There’s one colossal casting question that hanging in the air in TF Towers right now and it’s not whether Thandie Newton is set to make eyes across a roulette table with Daniel Craig. No, no… we want to know if Paul Bettany is ready to unleash the twisted smile of terror on Gotham City? We’re not the only ones…
“Nobody has rung me up officially and asked, ‘Would you like to be in it?’” Bettany says in response to the juicy rumour that he is Batman Begins helmer Christopher Nolan’s first choice to play The Joker.
Bettany will try on villainy for size this May with his appearance as Silus, the Tom Hanks-hunting bad guy in Ron Howard’s Da Vinci Code.
Bettany admitted he was flattered by the talk linking him to the rejuvenated Bat flicks but was also a little suspect of where the rumours began: “Well, I'm just wondering if my mother started the rumours.”
Nolan meanwhile has been busy adding to the cast of The Prestige. The action/fantasy tale is set in London at the turn of the century and is already swelling with the talent of Batman cohorts Christian Bale and Michael Caine – alongside David Bowie, Scarlett Johansson and X-Men star Hugh Jackman as Bale’s nemesis.
Nolan has now acquired the signature of Mr Versatile himself as King Kong star Andy Serkis has joined the project, playing Bowie’s assistant.