It was just a matter of time before Robert Pattinson returned as the infamous character from the classic 1960s television show, The Riddler. The former Batman star will make his debut in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the classic Archie comic book series, playing the title character, alongside Emma Stone as his love interest, Cheryl.
The film will be released on April 12, 2020 by Netflix.
The casting decisions for the film were not made lightly. Stone was one of the first names that came to mind when considering who would play the character of Cheryl. Stone is best known for her role as Bernie Rhodes in the Hunger Games franchise, which began in 2013 with the release of Catching Fire. She has since appeared in a number of other films, alongside her work on the big-screen adaptation of The Hunger Games.
The casting of Pattinson, on the other hand, was far more difficult. Pattinson, 39, is an English actor best known for portraying the title character in the Twilight films. He played the part of the charming and brooding Edward Cullen for almost 14 years before the franchise ended in November 2017 with the release of Eclipse.
After wrapping on camera for nearly two decades, Pattinson finally found his way back to the big-screen alongside Stone as Cheryl as a result of his connection to Netflix. The streaming service is home to a number of classic 1960s television series, including The Riddler, and they were looking for new ways for their viewers to experience these shows in all their glory. A live-action adaptation of The Riddler will bring the classic character back to life for a new generation.
Archie’s New Friends
Archie, often portrayed by actor and comedian Madman Morgan, first appeared in the pages of the long-running comic book series in 1941. Since then, the pint-sized protagonist has gone through many changes and evolved with the times as comic books have evolved. Now in his 60s, Archie remains one of the most recognizable and popular characters in the industry.
Archie now lives with his graying wife, Betty, and his best friend, Reggie, at the latter’s lavish townhouse. It would seem that life in Riverdale is as pleasant as can be. Betty and Archie both appear to be enjoying their senior years, with Betty even taking up painting as a hobby. The couple are rarely, if ever, without a smile on their faces.
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Unfortunately, happiness doesn’t stay joyfully locked away in Riverdale for long. The city is home to many notorious criminals, and one of the most vile villains in comics history made his way to Riverdale in the person of The Riddler. With a taste for the macabre, the diabolical villain set about terrorizing the town as his personal gaming board. The Riddler’s goal was to win a million dollars in five days or less, in order to fund his secret villainous organization. He would have every worker in the Daily Bugle imprisoned in a gruesome parody of the popular Chuck E. Cheese’s virtual reality game, the Chuck E. Cheese’s Millionaire Experience.
The casting of The Riddler was the result of a complicated collaboration between the comic book series’ creators and the actor who would bring the character to life. After considering a number of actors, including comedian Will Sasso and film director Tim Burton, the decision was ultimately made to go with another British actor, with connections to both the cinema and popular culture: David Bowie. The performance capture and motion capture roles were eventually filled by Jamaican-British actor, Michael Caine, who is best known for his roles in the films Alfie, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Lady Eve. Much like the character he plays, Caine is a veritable legend in Britain and Hollywood.
Musical genius/composer extraordinaire, Hans Zimmer, who won an Academy Award for his work on the Lion King soundtrack and other animated films, was brought in to orchestrate an unforgettable music score for The LEGO Batman Movie (2019). He likewise scored the film versions of The Dark Knight, The Thin Man, and Air Force One. In addition to his extensive filmography, Zimmer has produced music for numerous video games, some of which became best-selling titles.
Killing Off The Twists And Turns
Back in 2012, director David Fincher crafted a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s bestselling novel The Graveyard Book, starring William Mosely as the eponymous child hero and Nicole Kidman as his foster mother. Kidman’s character is grieving over the loss of her son, and Mosely’s character helps her to heal both literally and figuratively. The pair become fast friends, raising Mosely’s character’s daughter, Sabrina. The film was a commercial and critical success, winning the critics’ vote for Best Picture at the 2012 Golden Cinema Awards.
Fincher followed up his film adaptation of a literary classic with the equally strong performance capture biopic, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, which he also directed. Based on the novel by author Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tells the story of genius British chocolate tycoon, Willy Wonka (played by Johnny Depp), who sets out to create an unparalleled chocolate empire, only to have his plans sabotaged by jealous competitors and an overzealous administrator (played by Michael Cunningham).
Depp returned to his role as the iconic Willy Wonka for a second screen appearance in the 2018 adaption, The Willy Wonka Chronicles, a stand-alone sequel to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Depp reprised his role for a third time in the upcoming film, Candy Maker, where he plays the father of a group of young teens who move in next door to an elderly couple, played by Penelope Cruz and Richard Simmons. The teens discover that their neighbor is secretly the famed candy maker, Thomas Edison, and the girls team up to convince their father that he should take them on an adventure to meet their hero in person.
The final part of Depp’s cinematic trilogy, once again reuniting him with director Fincher, is due for release in October 2022. This time, Willy Wonka will be facing off against none other than Johann Rupert, the infamous founder of the H.R. Giger Garten, in a battle for artistic supremacy. Rupert, who designed the creatures for the album cover of Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, was also responsible for the creatures’ costumes as well as their movements on screen. For his part, Depp donned the costume and mustache of the designer, which he said he found both challenging and enjoyable.
Dark And Stormy Signs
In the comic book world, the 1980s saw the rise of a new antagonist, the one and only Captain Cold, who, despite being based on the Batman villain of the same name, is not actually related to the Dark Knight. Cold is the archenemy of Batman’s allies and childhood friend, Commissioner Gordon, played by the legendary Harry Lennix. Cold is a merciless criminal who specializes in robbing banks and terrorizing Gotham City in an attempt to one-up Batman and his Dark Knight allies. In the comics, Captain Cold is also known as the ‘King of Crime’ and has committed a number of violent acts, including one of the most despicable in the history of the character.
In August 2021, DC Comics will release a one-shot comic book, titled The Many Deaths of Captain Cold, that will shed new light on this infamous character. According to DC Comics, this is the culmination of a two-year journey that started with an essay by author, Peter David, that considered the character of Captain Cold through a psychological prism. The Many Deaths of Captain Cold will reunite Peter David with long-time collaborator, artist Tony Daniel, who he worked with on the original Nightwing series, the first part of which was adapted into the 2002 film, Batman vs. Two-Face. The latest storyline will also introduce a brand new character to readers: the beautiful, and dangerous, Lady Eve.
Dark Clouds Over Gotham
While the city of Gotham has seen much darkness over the years, both figuratively and literally, there is still hope for some light to seep through. With the events of October 2024 still fresh in people’s minds, the recent release of the animated film, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, inspired by the novel, The Dark Crystal: Redemption, by Michael Stackpole, may prove to be the answer to what some people are calling ‘Gotham’s darkest hour’.