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Paul Dano Was Initially Hesitant About The Riddler's Sense Of Style In The Batman

When the first trailer for "The Batman" dropped at DC FanDome in 2020, many fans were hesitant about the new take on the iconic superhero. The YouTube comment section on the first teaser alone was on fire, with people questioning Robert Pattinson's casting and the unconventional looks of both Batman and The Riddler. 

Following its release, critics and fans alike met "The Batman" with high praise. The film has a Certified Fresh 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many praising Pattinson's and Dano's performances. Insider called it the best "Batman" portrayal since Michael Keaton, and the focus on Batman's detective side is unlike any live-action project before it. Other critics praised Matt Reeves' direction, with the cinematography and costume design being standouts (via Robert Ebert). With a recently announced sequel by Reeves in the works, fans can expect more of this take on the Caped Crusader.  

Before the release, fans discussed The Riddler's design ad nauseam online. Many Reddit posts were critical of the costume and expressed their desire for a more comic-book-inspired look. Opinions on both Batman and The Riddler's costumes quickly changed after the film was released. Now, most Redditors express their admiration for not only Dano's performance but also his costume. 

However, it turns out that even Dano himself was hesitant about the villain's different design.

Paul Dano came to love The Riddler's costume in The Batman

While speaking to GQ, Paul Dano broke down some of his most iconic roles, including The Riddler. He revealed that while he was initially hesitant about the character's costume, primarily the use of trendy glasses, after some fine-tuning, he felt that the suit was perfect. 

"There was some resistance in me at first," the actor said. "Because I didn't want his glasses to be like stylish or something, but there was something about the clear frames with the mask and with the saran wrap, which is something we added, where it just felt right. It felt really right, and I cannot quantify why." 

It turns out the idea to cover The Riddler's head in saran wrap was an original idea from Dano himself. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, he talked about how this version of the villain was obsessively thorough, which left Dano with two options: shave his entire body so he leaves no evidence, or wrap his head in saran wrap. He went with the latter and stuck with it even if the mask winded him after three or four takes. 

Dano continued his GQ interview by stating his love for Batman and all of the characters within Gotham. The actor, who is now working on a Riddler comic book of his own, studied the villain as much as he could, but in the end, what drove him to the role was having the opportunity to carve his own path, which Reeves encouraged. Dano recognizes his Riddler performance as just one interpretation of a character with a long history across comic books, television, and film, but that's where he finds beauty in those performances.