Paul Dano says he was given plenty of creative freedom to create his own version of The Riddler in The Batman.
Matt Reeves' The Batman was released in 2022 to commercial and critical acclaim, with particular praise given to the tone as well as the performances of the cast, including Dano.
It told the story of a young version of Bruce Wayne who investigated a series of high-profile murders by a man known only as The Riddler.
The character of The Riddler is significantly different from the portrayal of Jim Carrey and Batman Forever, and Dano insists it was important to ignore all other incarnations of the villain that has come before.
"I love Batman. I think Gotham is the coolest," he said in an interview with GQ.
"This Riddler. I had a lot of freedom. I'm not gonna worry about the other ones or the comics. I tried to take all the archetypal energy from the comics. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed putting out that film and engaging with the fanbase.
"The fervour around Batman. That's why, like, we keep making these. It's to reinterpret, and reinterpret for the times.
"To keep investigating a character and a world."
Paul Dano: I lost sleep playing The Riddler
Dano previously told Entertainment Weekly that he struggled to sleep while playing The Riddler as he couldn't shake off the serial killer, maniac mindset.
“There were some nights around that I probably didn’t sleep as well as I would’ve wanted to just because it was a little hard to come down from this character,” he revealed said.
“It takes a lot of energy to get there. And so you almost have to sustain it once you’re there because going up and down is kind of hard. What I felt was the opportunity that Matt was giving with a villain in this film was more real, potentially more terrifying.”
Dano's preparation for the role was so intense that it impressed DC enough to the degree that he was commissioned to write his own Riddler comic book.