As the July 20 premiere of The Dark Knight Rises approaches—a bittersweet fact Christopher Nolan hammered home by previewing new footage at last night's MTV Movie Awards (footage that Warner Bros. is furiously scrubbing from the web today)—we must also mark the inevitable passing of time, an august finale to the salad days that we once whiled away passing premature judgment on set photos and secondhand trailer reviews, back when we were young and reckless. So, like a yellowing photo of you looking leonine and defiant, your arm around a summer fling whose name you only half-remember, here’s one last ridiculous, never-fulfilled Batman casting rumor to return you to those innocent, anything-can-happen days of 2008: Screenwriter David Goyer tells Empire (via What Culture) that, once upon a time, Warner Bros. really wanted the film to star Leonardo DiCaprio as The Riddler—a choice they described as "obvious," despite DiCaprio being one of the few working actors who was not named on that list of potential Riddler candidates, which even included Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams at one point and possibly more, given that was around when we stopped paying attention to them.
Goyer doesn't specify how or when those talks stopped, so we'll just imagine it involved Christopher Nolan selling the studio on DiCaprio in Inception instead, and Warner Bros. being swayed to ditch the whole Riddler concept after the Internet spent nearly two years making terrible mock posters. But clearly nothing came of it, so it's pointless to imagine it now, except as a distraction from the fact that the looming reality of The Dark Knight Rises means an end to that age of wonder and possibility. The summer wind came blowin' in, and all that.