Why The Riddler Is The Batman's Real Villain (& Not Penguin)

Colin Farrell’s Penguin was spotlighted in the trailer for The Batman but it makes greater sense that the Riddler (Paul Dano) is the real villain. Releasing March 14th, 2022, Matt Reeves' take on the Dark Knight promises to be the grittiest yet. The marketing has effectively kept plot details hidden while emphasizing its visceral action and unique approach to Batman’s rogues’ gallery.

Set during his second year of crimefighting, Robert Pattinsons’ Batman/Bruce Wayne is full of rage as he tackles crime and corruption in Gotham City. The Batman sees him take on multiple villains, including Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) and mob boss Carmine Falcone (John Turturro). However, Riddler is the mastermind targeting Pattinson's Batman, threatening to expose lies and secrets that could fundamentally alter the iconic city.

Related: Why The Riddler Looks So Different In The Batman

The Riddler and Penguin are two of Batman’s most infamous villains, with the latter shown in an intense showdown with the vigilante in The Batman’s trailer. However, while Penguin dominates the trailer's action-packed sequences, it's actually Riddler who will feature more prominently in the film overall. Not only has Farrell already revealed that Penguin will only appear in a handful of scenes, but the film's tone suggests that it will reinvent the Riddler as a truly intimidating intellectual adversary worthy of battling Pattinson’s Dark Knight. This is why, despite the impressive array of ne'er-do-wells on screen, it is Paul Dano's Edward Nashton that will define the narrative.

The Riddler is often one of the more comical foes in the rogues’ gallery, and difficult to properly depict onscreen. Although the character proved popular in Fox’s Gotham television show, this was largely due to his comedic back-and-forth with the Penguin. His last big-screen outing was in 1995’s Batman Forever, portrayed by Jim Carrey as a pink-haired jester in a leotard. It was a memorably manic performance that contained hints of his sinister potential, especially during his mind-draining climax. However, Carrey’s Riddler is largely known for his camp humor, meaning The Batman must firmly differentiate itself from the past. Although there are several exciting villains yet to make their theatrical debut, a character such as the Riddler is deserving of a second chance to cement himself as a dangerous and highly intelligent enemy. Dano’s Riddler looks like Gotham’s Zodiac, reimagined as a masked serial killer with haunting line delivery evocative of Dano’s work in Prisoners.

If The Batman’s plot concerns the targeting of corrupt institutions, then Edward Nashton's cryptic, mocking riddles make him a suitable choice to take on both Batman and the GCPD. Reeves might adopt a similar method to the animated film Batman: Hush, which changed the comic’s narrative to focus on the Riddler proving himself as an enemy who could destroy Batman’s world. The Batman can reinvent the Riddler as a lead antagonist that demands to be taken seriously while incorporating the Penguin to expand the formation of the rogues’ gallery. The Penguin is a villain of higher esteem, and Farrell a bigger name in Hollywood, which is probably why Warner Bros. chose to highlight him in the trailer and further advertise The Batman's multiple adversaries. Emphasizing Farrell's transformation grabs attention and keeps viewers in the dark with regards to the Riddler's grand plan, thereby preserving the story's mystery. Furthermore, this Penguin hasn't yet fully adopted his persona.

His rise in Gotham’s criminal underworld will receive its own HBO Max spinoff show, so it makes sense to expand on the Penguin’s activities elsewhere. Surely, he would rather avoid the Dark Knight, but Riddler seemingly wants to get arrested so he can better communicate with Batman and torment Gotham’s protectors. His serial killer live-streams his crimes to capture the city’s attention, whereas the Penguin’s gangster likely chooses to operate in the shadows, biding his time before becoming a criminal kingpin. 

Next: Why The Batman Trailers Are Hiding The Riddler

from ScreenRant - Feed

Post a Comment