The version of the iconic comic book villain The Riddler seen in the trailers for director Matt Reeves’ upcoming film The Batman has been drawing comparisons to the real-world maniac known as the Zodiac Killer ever since viewers got their first glimpse of him. Last month, Reeves himself said (to Moviemaker magazine), “The premise of the movie is that The Riddler is kind of molded in an almost Zodiac Killer sort of mode, and is killing very prominent figures in Gotham, and they are the pillars of society. ” Now, in the new issue of Total Film magazine (as reported by Games Radar), Reeves elaborated on how the Zodiac Killer inspired his take on The Riddler:
Early on, this idea of doing a serial killer story popped into my head, and I started thinking about superheroes; the idea of wearing costumes. I read Mindhunter. It made me think of the Zodiac killer, and how he actually wore this primitive costume that really is a primitive superhero costume… a rogues’ gallery costume. And I was like, ‘Oh, that’s really scary, the idea of people really wearing masks, and withholding their identities, and terrorizing people, and how scary that is.’ ”
Reeves went on to assure fans that The Riddler in this movie is
not just a serial killer. He definitely has a political agenda. There’s a terrorist aspect to him. He’s indicting the city for what it is. And one of the things he’s doing with each of these crimes is, he’s attacking the so-called legitimate pillars of the city. The whole point of it was to put [Batman] on the path of trying to solve a mystery that was not only going to reveal the history of the city, and why it’s so corrupt, but that also is going to turn at a point, and become actually quite personal. ”
Scripted by Reeves, Peter Craig, and Mattson Tomlin, The Batman has the following synopsis:
The Batman is an edgy, action-packed thriller that depicts Batman in his early years, struggling to balance rage with righteousness as he investigates a disturbing mystery that has terrorized Gotham. Robert Pattinson delivers a raw, intense portrayal of Batman as a disillusioned, desperate vigilante awakened by the realization that the anger consuming him makes him no better than the ruthless serial killer he’s hunting.
The film stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright as Lt. James Gordon, Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton / The Riddler, Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham DA Gil Colson, and Jayme Lawson as mayoral candidate Bella Real.
Reeves produced The Batman with Dylan Clark. Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo, and Simon Emanuel serve as executive producers. The film sports a PG-13 rating for “strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material.”
The Batman is set to reach theaters on March 4th, with an HBO Max release to follow on April 19th.