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The Riddler Scene From The Batman That Needed Nearly 200 Takes According To Matt Reeves

"The Batman" is one of the most highly anticipated films to come out in 2022. There's a lot riding on the film, as it shows a departure Warner Bros. is taking with the DC Extended Universe. Rather than trying to connect the flick with what's come before, "The Batman" will stand on its own and establish a new universe with entirely different characters from what we've seen in the past. 

For starters, there's a new Caped Crusader in town played by Robert Pattinson. He takes over the role from Ben Affleck, who was the DCEU's Dark Knight for several years and will still have a role to play, seeing how he has an appearance in the upcoming "Flash" movie. That same movie will also see Michael Keaton return to the role he helped popularize, who hasn't donned the cowl since 1992's "Batman Returns." But while the "Flash" film will likely be a swan song for the actors, Pattinson's just getting warmed up. 

He has a whole new cast of allies and foes at his disposal, played by some of the most talented actors working today. From Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) to Penguin (Colin Farrell), we're seeing new iterations of these characters like never before, especially when it comes to the main big bad of them all — Riddler (Paul Dano). Dano's an exciting actor to see in a superhero film after incredible turns in "There Will Be Blood" and "Prisoners." He brought the same level of dedication to Riddler as he's done in his previous roles, but the level of commitment may take some viewers by surprise.

The following article contains minor spoilers for "The Batman."

The iPhone footage took an estimated 200 takes

Usually, when you hear about a movie shot requiring over 100 takes to get right, it's generally at the behest of the director. Filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock have wanted to ensure that a scene looks just right on film, often pushing actors and crew members to the limit. However, the reverse happened on the set of "The Batman." 

In an in-depth discussion of the superhero movie with The Hollywood Reporter, director Matt Reeves spoke about how Paul Dano requested numerous takes of one particular scene. In the film, there's a sequence where Riddler is by himself in a room taking iPhone footage to display his madness. Reeves estimated that it took roughly "200 takes" to get it right and that many of them were a result of Dano wanting to try different variations. Reeves went on to say, "[Dano] goes, 'OK, let me try one where I'm off-camera, and I stick my head in. Let me try one where I'm already sitting there.' He's directing this one-person play on an iPhone. It was the giddiness that really got to me. Calling out the passing time, like he was a game show host. He was so inventive and creative. He's also very critical of himself."

It turned out to be a path worth pursuing. The sequence became one of the most chilling in the entire film, which is really saying something. "The Batman" is a dark, complex picture, and Riddler is the perfect antagonist to go up against this particular version of the Dark Knight.

Another scene underwent a massive change

Shooting a movie is like trying to tame a wild animal. You may have an idea of what it's going to look out when you first embark on your mission, but you never know what issues are going to arise when you're in the moment. In addition to trying out different iterations of how Riddler would behave on a self-filmed tape, another moment underwent a change for the better during production.

Robert Pattinson discussed with Den of Geek a scene depicted in the movie's trailer where Batman goes up against a gang wearing face makeup. One of the thugs confronts him, and Batman beats the snot out of him before coolly saying, "I'm vengeance." According to Pattinson, the scene was supposed to play out a little differently, "How it was initially staged was the guy says, 'Who are you?' And Batman says, 'I'm vengeance,' and then beats everybody up."

But the actor apparently felt it would be more impactful to switch some things up, explaining, "I said to Rob [Alonzo, second unit director and supervising stunt coordinator], 'I really want to say it into the guy's face when he's basically dead.'" It just goes to show that having the actors lead the characters can sometimes lead to extremely positive outcomes.