Filmmaker Matt Reeves has found his Riddler for The Batman. Paul Dano has signed on as the classic villain, Warner Bros. announced Thursday.
Dano's version of the character will be named Edward Nashton, the man who in the comics later goes by the name Edward Nygma and adopts the villainous persona. Frank Gorshin and John Astin played the villain on the 1960s TV series, while Jim Carrey played him in 1995's Batman Forever, which was 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 as either The Riddler or The Penguin, but the deal did not come to fruition. Reeves has said he plans to include a rogues gallery of Batman villains in the film.
Dano was recently nominated for an Emmy for his role on the Showtime limited series Escape at Dannemora, and the actor directed, co-wrote and produced the critically acclaimed 2018 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, among 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 has gone on to become one of the most high-profile Bat-villains, appearing in movies, cartoons and video games over the past seven decades, stretching his question-mark gimmick as far as it could go and then some, including spending some years as a good guy when he realized it was just as much fun to solve crimes as it was to commit them.
Warner Bros. is set to release The Batman on June 25, 2021.
Dano is repped by Anonymous Content, WME, Stone Genow and Relevant.
— Graeme McMillan contributed to this story.