Director Matt Reeves has issued his reaction to the casting of Paul Dano as The Riddler in ‘The Batman’, but if you were hoping for a lengthy diatribe about why Dano is perfect for the role, you’re going to be disappointed.
Via Twitter, Reeves simply posted this GIF of Dano in a suit, with the hashtag “EdwardNashton” and a bat emoji:
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) October 17, 2019
Dano’s casting came just after the announcement that Jonah Hill was no longer in the running to play the master criminal in Reeves’ upcoming DC Comics reboot film.
The Riddler has been around so long that his depiction has varied. The GIF that Reeves posted brings to mind the suit-wearing version of the character that is more popular these days, with Riddler being shown as more calculating and analytical.
Then again, this same character has been known to wear a spandex onesie and jump around cackling with glee. (See: Frank Gorshin and Jim Carrey’s depictions.)
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Speaking of that, since the announcement of Dano’s casting, many on the internet have reacted with extreme glee. Dano isn’t a household name, but he is a highly respected actor who has excelled in a long line of independent features including ‘The L.I.E.’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Prisoners’, ’12 Years a Slave’, ‘Love & Mercy’, ‘Swiss Army Man’, and more, as well as the recent award-winning Showtime miniseries ‘Escape at Dannemora’.
And, I mean this as a compliment, but he tends to portray characters that are a little weird. (Or a lot weird.) So that could work well for The Riddler.
One last note: some have wondered why Dano’s Riddler has the last name Nashton instead of Nigma or Nygma, which is more commonly used in the comics and previous adaptations, as in “E. Nigma” or “enigma,” a mystery. (It was spelled “Nigma” until ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ introduced the spelling “Nygma.”) It turns out that at one point, in the comics, it was revealed that he had been born Edward Nashton, but had adopted Edward Nigma/Nygma as a punny pseudonym. It looks as though Reeves wanted to go with the more realistic name Nashton.