The Batman Director Explains Origin of the Film's Riddler

The Batman's version of The Riddler, played by Paul Dano, is a far cry from the smug prankster of the comics or Jim Carrey's spandex-clad trickster from Batman Forever. Clad in leather mask and heavy coat, Dano's Riddler appears more like a serial killer than someone looking to match wits with the world's greatest detective. Speaking to Total Film magazine, The Batman director Matt Reeves explained the genesis of this version of The Riddler. "Early on, this idea of doing a serial-killer story popped into my head, and I started thinking about superheroes; the idea of wearing costumes," Reeves says.

He continues, "I read Mindhunter. It made me think of the Zodiac killer, and how he actually wore this primitive costume that really is a primitive superhero costume... a rogues' gallery costume. And I was like, 'Oh, that's really scary, the idea of people really wearing masks, and withholding their identities, and terrorizing people, and how scary that is.' And so I started thinking, 'Well, it could be an origin tale for the Riddler, and it could be an origin tale for some of these other characters.'"

Dano chimes in, saying, "I was sort of schoolboy-excited. It's one of the few times when there's a really kind of shocking [feeling of], 'I can't believe that I get to do this.'"

The Batman introduces Robert Pattinson as the newest cinematic version of DC Comics' Dark Knight. The ensemble cast includes Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Real, Barry Keoghan as Officer Stanley Merkel, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.

According to The Batman's official synopsis, "Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies -- Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) -- amongst the city's corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.

"When a killer targets Gotham's elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World's Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator's plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. The Batman opens in theaters on March 4th.