Until now, who would play the villain in The Batman remained a big question mark. And now, we can officially say that with pun intended.
Earlier this week, some more details of the anticipated The Batman were finalized, and we found out that the role of Catwoman will be played by Zoë Kravitz (and like the entirety of Twitter, we celebrate that). Now, The Batman has found its villain: the Riddler.
And who is to play this delightfully deranged riddle-obsessed scoundrel for Matt Reeves’s contribution to the canon? According to confirmation from Warner Bros, that would be none other than Paul Dano, giving the film another layer of that prestige indie cred Reeves was going for by casting Pattinson and Kravitz opposite one another in the first place.
For a while, the rumor mill churned and churned and everyone was almost certain that Jonah Hill would play an integral role as a villain in the 2021 addition to the franchise. Was he to play the Penguin, or another classic baddie like the Riddler? No one will ever know, because it was just confirmed by Variety that Hill passed on the role. While Hill would have been a welcome component of the cast, those early rumors were just talks and negotiations.
Perhaps the actor who played the Riddler that is most fresh in the collective memory of the film franchise is a fiery-haired Jim Carrey, who took on the role in Joel Schumacher’s campy Batman Forever 24 years ago. The Riddler’s name in previous iterations is Edward Nygma (E. Nygma, enigma, get it?) though Dano’s version of the character will be named Edward Nashton. The Riddler, lover of puzzles since he was a boy, has to outwit all who cross him, dropping hints and sometimes unsolvable riddles along the way. His costume is covered in bright green question marks and involves a long cane.
With roles in films like prestige drama There Will Be Blood, romantic comedy Ruby Sparks, and the farcical Swiss Army Man, Dano has already proven he has the range to play a diabolical supervillain. We also already know he looks good in various types of hats and suits. Let’s just hope he can pull off slime green.