THE BATMAN Star Paul Dano Explains "Powerful" Impact Donning The Riddler's Costume Had On Him

The Batman star Paul Dano has opened up on his transformation into The Riddler for Matt Reeves' upcoming movie, revealing why he found that grounded suit to be both "very intense" and "powerful."

Chances are when you think of The Riddler, a bright green suit, domino mask, and lots of question marks quickly come to mind. The Batman will take things in a very different direction, with Paul Dano's interpretation of the classic comic book baddie more akin to the Zodiac Killer than a larger than life supervillain. 

It's an exciting spin to put on The Riddler, especially after how he was portrayed in Batman Forever and Gotham. For Dano, real-life serial killers were less important in terms of inspiration than what he found in the script for this portrayal of Edward Nashton.

"I liked how both grounded and big this film is at the same time," the actor tells Empire Online. "So there are some grounding forces like the Zodiac Killer, right? But it’s still The Batman, and for me it’s much bigger, so it was important to let my imagination react to the script, rather than strictly basing it on a serial killer."

With a costume clearly grounded in reality, Dano didn't necessarily have something as obvious as a cape and cowl to tap into for help in bringing The Riddler to life. However, that proved key for this role. 

"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."

It feels like we're getting something really special with The Batman's version of the villain, and if what little we know about this movie is any indication, The Riddler's crimes could push it into R-Rated territory. He's clearly a clever, brutal killer, and a real match for the Dark Knight from an intellectual standpoint. Will the World's Greatest Detective be able to overcome him? While we're sure Batman will emerge triumphant before the credits roll, this baddie will no doubt have a lasting impact.

The Batman is set to be released in theaters on March 4, 2022. 

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