Michael Caine talks BATMAN 3. Thinks Riddler could be the Villian 3/31/2009
Posted by ColliderStaff
by Sheila Roberts
caught up today with Sir Michael Caine while he was promoting his new
film, "Is Anybody There" in Los Angeles and asked him if Chris Nolan
had talked to him about reprising his role as Alfred in the next Batman - which
is rumored to be in the works for a summer 2010 start.
big thing he said was that he thinks The Riddler is going to be the villain in
the film. While thatís not confirmed, as we all know, anything Batman related
is big news.
also chatted with us about what his friend and co-star, Heath Ledgerís Academy
Award win for Best Supporting Actor
in Dark Knight meant to him as well as his surprise at Christian Bale dropping
the f-bomb on the Terminator Salvation set last summer. Hereís what he had to
Your character is a retired magician. Have you ever thought about retiring?
MC: In life? No,
because I think films retire you -- sometimes, if youíre unfortunate, after
your first film. This is about my 101st film. See, what happens is
you say, ďIím going to retire,Ē and then David Heyman turns up and gives you
this script so youíre not retiring. ďWell do this one.Ē And they just did it
again. I didnít work for 15 months after this picture. This was quite a long time
ago. They saved it. They wanted it to come out this April. Then I just did a
picture called Harry Brown in which I played a lead which is unusual for
someone my age. Youíre usually a character like I am in Batman. You know, Iím
the butler, Iím not Batman. (Laughs) So, these things turn up and you just
canít refuse them. I mean, I donít have my next movie. Iím not looking for one.
Someone may give me a script possibly and I will work again. If someone doesnít
give me a script I want to do, Iím retired, but there wonít be some great
announcement or fanfare or trumpets. I just wonít do anything. Iíll stay at
home and do what I do there which is cooking, gardening and writing and
You talk about when Hollywood chooses to retire an actor, why do you think it
hasnít retired you?
MC: I have no idea.
You donít know when your time is up so to speak. There just goes a period of
time when the right scripts donít arrive. And it hasnít happened to me yet. It
might have happened now. I finished this last picture, as I said. I donít have
another picture to do. If a script doesnít come, then I wonít do anything and
Iíll be retired. There wonít be any announcement or anything. I remember
MacArthur saying ďOld soldiers donít die. They fade away.Ē Well, old actors
donít die. They fade away.
Are you not expecting there to be a third Batman?
Christopher is doing a picture called Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio which I
saw on the Internet. So I imagine another Batman is quite a long way away.
What kinds of films and roles are you drawn to at this point in your career? Is
it smaller films?
MC: Itís just the
writing. Like Dark Knight, I chose a long time ago with Batman Begins but that
was because of Christopher Nolan. But also, on this film, this John Crowley who
is a brilliant young Irish director that I saw two small films that he did and
I loved them. And then on Harry Brown, thereís a young English director called
Daniel Barber and I saw a small film that he did. He actually got nominated for
an Academy Award for that film and I forget the bloody title (The Tonto Woman).
I like working with younger directors as Iím going to do these small films. A
young director can get a chance in a small, cheap film. He canít get a chance
in a big one.
Werenít you signed for 3 Batmans?
MC: Yes, if they do
another one, Iíll probably be the butler. I hope Iím still alive. Michael Goth,
who played Batman before me, the last time he played in Batman he was 84.
Didnít Christopher Nolan do this the last time also? He wanted to make another
film in between?
MC: He did. I was
in that too. The Prestige. (Laughs) Christopher doesnít make pictures without
Do you think heíll come around to doing a third one?
MC: I would imagine
so. That would be probably The Riddler.
What did Heath Ledgerís victory at the Oscars mean to you in terms of his
MC: I thought it
was very important for his family as well.I was a big fan of his from the first time I met him. Iíd never met him
before. I met him on the set where he invades the party weíre having. Iím
standing in front of the lift and Iím expected to greet people and thereís all
these gangs behind him and he came in. But, before that, Iíd met him obviously
on the set and we were chatting. He had this make-up on and I was saying how
fantastic I thought it was. We were just chatting quietly and then they said,
ďWeíre ready to shoot.Ē And I had never seen the performance. We were just
talking, you know. And then he came out the elevator and I was absolutely
stunned by the way he did it and the energy that went into it. And then when I
saw the movie, thereís an opening monologue and a closing monologue that he
does which I felt if anybodyís going to better that and get an Academy Award
above him, I would pay good money to see that and nobody did beat him. Iím so
That will be a tough act to follow for anyone who plays the Riddler though?
MC: Yeah, I thought
it would be a tough act to follow for anybody who played against The Joker
after Jack Nicholson. (Laughs) You know what Iím saying? Heath is The Joker.
Since your producer on this does the Harry Potter movies, is there any chance
of you showing up in 6 or 7?
MC: Yeah, David
Heyman. Me? No, I think I would have been there before if theyíd wanted me. I
that think theyíre all set in their ways and that David and I have this little
section. We do the little ones. I hope he gets another script like this. I
mean, not like this, but this type of thing.
Youíve done 3 films with Christian Bale and he caught some attention forÖ
MC: Yeah, that
stunned me, that did, because heís not like that at all. I mean, Iím more like
that than he is. Youíre liable to get a volley off of me if you walk around
during my takes. I would never imagine Christian doing that. Itís completely
out of character. I was stunned when I saw it on the news.
Is it fairly business as usual on a movie set, whether itís Christian or not,
and something like that just happens and everyone gets over it?
MC: Oh sure. I lost
my temper on a movie years ago when I was doing a movie called The Last Valley.
James Clavell was the director. Iím not a very good horseman and they put me on
this horse that they knew was a killer and it ran away with me for two miles
and I brought it back at a slow pace and then I got off and all the unit were
laughing and then I started and I outdid Christian by about 30 minutes with
more language than he knew. So James Clavell broke the crew for an hour and he
said, ďLetís have a cup of tea.Ē And so we went and had a cup of tea. James
Clavell was captured in Hong Kong when he was 14 by the Japanese and spent the
first part of his life in a Japanese prison camp. He said to me, ďThe way I
survived was I became a Japanese in mentality. So I knew where they were coming
from in their treatment of us and I knew where I should be in everything.Ē He
said, ďThe one thing that the Japanese never do is they never lose their temper
because anger is an emotion that you should never show to strangers because you
expose too much of yourself.Ē He said, ďYou must never expose yourself like
that to strangers.Ē And he gave me this long lecture on the Japanese and anger
and I have never lost my temper on a set since. I go home and I scream at the
kids. (Laughs) But I have never lost my temper on a set since.
Have you reached out to Christian?
MC: I havenít seen
him since. No. When I speak to him, Iím going to say, ďWhat the fuck are you
Are there any summer youíre looking forward to seeing?
MC: Any summer
movies? I donít know what they are. Iíve just come from Surrey in England. We
donít get a lot of Hollywood news out there. We donít know whatís coming. There
is one though. There is one that I read about that Iíd like. I want to see the
one with Christian! Terminator! Yeah! I saw a trailer for that.