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Who's The Villain In The Goggles From The Batman Trailer?

At the DC FanDome digital event on Saturday, August 22, 2020, a slew of upcoming DC film properties spent some highly anticipated time in the spotlight. One of the most intriguing of the bunch is writer-director Matt Reeves' The Batman, which finally debuted a proper trailer and a brief snippet of star Robert Pattinson in his unique Batsuit. Suffice to say, the trailer for The Batman left us with even more questions than before about this dark superhero crime drama.

The most obvious question is, of course, who's filling the main villain role this time around? In both the comics and film, the Dark Knight's enemies are just as important as the big, black bat himself, so naturally, fans are eager to find out more about who serve as the primary antagonist to make Batman's life a living nightmare in Reeves' entry into the DC cinematic multiverse. Peeking at the cast roster, one will spot a number of villains: the Riddler, Penguin, and even crime boss Carmine Falcone. But who's the baddest of them all?

The Batman trailer doesn't reveal the answer outright, maintaining an air of mystery about the identity of its central antagonist ... who appears not in his instantly recognizable costume but instead fully concealed with a mask and goggles obscuring his face. Who's the goggled villain in the trailer for The Batman? The answer isn't as perplexing as it may seem.

The Riddler is in The Batman trailer

The Batman trailer opens with a shot of a person in a thick green coat with his head completely covered, brandishing a roll of duct tape over a lifeless body. The camera then jumps to a brief close-up of him before cutting away and moving on. That isn't much footage to go off — but what's shown in the rest of the trailer, which focuses heavily on the riddles and rhymes specifically targeted at Batman, all signs point to the goggles-wearing, politician-killing villain being the classic Batman rogue the Riddler.

So many pieces of evidence show that this is fact: the card addressed to Batman, with written riddles and a coded message scrawled inside, nestled inside a green envelope that matches the Riddler's aesthetic; the voiceover of actor Paul Dano, who is bringing to life the Edward Nashton iteration of the Riddler in The Batman, reading out one of the Riddler's twisted puzzles; and the slate that flashes near the end of the trailer to reveal "?0?1" — "2021," the release date for the movie that incorporates the Riddler's visual motif of the question mark. 

So, yeah: the villain donning a mask and goggles in the trailer for The Batman is indeed the Riddler. When fans finally get to see his face and witness more of what he's capable of doing, they'll evidently be blown away. Director Reeves has nothing but praise for Dano, stating during the FanDome event, "Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no one has ever seen before and it's really exciting." He later touted Dano's creativity as an actor and teased that his take on the iconic villain is "going to blow people's minds." Keeping Dano's track record and the intensity of The Batman's first tease in mind, that'll be a hard claim to dispute.

The Batman will hit theaters on October 1, 2021.