Robert Pattinson is playing a rookie Dark Knight in The Batman with Paul Dano’s Riddler serving as his biggest threat yet. In the film, which comes from director Matt Reeves and is set in a standalone universe, Batman and the rest of Gotham are terrorized by a masked serial killer. Known only as the Riddler, the mysterious man intentionally leaves behind clues and puzzles at the scenes of his killings to further torment Batman, a superhero who’s supposed to be the “world’s greatest detective.” Can he track down the Riddler before it’s too late?
This is a much darker incarnation of the Riddler than we typically see in DC fiction. Seemingly inspired by the real-life Zodiac Killer, the Riddler still wears his green colors, but of a much darker shade than his typical bright green. His question mark symbol is also reminiscent of the Zodiac, an infamous serial killer whose identity has never been officially revealed. Dano has spoken out about the dark interpretation of the supervillain.
“I liked how both grounded and big this film is at the same time,” Dano said, per Empire. “So there are some grounding forces like the Zodiac Killer, right? But it’s still The Batman, and for me it’s much bigger, so it was important to let my imagination react to the script, rather than strictly basing it on a serial killer.”
He added, “The costume was very intense. I think the potential DIY element you’re talking about was actually scarier to me than the more sophisticated or composed designs we might have played with. I found working with the costume to be very powerful. When you put on something like that, there’s a way to let it speak to you, and tell your body something. There’s a way to let it have a life of its own.”
The Riddler isn’t the only threat Batman will have to worry about in the new film, though he will serve as the primary villain. We also know that the movie will feature Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, though his screen time is much more limited. However, there are plans to further flesh out that character in his own Penguin spinoff series for HBO Max. New images of Farrell in character have also recently been revealed.
Zoe Kravitz will be playing a new incarnation of Selina Kyle, who, as DC fans will know, goes by Catwoman to carry out heists. Whether she’s considered a villain is up for interpretation, as it seems like Batman will even have some trouble figuring that out in the new film based on the latest teasers. John Turturro, meanwhile, will be co-starring as Carmine Falcone, another well-known villain from Batman’s Rogues Gallery.
Robert Pattinson leads the cast as Bruce Wayne. Other cast members include Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham district attorney Gil Colson. The Batman will be released in theaters on March 4, 2022.