This Riddler is arguably the scariest villain Batman has faced on the big screen
This DC thriller from Matt Reeves pays homage to several works from the comics and film, but one particular real-world influence should be unsettling for those with knowledge of history.
The Riddler (Paul Dano) in ‘ The Batman ‘ is sure to give viewers goosebumps and scares as a character who borrows from one of the most famous serial killers in Zodiac Killer . The last time Riddler was a villain in Jim Carrey’s Batman film was in ‘Batman Forever’ with a funnier version than Matt Reeves’ darker and gruesome version so different.
The Riddler is an amalgamation of well-known villains, including versions of the DC characters in the comics “Batman: Earth One” as well as works from David Fincher’s 1995 film ‘Seven’. But the allusion to the Zodiac is blatant; Reeves noted in an earlier interview that he was inspired by the Zodiac Killer. And that impact on the real world is unsettling to those who know history and Matt Reeves makes this film work at a very far impressive level.
The Riddler’s riddler enigma codes that provoke Batman and even his costumes draw from the real Zodiac killer, the man (never officially identified) who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s. Case in which the murder of five known victims in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Zodiac sent mock letters and cards with coded messages to police and newspapers, just as Riddler left messages and cards with codes for Batman from Robert Pattinson.
The Riddler costume is the latest iconic costume for this character, just as the Zodiac Killer wears a costume of his own creation for at least one of his attacks. The Riddler symbol is also somewhat like the symbol used by real world assassins.
Zodiac Killer has been the subject of a number of Hollywood projects, of which arguably the best is the film ‘Zodiac’ (2007) directed by David Fincher and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. In that film, as in ‘The Batman’ via Alfred ( Andy Serkis ), someone spoils one of the Zodiac coded messages by looking for double consonants, as in the word “ KILL ” or “kill”.
Paul Dano’s Riddler finally reveals himself at the end of the game without his iconic costume, eliminating some of that spooky factor. The true identity of the Zodiac has never been officially confirmed. Since 1969, the California Department of Justice has kept the case file open on this Zodiac murder case.