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Jonathan Nolan revealed that he wasn’t initially completely sold on the idea of Bane being the villain in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

The writer-producer, who co-wrote 2008’s The Dark Knight and Rises with David S. Goyer and his brother and director Christopher Nolan, said on a recent episode on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he was actually pushing for the Riddler to be the primary villain in the third film of the trilogy.

“We had these conversations,” Jonathan said. “Bane came out of a conversation with David [Goyer] and Chris. I was unsure about that at the story stage, but I [didn’t want it to be] back seat driving. Chris understood that what we had done and what Heath [Ledger] had done with [Joker] — you didn’t want to go anywhere near it.”

He continued, “I started to play with the idea of the Riddler and what could be done with that character. But it did feel like close enough to the space of what we had done with Heath, and you really needed to [change direction]. There’s another genre shift there. One of the things I was excited about for The Dark Knight Rises was that if you do a kind of urban crime genre for [The Dark Knight], the third one was a post-apocalyptic film. You sort of go: Batman always saves the day and the city survives. Why can’t we destroy Gotham and see what happens afterwards?”

The Fallout director wasn’t the only one initially pushing for the Riddler in Nolan’s third Batman movie. In September last year, Goyer said an executive from Warner Bros. suggested to him at the premiere of The Dark Knight that Leonardo DiCaprio should play the Riddler in the next film.

However, he told the exec, “That’s not the way we work,” adding that Christopher is “very process driven” and was “staunchly against” building a movie around the villain “because he said that’s not a bottom, ground-up way of telling a story.”

Goyer continued at the time, “Let’s do it in a very naturalistic way, so let’s figure out what kind of story we want to tell and what we thematically want to explore with Bruce, and then let’s figure out a villain that fits that story.”

The Dark Knight Rises ultimately saw Tom Hardy play Bane, opposite Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne/Batman.

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