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Who Is The Villain In The Batman?

When Robert Pattinson finally swoops into theaters as a new version of the iconic Caped Crusader in Matt Reeves' "The Batman," audiences will be treated to a different take on the Dark Knight's mythos. The dramatic first trailer for the latest DC reboot gives Gotham City a dreary atmosphere in the vein of David Fincher's "Seven", where it's always raining and the streets are teeming with criminals. It's a perfect place for a millionaire dressed as a bat to start dishing out his own brand of justice as he works through his personal issues.

Although there's definitely some mystery about the direction of this new universe, it's one of the most fascinating projects in DC's upcoming slate. The new film clearly seems to be taking its cues from "The Long Halloween" storyline from the comics, which took place early in Bruce Wayne's crime-fighting career, also setting up some of the most iconic villains in his rogues' gallery. We already know that Zoe Kravitz's Catwoman will occupy a big role in the film, playing a dangerous game by working with notorious mobster Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) while she and Batman also dance around each other.

Then, there's Oswald Cobblepot (Colin Farrell), who doesn't seem to be in his Penguin persona just yet, but is clearly an up-and-comer in the Gotham underworld. However, the main villain in the film is someone with violently grand plans for the corrupt officials who plague the city.

Meet Paul Dano's take on The Riddler

We've seen a few live-action incarnations of The Riddler over the years, but Paul Dano's creepy version of the classic villain looks like he'll be much more sinister than anything so far. We've watched very campy versions of Edward Nygma from Frank Gorshin and Jim Carrey, while Cory Michael Smith added a sophisticated but troubled take on the character in the "Gotham" TV show. However, their schemes pale in comparison to the reign of terror in the first footage from the upcoming film.

Dano's Riddler is murdering corrupt officials for an unknown reason when "The Batman" picks up, and it's that mystery that Pattinson's Bruce Wayne will have to solve. Don't expect over the top, theme park style traps this time around — the villain seems closer to the likes of the Zodiac killer rather than a jumpsuit-wearing madman. He's got no problem leaving his victims wrapped in duct tape, with their bodies left as a clue for Batman and James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to solve.

Also, he's clearly mastered the art of writing haunting riddles, because "If you are justice, please do not lie. What is the price for your blind eye?" from the trailer is just a chilling line of dialogue. It'll be interesting to see how the Riddler fits in among the other villains like Catwoman, Falcone, and Cobblepot, but he's definitely being positioned as the main foe for Batman to take down. We'll see how the hero unravels the mystery when the film arrives on March 4, 2022.