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The Made-up Casting of Christopher Nolan’s Batman 3: A History

Lest you needed additional confirmation that this June is an especially dull one, Hollywood Life is "exclusively" "reporting" that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is "in talks" to play the Riddler in Christopher Nolan's 2012 Dark Knight follow-up, even though the screenplay is still unfinished, Gordon-Levitt's rep calls the whole thing B.S. ("This is not true"), and baseless speculation about the casting of Batman villains doesn't traditionally begin in earnest until news really slows down near the end of August (what will you write about in August now, Hollywood Life?!). If Gordon-Levitt does get the part — which he most certainly will not — he'll have beaten out a slew of other actors previously cast by bloggers and British tabloids. After the jump, a behind-the-scenes history of the made-up casting for Dark Knight 2.

August 26, 2008: Can Angelina Jolie even sing? What if he should decide to make Batman 3 a musical? Nolan needs somebody versatile, so he talks Cher out of retirement to play Catwoman.

December 18, 2008: Out of spite, Nolan recasts Catwoman and the Riddler with Rachel Weisz and Eddie Murphy, then hires Shia LaBeouf to play Robin as a special fuck you to everybody. But where to announce such news? Nolan settles on The Sun.

August 26, 2009: With the movie scheduled to begin shooting in just two short years, Nolan worries he might not have enough time to learn the correct pronunciation of Weisz's last name, so he fires her and hires Megan Fox to play Catwoman instead. Crisis averted!

July 30, 2008: Even though The Dark Knight has only been in theaters for two weeks and its sequel still lacks a script and a green light, an excited Christopher Nolan — who hasn't yet negotiated with WB to direct the film — casts Johnny Depp and Philip Seymour Hoffman anyway, as the Riddler and the Penguin. Against the advice of everyone's agents, he immediately calls the National Enquirer and spills the news. Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie angles for a role as Catwoman.

July 23, 2009: Nolan selects Miley Cyrus, his favorite singer, to play Batgirl.

September 2, 2008: Depp and Cher publicly turn down their roles. Why would they do such a thing? Nolan is super pissed.

February 8, 2010: David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan begin writing the screenplay.

June 9, 2010: Nolan finally gets around to watching Imagine That on DVD — yikes! Not what he was expecting! Nolan recasts Murphy's part with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, intending to keep it a secret until the Inception press tour in July. He quickly crumbles, though, and tells a blogger from Hollywood Life everything.

EXCLUSIVE! Joseph Gordon-Levitt In Talks To Play The Riddler In Next ‘Batman!’ [Hollywood Life]