Caine Solves Riddle of Third Batman Film

LOS ANGELES ~ Michael Caine believes the Riddler will be Batman’s enemy if and when director Christopher Nolan decides to make a follow-up to last year’s blockbuster The Dark Knight.

Caine, who has appeared in both of Nolan’s previous films as Batman’s loyal confidante and butler Alfred, told reporters in Beverly Hills that he is contracted to reprise his role if a third film is made.

And the 76-year-old British legend believes Nolan will choose the Riddler, whose trademark is an obsession with puzzles and brainteasers, to face off against Batman, played by Christian Bale.

Nolan has not confirmed if he plans to make a follow-up to The Dark Knight, which is the fourth highest grossing film in history with takings of just over US$1 billion. However Caine said he believed the caped crusader would be back.

“I would imagine so,” Caine said when asked if he thought a film was likely. “Probably it will be the Riddler.”

“But Christopher is doing a film called Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio next. So I imagine another Batman is quite a long way away.

“If they do another one, I’ll probably be the butler. I just hope I’m still alive,” joked Caine, who was speaking ahead of the North American release of charming British film Is Anybody There?

Caine, meanwhile, said he was delighted that Dark Knight co-star Heath Ledger had secured a posthumous Oscar in February for his spellbinding performance as the Joker.

“I thought it was very important for his family. I was a big fan of his from the first time I met him,” Caine said.

“I’d met Heath on the set and he had the make-up on and I thought how fantastic he looked. And then the cameras started rolling. He came out and I was absolutely stunned, the energy that went in to that performance.”

Asked if any actor playing the Riddler would struggle to match Ledger’s performance, Caine added: “Yeah. But then I thought Jack Nicholson would be a tough act to follow for anyone playing the Joker. And now we think of Heath as the Joker. So we’ll see.”

Caine said he was surprised by reports earlier this year of Dark Knight star Bale’s on-set rant during the making of a new Terminator film.

Bale’s expletive-laden tirade at a member of the film crew became an internet sensation after it was leaked to the web.

“That stunned me, that did,” Caine said. “Because he’s not like that at all. I’m more like that than Christian is. You’re liable to get a volley off me if you walk into one of my takes.

“I would never imagine Christian doing that. It’s completely out of character.”

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