A prequel novel to the upcoming DCEU blockbuster The Batman reveals that the Riddler will have a personal connection to Bruce Wayne. Starring Robert Pattinson as the titular vigilante and Paul Dano as the Riddler, The Batman also features several iconic characters, including Catwoman, Penguin, Carmine Falcone, and allegedly even the Joker. However, The Batman won’t be an origin story, even though it is a fresh take on the character. Pattinson’s version of Batman is in his second year of crimefighting and is a lot more vengeful and brutal than what fans are accustomed to.
With a month left before The Batman comes out, a tie-in novel has been released, detailing Bruce Wayne’s tragic childhood and how it shaped his desire to exact justice. The book, titled Before The Batman: An Original Movie Novel, also provides backstories for Alfred Pennyworth and the Riddler.
First off, with the Riddler. Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Prisoners) is playing the iconic villain. From the trailers, it doesn’t look like he will don his comic-accurate green suit and cane. Instead, Dano’s version will be a sadistic serial killer with a political agenda who targets the elite of Gotham City. Director Matt Reeves took inspiration from the Zodiac Killer while writing the character. The novel reveals that the Riddler is named Edward Nashton and is an orphan. He attended the same school as Bruce Wayne, but unlike him, Edward was not a popular student. But he always carried a book of crosswords or other puzzles with him, was frequently bullied, and called names like “Ed-weird.”
Moreover, the orphanage Edward grew up in was the Wayne manor. While running for mayor, Thomas Wayne relocated the family to a penthouse atop the Wayne Tower and donated their manor to the city to house orphaned children. But they left a family photo right at the entrance of the orphanage, which did not sit well with Edward. Constantly reminded of the Waynes’ “charity,” he developed resentment towards Bruce and his privileged family. Edward later worked as a food delivery driver, trying to save money “to study forensic accounting” because “it sounded like solving puzzles.” That is probably how he learned of the widespread corruption in Gotham City. But all that time, Edward remains obsessed with Bruce – he couldn’t stop “thinking about that lucky rich kid, Bruce Wayne,” the book states.
The Batman promos constantly tease how the Riddler is trying to torment Bruce and maybe even knows his secret identity. It’s difficult to say if the film will include some material from the tie-in novel, but at three hours long, the Riddler will have ample time to make his motivations clear.
Alfred Trains Bruce to Fight in The Batman
In The Batman, the Wayne family butler and Bruce Wayne’s guardian after his parents’ death, Alfred Pennyworth, will have a British Secret Service background. Andy Serkis plays a younger, more stoic version of the character. “He has a great sense of duty. He’s very practical. He’s not emotional,” Serkis told Total Film recently. “That’s part of the gap between them. Bruce is an extremely emotional character, and the only thing that really links them are skills, I suppose, in the same way that the things that he was able to teach Bruce in his younger years were fighting skills and code-cracking skills… There is a sort of tragedy of Alfred as a character, and he can never have the connection that he wants with Bruce, that he feels he owes him.”
However, Bruce won’t learn all the fighting from Alfred. He travels to different cities during college and picks up various martial arts during the process. A noir-driven detective story with unique origins for the characters, The Batman is proving to be vastly different from every other interpretation of the superhero.
The Batman hits the screens on March 04, 2022.