It’s too early to say whether Robert Pattinson’s solo Batman film will be any good but at least we’re getting a hell of an A-list cast in it. After confirmation Zoe Kravitz will be suiting up as Catwoman, word on the street is that Jonah Hill has been dropped and Paul Dano is in as The Riddler.
According to Variety, talks with Jonah to join The Batman dragged on for so long the filmmakers got annoyed and started courting Paul on the side as a back up. Once Jonah said no, Paul was offered the role of the Riddler.
Now Jonah Hill is a fine actor and probably would’ve done a great job had he decided to join the DC-verse, but him turning down a villain role in The Batman is his loss and our gain because Paul Dano is utterly perfect to be Robert Pattinson’s foil.
Despite getting overshadowed by more famous villains like Joker, the Riddler is arguably Batman’s intellectual equal and more than a match for the Caped Crusader in all areas other than fisticuffs. Plus he looks great in green.
While the only version of the Riddler we’ve seen on the big screen is Jim Carrey’s take on the character, which was incomprehensible to put it nicely, there’s no reason to believe why Paul wouldn’t turn in a career-best performance as the Riddler that’ll rank up there alongside Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Paul’s filmography has been defined by his chameleon-like ability to play awkward characters who are smarter or have more going on underneath the surface than they look. Just look at his work in Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood, Prisoners and Love & Mercy.
But perhaps most importantly, Paul is very good at getting his arse kicked onscreen. Seriously, he’s been at the receiving end of some brutal beatings in Prisoners, There Will Be Blood, 12 Years A Slave, Cowboys And Aliens, and Ruby Sparks (by his real-life partner no less) and he manages to sell them all brilliantly.
When you taking into account his ability at playing character parts with his unnaturally great skill at getting (fake) wailed on, it almost feels like he’s born to play the Riddler.
Now it’s going to be a while before we see Paul’s Riddler in action as filming for The Batman is penciled in for a late 2019 or early 2020 start and is scheduled to come out on June 25, 2021. But hey, it’ll be worth the wait.
The only question left is whether Paul Dano can rock the colour green as the Riddler but I have no doubt he’ll find a way to make it work.