Bat-fans finally get to find out how R-Batz shapes up against other Batmen this weekend, with the release of Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Rounding out the cast are Colin Farrell’s Penguin, Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, and Paul Dano playing The Riddler as a sadistic serial killer.
All of the actors put their hearts and souls into their roles, with Pattinson have lengthy conversations with director Reeves about his characterisation of Bruce Wayne. Dano, who is a director as well as an actor, also took the job very seriously. So seriously, that he did 200 takes of one particular scene in order to make it perfect.
In a profile of Dano in The Hollywood Reporter, it says that; “In order to shoot one scene in which the Riddler is talking to Batman via cellphone video, Dano was alone in a room with an iPhone and Reeves speaking to him in an earpiece, while the rest of the cast and crew were on the set of an ornate murder scene at Gotham’s City Hall. Over what Reeves estimates to be some 200 takes — many of them at Dano’s behest — the actor delivers variations on Riddler’s madness.”
Reeves says of Dano; “He 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.”
Dano’s breakout role was in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), followed by There Will Be Blood (2007), Prisoners (2013), 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Okja (2017). In 2018, he directed Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan in Wildlife and he clearly brought his director’s eye to this iPhone scene.
The Batman currently sits at an 87% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes after the reviews came out, and is projected to make over $100 million at the box office in its opening weekend.
If you’re brushing up on Gotham’s finest before seeing the new one, check out our guide to the best Batman villains.