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Paul Dano in Okja

After years of waiting to see a new Batman movie, Matt Reeves’ The Batman is suddenly coming together very fast. The latest casting news that broke yesterday is that actor Paul Dano will be portraying Edward Nashton a.k.a. The Riddler in the upcoming DC Comics film. Paul Dano isn’t known for blockbuster films so mainstream audiences might not be familiar with his work, but thankfully, right on cue, there is some fan art to help us imagine what Paul Dano could look like as Riddler. Take a look:

This is a far cry from Jim Carrey’s bright green catsuit-wearing Riddler from Batman Forever. BossLogic envisions Paul Dano’s Riddler wearing the character’s trademark bowler hat, jacket and tie seen in many depictions, but without the ostentatious green and purple coloring. He’s not covered in question marks and he doesn’t have his question mark cane either. It’s a depiction that presumes that Matt Reeves will be taking a somewhat grounded approach with the character and the film.

In this fan art, with the jacket, vest, tie, glasses and bowler hat, Paul Dano’s Riddler actually reminds me of Kiefer Sutherland’s character from 1998’s Dark City. With his tweed jacket and neutral-colored clothing, Paul Dano’s Riddler looks entirely unassuming here. You almost wouldn’t know he’s The Riddler if not for the question marks in the art and his juxtaposition opposite Robert Pattinson’s Batman.

The real identifying mark in this fan art is the single question mark on Paul Dano’s tie, symbolizing the villain beneath this humble exterior. It’s a cool take because outwardly he looks unthreatening physically, but with The Riddler it’s always his mind you have to worry about. He definitely looks like an intelligent, well-dressed individual here, which makes the potential insanity all the more dangerous.

This is just one interpretation of what Paul Dano’s Riddler could look like in The Batman, and BossLogic said in his Instagram post that he’d have more art of The Riddler on the way soon. How close this fan art is to what we see in the film will really come down to what direction Matt Reeves goes in for this movie and the character.

We’ve heard that The Batman will be a grounded take, although I don’t know how you make the film more grounded than Christopher Nolan’s films, which were already on the opposite end of the spectrum from the brightly-colored camp of the Joel Schumacher run.

Matt Reeves has also talked about wanting to dive into the idea of Batman as the world’s greatest detective in The Batman. So having The Riddler, who offers plenty of puzzles for the Caped Crusader to solve, is a fun choice and should give audiences something different than they’ve seen from the previous Batman movies.

This is easily Paul Dano’s biggest role to date. The actor has largely made a name for himself outside of the blockbuster realm in movies like There Will Be Blood, Love & Mercy and Showtime’s mini-series Escape at Dannemora. He joins the cast of Matt Reeves' film which will also star Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman.

The Batman arrives in theaters on June 25, 2021. That’s a ways off but there are still big DC movies to come next year. Check them out in our 2020 Release Schedule.

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