As far as anyone official is concerned, Chris Nolan is expected but not confirmed for a Dark Knight sequel. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from printing ridiculous casting rumors, the worst of which probably being that Cher was in the running for Catwoman. And now, Michael Caine has “confirmed” the most pervasive of those rumors to MTV:
“They’ve already got them in mind,” said Caine. “It’s Johnny Depp as The Riddler. And The Penguin is Philip Seymour Hoffman. I read it in the paper.”
“When Christopher [Nolan] said we were going to do ‘The Dark Knight’ next, I didn’t what that meant in Batman terms,” related Caine. “I said, ‘What’s the story?’ and he said The Joker. I said, ‘Oh, s–t! How are you going to top Jack [Nicholson]?’ He said, ‘Well, I’ve cast Heath Ledger. And I went ‘Ha! I couldn’t top Jack, but if anyone could, maybe Heath could.’ And he did.
“I was with [a Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make another one?’ They said yeah. I said, ‘How the hell are we going to top Heath? And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath — Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’ I said, ‘S–t, they’ve done it again!’” [Laughs]
Anyone reporting this as fact is a moron. You can’t cast huge stars when you don’t have a director, a script, or a timeframe for shooting yet. Clearly Caine was just being sarcastic or droll or ribald or one of those other words old British people use.