For a while now there's been some talk on the ground about the possibility of John Cleese joining the DCEU but, as with 95% of things on the internet, those rumors were easy to write off as the deranged fiction of somebody who never leaves his dungeon.
Now, though, the funny man himself has shared a picture on Twitter which seems expressly designed to send fanboys into a frenzy. Pictured on the desk beside him are three comics/graphic novels — namely 'The Dark Knight Returns', 'Justice League Origin' and 'The Black Mirror: Batman Noir' — which either represent a massive exercise in trolling or suggest Cleese is officially coming to the #DCEU.
Let's assume it's the latter and take a deeper dive into the possibilities of which character the Monty Python, Fawlty Towers and, uhh, Die Another Day star may be bringing to life on the big screen.
1. Just What The Doctor Ordered
The reading list hints at a character who is part of the Batman stable, but may also have a presence in Justice League, rather than (or in addition to) The Batman.
One option is Dr. Bartholomew Wolper from 'The Dark Knight Returns,' a moustached psychiatrist who is more of a skeptic than an ally to Batman. Wolper believes that Batman's own actions have turned the likes of The Joker and Two-Face insane.
Ultimately, though, he's not much good at his job — Mr. J, supposedly reformed, tricks Wolper into appearing on TV, and then gasses everybody in the studio.
Although Cleese is kind of there visually, it's hard to imagine why such a big name would be cast as a minor character who appeared in three issues of one story. Let's keep the guessing game going with another potential candidate.
2. Keen For Wintergreen?
William Randolph Wintergreen, an Englishman, is the butler of Deathstroke. The pair have a long history, Wintergreen having saved Slade Wilson's life during their time in the British Army, later serving as the best man during his wedding to Adeline Kane.
Somebody very kindly transposed Cleese's face onto this panel featuring Wintergreen to highlight the vague resemblance between the two...
Wintergreen is a cool character because in some ways he acts as Slade Wilson's moral conscience — think of him as the Alfred of the dark side. It's worth pointing out, though, that none of the comics on Cleese's table actually feature Wintergreen, so either his reading is unrelated to his character, or we're on the wrong track.
3. Mayor-be, Mayor-be Not
As much as Batman's rogues gallery is filled with criminals, thieves and murderers, his adversaries on the corrupt streets of Gotham have also included law enforcement and those in power. One such man is Mayor Hamilton Hill.
First created in 1981, Hill is no friend of Batman, although he is nonetheless rescued by him on more than one occasion. He's appeared in everything from the animated Batman Beyond and Young Justice to the Batman: Arkham Knight and Telltale video games, although he's never been featured in a live-action movie.
Honestly, though, he feels like a super low-key character to be a big deal in the DCEU going forward. Again, I think the chances of Hill being our guy are slim.
More DCEU reading:
- Your Big 'The Batman' Guide: News, Rumors, Trailers & More
- 'The Batman' To 'Justice League': Every DCEU Movie Coming By 2020
- OMG! DC Just Gave The Rock A Solo 'Black Adam' Movie
Of the three men above, I think Wintergreen best fits the profile of the mysterious character we're assuming will be played by Cleese, particularly as his research is well-timed to coincide with The Batman, which begins filming this year. If you have a more interesting idea, I'd love to hear it in the comments below. Whoever he's suiting up as, let's hope it's less of a disaster than that time he was the new Q in James Bond.
Justice League arrives November 17, 2017, with The Batman expected in 2018.
Which character do you reckon John Cleese should play in the DCEU?