Paul Dano
Kathy Hutchins /

My, how the pendulum has swung.  One minute, Warner Brothers was negotiating with well-known box office star Jonah Hill to play The Riddler in ‘The Batman’, the next they have signed indie darling Paul Dano for the role.  Dano joins Robert Pattinson who is starring as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman/Selina Kyle.  Matt Reeves is directing, with a script he co-wrote with Mattson Tomlin.  Jeffrey Wright was reported as being in talks to play Commissioner Gordon but that hasn’t been confirmed.  The movie is also expected to include appearances by Alfred Pennyworth, Firefly, The Mad Hatter, The Penguin, Two-Face, and possibly Robin/Dick Grayson.


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Reeves and Tomlin apparently have opted that this Riddler’s real name is Edward Nashton, as opposed to Nygma or Nigma, his more famous surname.  But Nashton is a name that has been used in the comics, back when writers didn’t really pay that much attention to continuity.

The Riddler first appeared in 1948’s ‘Detective Comics’ #140, and has remained one of the most popular and persistent foes of the Caped Crusader in the decades since.  Frank Gorshin delivered a legendarily manic performance as the puzzling supercriminal on the 1960s ‘Batman’ TV series and in the 1966 theatrical spin-off movie.  John Astin filled in as The Riddler in one two-part episode.

Jim Carrey channeled Gorshin’s giddy energy when he portrayed The Riddler in the 1995 Joel Schumacher film ‘Batman Forever’.

Cory Michael Smith portrayed the most recent live-action version of The Riddler, on the FOX series ‘Gotham’.

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Dano won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance for the 2002 indie film ‘The L.I.E.’.  He gained widespread notice for co-starring in 2006’s ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ which crossed over to the mainstream.  He was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing dual roles as Paul and Eli Sunday in 2007’s ‘There Will Be Blood’, and for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for 2015’s ‘Love & Mercy’.

Dano starred in the 2016 TV miniseries ‘War & Peace’ which was co-produced by Lifetime, A&E, and the History Channel.  Most recently, he co-starred in the Golden Globe-winning Showtime miniseries ‘Escape at Dannemora’.

What do you think about Paul Dano playing The Riddler in ‘The Batman’?

‘The Batman’ will arrive in theaters on June 25, 2021.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter