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Murphy the Mr E?

Edward Nigma that is... remember Val Kilmer solving that particular puzzle in Batman Forever? His adversary was Jim Carrey, villainously camping it up in a skin-tight green suit. Carrey was the undeniably b-list bat-villain known as The Riddler.

The Sun reported today that Eddie Murphy will play The Riddler in the third of the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale batman films.

Eddie

The Sun also reports that Shia LaBoeuf will play Robin and Rachel Weisz will play Catwoman. The tabloid's source for the story is an anonymous 'film insider'.

So let's not get carried away just yet. Personally, I'm still thinking of this as only a rumour. This interview with Alan Horn, the President of Warner Brothers, suggests that Nolan isn't even close to the casting stage of the new movie. Murphy has been linked to the new Bat-Flick, nothing more.

It's worth considering the prospect of a bat-villain from Murphy's perspective. Norbit, Shrek The Third and Meet Dave have been his last three films. He might appear to be short on critical credibility, but don't forget he was showered with glory for his perfectly cast role in Dreamgirls.

Even if he was seeking to break out of the image of gimicky comedy merchant, the path of The Riddler is fraught with danger. For starters, how do you follow Heath Ledger? Whoever accepts the role is already behind before they've even thought about building a performance in the same league. The Joker is the villain of the franchise. His successor as the scourge of Gotham will always struggle to convince.

Shia LaBoeuf might make a decent Robin, though it's hard to imagine any kind of side-kick keeping up with Bale's solitary and surly bat. Holy personality clash Batman!

But Rachel Weisz as Catwoman!? Please no!

I, for one, will be hoping this is just rumour.

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