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Puzzle solved: Paul Dano cast as the Riddler in ‘The Batman’

Paul Dano
Paul Dano has been cast as the Riddler in “The Batman.”
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Robert Pattinson will face off with Paul Dano, who has been cast as Batman’s nemesis the Riddler in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.”

The “Escape at Dannemora” star will play Edward Nashton in Warner Bros.’ latest iteration of the comic-book franchise, the studio announced Thursday. The role of Nashton, who as the Riddler commits crimes by compulsively dropping clues through riddles and puzzles, was reportedly among those eyed by actor Jonah Hill. Hill is said to have walked away from the film earlier this week after being offered an undisclosed role.

Dano joins Pattinson’s titular Caped Crusader, succeeding “Justice League” veteran Ben Affleck in the namesake role.

We last saw the Riddler on the big screen in 2017 when comedian Conan O’Brien voiced him in the animated “The Lego Batman Movie.” Jim Carrey also famously embodied the question-mark-bearing villain in 1995’s “Batman Forever,” opposite Val Kilmer’s Batman.

Zoe Kazan: We first read Richard Ford’s novel “Wildlife” in 2011 — and have re-read it so often Paul has the page count memorized: The fictional Brinson family falls apart and begins to piece itself back together in a lean 177 pages.
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Dano, whose film credits include “Love and Mercy,” “12 Years a Slave” and “There Will Be Blood,” also directed, co-wrote and produced the critically acclaimed film “Wildlife.” He was nominated for a supporting-actor Emmy this year for his haunting portrayal of escaped convict David Sweat in the Showtime miniseries “Escape at Dannemora.”

The actor’s involvement comes on the heels of Zoe Kravitz’s casting in the film. On Monday, Warner Bros. confirmed that Kravitz would join the forthcoming franchise installment as Catwoman’s alias, Selina Kyle.

The film — directed by Reeves, co-written by Reeves and Mattson Tomlin and co-produced by Reeves and his “Planet of the Apes” collaborator Dylan Clark — is set to start production in the U.K. in January. Reeves took over directing duties from Affleck in January 2017.

The film is set for release on June 25, 2021.


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