RUMOR MILL: Take this information with a grain of salt, as it is strictly RUMOR at this point.
We just learned that Jonah Hill was in negotiations to portray The Riddler in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ opposite Robert Pattinson. But now word has emerged that he has had an offer on the table for over a month, but there has been a lot of back and forth. For starters, it turns out that Warner Brothers first approached him to play The Penguin, but Hill wanted the Riddler role. It’s rumored that The Riddler is actually the main villain in the film, so it’s understandable that Hill wants the juicier part. Secondly… how do I put this? There’s a reason EVERYBODY assumed that he was going to play The Penguin in the first place– he’s… chubby. So it makes sense that he wouldn’t want to be typecast.
But on top of requesting a different role, he is reportedly asking for $10 million dollars, which would be twice what Pattinson is making! This information arrives via Variety’s Justin Kroll, who tweeted:
So on the Jonah front, hes had the offer for over a month and besides money being a bargaining point (at one point heard he wanted 10 which is wild since Rob isn’t making half that) but also which character he would play, whether its the Riddler or Penguin https://t.co/fh1iy1rG5i
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) September 23, 2019
Now, this isn’t unprecedented. As Movie Web pointed out, Gene Hackman was paid much more than Christopher Reeve for ‘Superman: The Movie’, because at the time, Reeve was an unknown, while Hackman was a certified box office draw. The same thing also happened when Jack Nicholson was hired to play The Joker in the first ‘Batman’, and was paid substantially more than Michael Keaton.
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Pattinson has kept a low profile since the ‘Twilight Saga’, so he isn’t necessarily guaranteed to bring in an audience. But honestly, I’d say neither is Jonah Hill. Sure we all know who he is, but his acting career has had some real highs and lows.
On top of that, is anyone clamoring for Jonah Hill to even be in this movie? With Nicholson, fans all felt he was perfect for the role of The Joker, and that no one else could serve it up the way he could. Hill? I don’t think he’s perfect for any DC role, but I’d give him a shot and see what he brings to it. But I’m certainly not more excited about the movie as a whole with the knowledge that Hill might be in it.
One of the reasons that the DCEU has struggled has been the fact that their earlier movies cost way too much to make. ‘Batman V Superman’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ grossed quite a lot of money– a lot more than many other comparable films. But rather than do what Marvel did and hire actors who were on the rise or were in the middle tier, Warner Brothers threw big bucks at names like Ben Affleck and Will Smith, thinking that their star power could elevate these films. That didn’t happen, and their bloated salaries just added to the already-massive production budgets.
And if it didn’t work for Affleck and Smith, it sure as hell won’t happen with Hill. Hopefully, that was just a negotiation tactic– his people threw out an astronomical figure as a jumping-off point to haggle. But Warner Brothers needs to stand firm on this one. I’m cool with Hill starring in the movie, but I’m not jumping up and down at the thought.
But what do you think? Is Jonah Hill worth the money? Or should WB tell him to take a hike?