Just yesterday we learned Jonah Hill was no longer in talks with Warner Bros. to join The Batman in a villainous role. Rumor had it he was circling either Penguin or The Riddler. If the latter is accurate, WB sure moved on fast, as it’s been revealed that Paul Dano has been cast in the role.
The Riddler is one of Batman’s most iconic adversaries. Known for laying elaborate traps and leaving puzzles as clues to his crimes, the mastermind has an intelligence and deductive skills that rival the Dark Knight’s own. He may not be a physical match for the hero, but his cunning makes him a formidable opponent.
As The Hollywood Reporter points out, Dano’s character’s real name will apparently be Edward Nashton. That’s a departure from the source material, in which The Riddler’s last name is Nygma (Ed Nygma… E. Nygma… enigma. Get it?) The most famous live-action portrayal of Riddler came in 1995’s cringe-y Batman Forever, which saw Jim Carrey play the role. Frank Gorshin and John Astin both wore the question mark suit in the 1960s Batman TV series, while Cory Michael Smith recently took on the role in FOX’s Gotham.
(Read: Heath Ledger vs. Joaquin Phoenix: Which Joker Gets the Last Laugh?)
Known for parts in critically acclaimed films like There Will Be Blood, Okja, and 12 Years a Slave, Dano joins a growing all-star cast in writer/director Matt Reeves’ reboot of the DC superhero franchise. Robert Pattinson will wear the cowl of the title role, Jeffrey Wright will play Commissioner Gordon, and Zoë Kravitz was recently cast as Catwoman. More villains are expected to be added, as the film will reportedly feature a large portion of Batman’s rogues gallery.
When The Batman flies into theaters on June 25th, 2021, it very likely won’t feature Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker.