The Batman's Paul Dano Opens Up About His 'Very Intense' Costume In The New DC Movie

Paul Dano as The Riddler in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

It’s a been a long time since we saw The Riddler in a live-action movie, with Jim Carrey previously bringing the character to life in 1995’s Batman Forever. Well, anyone’s who’s seen the trailers for The Batman knows that Prisoners’ Paul Dano will be playing a much different version of Riddler in Matt Reeves’ movie. For one thing, this take on the Caped Crusader adversary won’t be wearing his traditional green duds, but something more homemade that Dano found to be intense.

In a recent interview, Paul Dano talked about how likes that The Batman is both “grounded and big.” In his case, the former is covered by Matt Reeves partially basing this Riddler on the Zodiac Killer, while the latter naturally comes with pulling from the Batman source material, as well as Dano letting his “imagination react to the script.” This balance is also represented through Riddler’s clothing, with the actor telling Empire:

The costume was very intense. I think the potential DIY element you’re talking about was actually scarier to me than the more sophisticated or composed designs we might have played with. I found working with the costume to be very powerful. When you put on something like that, there’s a way to let it speak to you, and tell your body something. There’s a way to let it have a life of its own.

Usually when Riddler pops up in a DC Comics project, he’s either wearing a flamboyant, form-fitting outfit or dapper suit, with a question mark-adorned hat often atop his head and occasionally a domino mask on his face. For The Batman, Paul Dano’s Edward Nashton has instead donned what fans discovered last year to be to be a U.S. Military Extreme Cold Weather Mask, and a green jacket that could also be of military origin. Throw in Nashton’s glasses, and the whole ensemble is pretty unsettling.

While this look may not be faithful to how Riddler is traditionally depicted, Paul Dano felt that it did a better job of making the character appear intimidating. Similar to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, The Batman appears to take place in a more “realistic” world, so having a serial killer Riddler running around knocking off Gotham City’s elite citizens in a green suit might not gel with the movie’s aesthetic. That being said, if Riddler makes it out of The Batman alive and returns for a sequel, maybe we could see him put on a more faithful costume to commemorate the next chapter of his supervillain journey.

Of course, Riddler won’t be the only villain present in The Batman. Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin, will antagonize the title protagonist, and John Turturro will appear as crime lord Carmine Falcone. Other folks joining Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne include Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright’s James Gordon, Andy Serkis’ Alfred Pennyworth and Peter Sarsgaard’s Gil Colson, among others. In addition to directing the movie, Matt Reeves also worked on the script with Mattson Tomlin and Peter Craig.

The Batman swoops into theaters on March 4, 2022. We here at CinemaBlend will keep you in the loop on more updates concerning this and other upcoming DC Comics movies, including The Flash, which will feature Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton’s versions of the Dark Knight.

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.