After The Batman Trailer's Riddle Was Solved, Fans Are Already Discovering More About Paul Dano's Riddler

Paul Dano as Riddler in The Batman

Although only 25% of The Batman has been shot so far, there was enough footage to put together a captivating first trailer that premiered at DC FanDome. Included in the preview was our first look at Paul Dano’s Riddler, who lacks the character’s traditional green, question mark-covered suit and instead wears a get-up that’s basic, yet ironically more menacing.

It didn’t take long for a fan to solve The Riddler’s riddle from The Batman trailer, and now there’s some decent speculation for why Paul Dano’s version of the character is dressed the way he is. Take a look below:

So rather than Paul Dano’s Edward Nashton designing an intimidating mask completely from scratch, it’s something that exists in real life and is used by the U.S. military, though you can see that Nashton is wearing glasses so he can see clearly, and presumably he's made some other modifications. In a follow-up tweet, user Nick Derington also speculated that Riddler’s jacket could also be of military origin. Are you sensing a pattern here?

So taking all this into account, does this mean that The Batman’s Riddler has a military past? After all, comedian and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. guest star Patton Oswalt once speculated that Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight was a military intelligence operative specializing in interrogation before becoming a criminal mastermind, so maybe Edward Nashton has seen combat too. It’s possible, but if the jacket and mask can be found at an army surplus store, then I suspect it’s more plausible that Nashton acquired them from there as he was putting together his terrorist look.

It’s unclear if Paul Dano’s Riddler will don a more traditional costume during The Batman, but not only does is this current look pretty intimidating, it’s also a much better wardrobe choice if you’re wanting to leave as little evidence behind as possible. Just because Riddler leaves clues behind to taunt Batman and the Gotham City Police Department about forthcoming crimes doesn’t mean he wants them to track him down with a fingerprint, DNA sample, etc.

Even assuming we know the source of Riddler’s creepy fashion choices in The Batman, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this version of the character. His messages of “No more lies” and justice turning a blind eye indicates he’s displeased with the corruption in Gotham City and is targeting public leaders as a result, but it’s unclear what specifically pushes him to become a murderer and what his grander scheme is. But hey, mystery and The Riddler go together like peanut butter and chocolate, so at least there’s consistency.

On the slim chance you haven’t seen The Batman trailer, or just want to take it in one more time, give it a watch below.

Along with Paul Dano’s Riddler serving as The Batman’s main antagonist, fellow Batman rogues Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz, and Penguin, played by Colin Farrell, also factor into the narrative. The rest of The Batman’s main cast includes Robert Pattinson as the eponymous protagonist, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson and Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál. Matt Reeves directed the movie and co-wrote the script with Mattson Tomlin.

The Batman casts its shadow on theaters on October 1, 2021, so keep checking in with CinemaBlend for more updates on how it’s progressing, and look through our DC movies guide to learn what other DC cinematic fare is on the way.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.