The Batman Director Matt Reeves Explains Riddler's Connection to the Zodiac Killer

When Matt Reeves' The Batman races into theaters in March, it's going to give movie-going audiences a look at the Caped Crusader they haven't seen in live-action before. While the film isn't necessarily based on the beloved Year One comics, it does take place very early in the eponymous vigilante's career. With that, Reeves and Robert Pattinson—the latest actor to play Bruce Wayne—were both able to take certain liberties with the storyline.

Take The Riddler, as an example. Long gone is the version of the villain Jim Carrey once played, or even the version of the character that appeared on Fox's Gotham series. Instead, Reeves decided to model Paul Dano's role after the Zodiac Killer.

"The premise of the movie is that the Riddler is kind of molded in an almost Zodiac Killer sort of mode, and is killing very prominent figures in Gotham, and they are the pillars of society," Reeves said in a recent chat. with MovieMaker. "These are supposedly legitimate figures. It begins with the mayor, and then it escalates from there. And in the wake of the murders, he reveals the ways in which these people were not everything they said they were, and you start to realize there's some kind of association. And so just like Woodward and Bernstein, you've got Gordon and Batman trying to follow the clues to try and make sense of this thing in a classic kind-of-detective story way."

Just like Riddler being modeled after the Zodiac Killer—a real-life serial killer—Reeves previously said Pattinson's titular character is inspired in part by the late Kurt Cobain.

"When I write, I listen to music, and as I was writing the first act, I put on Nirvana's 'Something In The Way'," Reeves told the magazine in the upcoming The Batman Empire issue. "That's when it came to me that, rather than make Bruce Wayne the playboy version we've seen before, there's another version who had gone through a great tragedy and become a recluse. So I started making this connection to Gus Van Sant's Last Days, and the idea of this fictionalised version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor."

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The Batman is currently set to be released on March 4th.