‘The Batman’ Casts Paul Dano as The Riddler

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Paul Dano wearing a suit and tie© Paul Archuleta/WireImage

Filmmaker Matt Reeves has found his Riddler for The Batman. Paul Dano has joined the film as the classic villain, Warner Bros. announced Thursday.

Dano’s version of the character will be named Edward Nashton, a departure from the comic books in which he goes by the name Edward Nygma. Frank Gorshin and John Astin played the villain in the 1960s TV series, while Jim Carrey played him in 1995’s Batman Forever, directed by Joel Schumacher.

Robert Pattinson is starring in The Batman, with Zoe Kravitz set to play Catwoman and Jeffrey Wright on board as Batman ally Commissioner Gordon. Jonah Hill was at one point eyeing a role in the film as either Riddler or The Penguin, but the deal did not come to fruition. 

Dano was recently nominated for an Emmy for his role in Escape at Dannemora. The actor directed, co-wrote and produced the critically-acclaimed film Wildlife. His other film credits include Love and Mercy, Prisoners, 12 Years a Slave, There Will Be Blood,  Little Miss Sunshine,Youth and Okja, amongst others. 

Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, the Riddler — AKA Edward Nygma, or “E. Nigma” — is a supervillain who aims to challenge Batman in a battle of wits, leaving clues and riddles for the world’s greatest detective to solve in order to catch him. Since debuting in 1948’s Detective Comics No. 140, he’s gone on to become one of the most high profile Bat-villains, appearing in movies, cartoons and video games across the past seven decades, stretching his question mark-ridden gimmick as far as it could go and then some, including spending some years as a good guy when he realized that it was just as much fun to solve crimes as it was to commit them.

Warner Bros. opens The Batman on June 25, 2021. Dano is represented by Anonymous Content, WME, Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder and Christopher and Relevant.

—Graeme McMillan contributed to this story.

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