The Batman: Key Piece of The Riddler's Costume Was Found on eBay

Ever since The Batman's version of The Riddler was revealed, and director Matt Reeves confirmed that it was influenced by the Zodiac killer, the villain's mask has been a major talking point for fans. A military style mask, The Riddler's face covering was a pretty drastic difference from the comic book source material, meaning its creation had to be all-new, or at least found in the world. In a look behind the curtain that appears in the recently published The Art of The Batman, Reeves, star Paul Dano, and costume designer Jacqueline Durran opened up about figuring out the character's costume and finding the mask, revealing that it came from an unlikely place, just surfing through eBay searches. 

"We wanted to ground the concept in reality and in what would be possible for these characters," Durran said in the book. "So, Paul Dano and Matt were both adamant that they wanted to research what 'The Riddler could have found in a surplus store near his house —and that would have been the kind of perimeters of the options available to him. So, we really looked into surplus, and I think one of the defining things was finding the winter combat mask. We found it on eBay! It could have been from any kind of surplus store, and I think that gave us away into the character. Other than that, we were just finding different elements—the German jacket, American trousers, American boots, that would just be putting them together to make those intimidating as he could."  

Describing seeing the mask as a critical moment for him in finding his version of the character, Dano confirmed that it came from the online retailer, adding: "That was definitely an 'aha' moment, like, 'Okay, I think that's the one,' you know, 'cause there were quite a lot of different options, and Jacqueline was wonderful to work with."

Reeves expounded on the mask idea for Riddler further, revealing how he thought about both the villain's use of a mask and Batman's, saying: "I did a lot of reading about the power of masks—that sense of anonymity allows a kind of scary freedom of action because you're not personally accountable behind a mask. No one knows who you are. And under the right circumstances, they've found a we can actually make some people more altruistic, and in that sense, | guess that's the flipside, the potential of the good side of Batman. But it's the other side, the unchecked Power and free license of anonymity, that is so frightening."

The Batman is now streaming on HBO Max and The Art of The Batman is now available.