The Batman actor Paul Dano is diving into the mind of Edward Nashton in a trailer for The Riddler: Year One. The prequel comic teams Dano with artist Stevan Subic, who is making his American comics debut with the miniseries. The Riddler is one of Batman's most iconic villains, and The Riddler: Year One allows the actor the opportunity to dive into Riddler's origin story. With The Riddler: Year One available in stores now, a trailer for the DC series peels back the curtain on how the comic came to life with the creators behind it.
"Matt [Reeves] and I talked a lot about his script, which was very fully realized, and where Edward came from," Paul Dano said in the opening of The Riddler: Year One trailer. "I do quite a bit of backstory work for myself as an actor, and I think I told you something about something I saw in my head, and my memory is you were like, 'That should be a comic.'"
Director Matt Reeves joins Paul Dano in the trailer, recounting how he called DC Publisher Jim Lee and told him how Dano had the idea for The Riddler comic, and it'd be a good idea for an origin story in a comic. Pages from The Riddler: Year One by Stevan Subic slowly scroll across the screen as Dano and Reeves talk.
Paul Dano Talks The Riddler's Origin Story From The Batman
Speaking with ComicBook.com, Paul Dano explained how the opportunity to explore Edward Nashton and his development into The Riddler came about and it turns out it was a natural extension of the work he did in his preparation for The Batman.
"Yeah, so one of the important steps I take as an actor is kind of creating a backstory. A lot of work goes into just getting to page one of the script so that you're kind of carrying the life that, in this case, that character Edward had lived in your body and in your unconscious as best as you can," Dano said. "And that's kind of how you might help build the physicality, and the voice, and blah, blah, blah. And Matt Reeves is also a very thorough writer, and we got along really well because of that. And I was talking to him on set one night in Edward's apartment. I said, it's funny. Something about, I can't remember, but I kind of was thinking about this, my backstory and this image and this image. And I'd kind of cultivated it partially in the archetypal language of comics because that's where the character comes from anyway, so I just mean, I had key images in my head. Boom, boom, boom in my head. And he was like, 'That should be a comic.'"
He continued, "And I was like, 'Yeah, I think it could be.' I kind of thought that in my head, but I don't think I would've proffered it on my own. And then, I think, literally the next day he was like, 'I emailed, or called Jim Lee and you guys should talk to DC.' And I was like, 'Okay.' And then I did, and they liked the idea and the backstory I had. And then it was one of those really good like, oh, shit, now I actually have to do this. But also really excited and this is really cool. And then I started. It's turned to its own thing now. So, the genesis of it is the backstory that I worked with as an actor, but it needs to also be a story that stands on its own two legs for a comic reader, and not just in service of the film. So, it needs to do both. So now it's really just turned into, it's taken its own life."
Review of The Riddler: Year One
ComicBook.com's Evan Valentine reviewed The Riddler: Year One, giving it 4 out of 5 stars: "Paul Dano and Stevan Subic hit the ground running with their take on The Riddler, presenting a story that can stand on its own outside of The Batman, while also giving cinema lovers an excuse to pick up a comic book that reveals grotesque beauty in the early life of Eddie Nashton. Whether you're a fan of the latest Dark Knight film or are simply a fan of all things Batman, The Riddler: Year One offers a fresh perspective on Gotham City and devilishly details how a mind becomes twisted by its surroundings."