Not even 24 hours after Jonah Hill dropped out of playing the character in Matt Reeves’ The Batman comes news that Paul Dano will play The Riddler in the 2021 relaunch of the franchise instead.
Dano will be joining the already cast Robert Pattinson (Batman), Zoe Kravitz (Catwoman), and Jeffrey Wright (Commissioner Gordon) in Reeves’ film which is pretty clearly going to be a full-blown reboot of the Batman canon, seeing as how JK Simmons played Gordon in Justice League.
According to THR, Dano’s version of the Riddler will be named Edward Nashton, and presumably with that sort of beginning point, it looks like we might see the origin tale of that classic rogue as well.
The Riddler has popped up in live action a number of times at this rate, and is probably the second most popular Batman rogue behind The Joker, between portrayals by Frank Gorshin, John Astin, Jim Carrey, and Cory Michael Smith.
Dano, who is probably best known for his BAFTA nominated portrayal as Eli Sunday in There Will Be Blood, has carved out a career as a bit of a weaselly punching bag, between that role, 12 Years A Slave, Prisoners, and a whole litany of films where he gets beat up. His appearance as Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy is actually some of my favorite recent work of his (and a highly recommended biopic at that). He was also recently Emmy nominated for his role in Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora.
Dano’s casting is one more domino in place for what looks to be an entire rogues gallery that Reeves will be casting for the film. This includes a casting still be to determined for The Penguin, along with other villains yet to be actually confirmed.
The Batman opens on June 25, 2021, I rather look forward to the conversations this thing will spawn regarding the timeline of the “DCEU”, if that’s even going to be a running concern anymore.