises" as Professor Hugo Strange. Like the Riddler, Strange is an intellectual adversary intent on solving the question mark that is Batman. However, Strange lacks an alternate persona or a costume like the Riddler's garish green get-up. Considering Williams' track record, he could have easily played either variety of villain.Of course, these rumors were only rumors. Before Nolan settled on using Bane, the Riddler was considered to appear in the film, but Warner Bros' wanted to cast Leonardo DiCaprio for the part. By 2012, it seems Williams' chance to menace Batman onscreen had passed him by. Thus, we're tragically left with only approximations of Williams as a Batman villain in "Batman Forever" and "Insomnia."Read this next: Every Christopher Nolan Film Ranked Worst To BestThe post Jim Carrey's Riddler In Batman Forever Was Written In Robin Williams' 'Voice' appeared first on /Film.


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