Matt Reeves' The Batman casts Paul Dano as The Riddler. Now that Robert Pattinson has long been established as the new cinematic Dark Knight, attention has turned to filling out the supporting members of the ensemble. Recently, plenty of ground has been covered on that front, with Jeffrey Wright signing on to play Commissioner Gordon and Zoe Kravitz in line to portray Catwoman. Despite those big additions, there are still plenty of other parts available.
Lately, there's been a lot of buzz surrounding the villainous roles. Most prominently, Jonah Hill was reportedly in consideration to play either The Riddler or The Penguin, but talks with the Oscar nominee broke down allegedly due to money issues. As a result, Reeves had to go in a different direction, and he landed on a truly fascinating choice for one of Batman's most iconic enemies.
According to THR, Dano has joined the cast of The Batman to play The Riddler. This will be something of a departure for the actor, since he primarily has starred in smaller films like Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood, and Prisoners. He's largely stayed away from blockbuster genre fare in his career, though he did have a role in 2011's Cowboys and Aliens. Reeves commented on the casting on Twitter, which you can see below:
While The Riddler is one of the most recognizable members of Batman's rogues gallery, the character has been depicted on the big screen only a single time, when Jim Carrey took on the role in 1995's Batman Forever. As such, it's refreshing to see Reeves is using The Riddler for his upcoming film, finally giving fans a modern take on Edward Nygma. Carrey's interpretation was suitably over-the-top and cartoony for Joel Schumacher's vision of Gotham City, but many viewers would enjoy seeing seeing The Riddler in a different context. His inclusion in The Batman lends credence to the belief Reeves is tapping into Batman's detective skills for his film, since The Riddler is well-known for leaving clues around for Batman to discover. Pattinson's Bruce Wayne is going to have to use his brains (as well as brawn) to come out on top.
In lieu of getting an arguably bigger name like Hill or Seth Rogen, Dano reads as inspired casting. He's a versatile performer and is no stranger to playing characters who are peculiar and/or quirky. Dano should be a strong fit for the role, even if Reeves takes a more grounded approach and (somewhat) tones down The Riddler's typical characteristics. Time will tell if The Batman will continue DC's current winning streak of high-quality films, but there's no denying Reeves has knocked it out of the park in regards to casting.
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