The Batman has just added another award-nominated actor to its roster. It looks like Paul Dano will be playing the Batman villain, the Riddler, when the movie debuts in 2021. Warner Bros. announced the news, via The Hollywood Reporter, on Thursday just after it was revealed that Jonah Hill would not be joining the project. Dano is fresh off an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for his part in Escape at Dannemora. Pop culture fans might recognize the actor from Prisoners, The Girl Next Door, and Little Miss Sunshine.
According to reports, Dano’s Riddler will go by the name Edward Nashton. In the Batman comics, he eventually takes on the name Edward Nygma when he adopts the persona of the Riddler. The last appearance of the character in a superhero film was in 1995 when Jim Carrey made the villain famous in Batman Forever. The character did not appear in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, making him the perfect antagonist for the fresh 2021 take.
Jonah Hill was in talks for The Batman, and many suspected he would be portraying Penguin should he nab the role. The Hollywood Reporter is noting that he might have been in talks for the Riddler as well. According to Variety, Hill passed on the role, but negotiations were in the very early stages when he decided to remove himself from the project.
The Joker might be the most popular Batman villain, but the Riddler ranks up there alongside other Gotham baddies like Penguin, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy. Edward Nygma is an intelligent supervillain who taunts Batman with mysteries and riddles, as opposed to fist-fights and blows as he would encounter with a villain like Bane. The character made his first appearance in the comics in 1948 and has become synonymous with the question mark itself.
The Batman is hoping to bring some honor back to DC Films after critics slammed some of their projects including Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. Joker has helped bring glory and critical acclaim back to DC films, but The Batman will not be connected to the Todd Phillips film in any way.
News broke last week that Big Little Lies star Zoe Kravitz nabbed the part of Catwoman in the upcoming film. Dano and Kravitz will join Robert Pattinson (Batman) and Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright (Commissioner Gordon) in what’s building up to be a stellar cast. The movie will be directed by Matt Reeves, who has been with the project since it was linked to Ben Affleck. Reeves has directed Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes. No other actors are attached to the project at this time.
The Batman will be released on June 25, 2021.