If you thought Ben Affleck playing Batman was weird, wait ’til you get a load of this. I think the Verona, NJ-born comedian Jay Mohr should play The Riddler. Yeah, not shitting you. If you can see beyond his dead-on-balls accurate Christopher Walken impressions, continue reading to see where I’m going with this.
Obviously there’s almost zero chance of seeing The Riddler appear in 2015’s Man of Steel 2, but down the road I think this would be such an unexpected casting win.
After looking at his film and TV career, you’d be surprised at how many different projects Mohr has taken on. He’s proven his comedic and dramatic acting chops, but more importantly, this is the type of role I could see him really getting into. As The Riddler, I see Mohr being able to infuse a multifaceted approach to the villain. Previously in the Bat-films, we haven’t really seen The Riddler get sadistic, or even sympathetic, and these are traits that Mohr would be able to deliver intensely on the big screen. Think about it, Jim Carrey was totally over the top and glammed out as The Riddler in Batman Forever, while The Riddler we saw in Batman: the Animated Series lacked any element of Carrey’s bombastic take on the character. We’ve yet to see a live action version of the Riddler depicted in the video game Arkham City, nor have we seen a live action take on The Riddler from 2004’s animated series, The Batman voiced by Robert Englund.
The Riddler in Arkham City can be obnoxious and narcissistic, two idiosyncrasies that Mohr is a bit of an expert at. In the TV series Ghost Whisperer, his character Professor Rick Payne has been described as annoying, abrasive, rude, yet still quite amusing. Mohr is also known for playing heelish characters in movies such as like Jerry McGuire, and Suicide Kings.
As an actor Mohr’s got a quirky sensibility, but he gives the impression that beyond his smart ass exterior, he’s somewhat dark and twisted. Alot of my reasoning for this left field casting choice comes from the element of his personality revealed in the 2000 slasher, Cherry Falls. Starring Garden State Playmate and one of my all time biggest crushes Brittany Murphy, Falls was marketed as another in a long line of Scream knockoffs, but when looking back on it, it actually was pretty original ahead of it’s time in some respects. The film dealt with gender themes as well as tinkering with horror tropes such as the intent to murder virgins rather than the typical promiscuous teenagers.
Cherry Falls gets a bad rap and I personally don’t know many fans of this film, but I dig it. Underrated isn’t quite the best description for the film, because I think if more people knew of it and saw it it would easily be more widely regarded as one of the better horror films to come out of the early 2000s – a time when tons of shitty horror movies were getting released. It’s not necessarily a “scary” film, but definitely kind of effed up. It was never released in theaters and had a bunch of issues with the MPAA. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-. Dread Central said “…it remains an enjoyable example of post-Scream carnage – save for a terrible performance by Jay Mohr…”
If you could imagine The Riddler a bit more sick and twisted, either like the Arkham Riddler pictured above or even more like the Marilyn Manson-esque version in the 2004 animated series The Batman, Jay Mohr is the man for the job. Sure there will be an insane Batfleck style backlash on Twitter in the extremely minuscule chance it happens, but if we’re being told to believe in the proprietor of Fashionable Male as Batman, then is this such a stretch? What do you think?
*IMDB says that Mohr is a New York Jets fan, so he already has an affinity for green, which means we’re halfway there.