Fans of both DC and Marvel movies love a good bit of conspiracy theorizing about what may or may not be happening in some of the most anticipated films on their respective slates, and the arrival of the new The Batman trailer at DC FanDome has caused one big question to start circulating almost immediately: why are we not seeing The Riddler’s face? While we are used to Marvel playing tricks on audiences with manipulated footage and purposely edited trailers, it seems that DC could be pulling their own stunt as in a whole host of better looks at the other main players, including Colin Farrell’s Penguin, Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, Andy Serkis as Alfred and Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, the one character that seems to be intentionally vague is Paul Dano’s Edward Nashton aka The Riddler.
The new trailer for Matt Reeves’ blistering introduction to the DC Universe certainly brings the action and shows off its stars, so there is certainly a valid reason to ask why the only character we not being given a clear look at is Paul Dano as The Riddler. What makes this more surprising is that the trailer makes it clear that the quizzical bad guy is the main villain of the movie, and features him in a number of ways, yet other than in a couple of shots of him with his face obscured by a mask, we never get to see his actual face, which was noticed by many fans on Twitter.
The trailer begins with Gordon and the GCPD arresting Edward Nashton, who leaves behind a cup containing a question mark in the froth of the coffee. While we see him from behind, the rest of the scene sees him raising his arms and then being forced into the counter as he is bundled away, without us ever being given more than a look at a back-side profile of his face. When the trailer moves to showing Nashton in custody and being visited by Robert Pattinson’s Batman, the footage is again trained away from his face, focusing mostly on the face of the Dark Knight even when it is Nashton speaking.
So, here is where the theories start. Why is there so much secrecy around the face of Nashton? Although everyone already knows that Paul Dano is playing the role, it would seem foolish to believe that he will be seen posing as another character, or leading a double life as one of the GCPD officers, before he is finally revealed as The Riddler. In turn this leads to the second suggestion that Dano’s character may not be The Riddler but a red herring, while the real villain will be made apparent later in the movie. Although there could be another reason behind this vagueness, we should also remember the comments made by fans who were given a special preview of the movie, which suggested that the movie led to a jaw-dropping moment in the final act. Could this be linked to a big reveal about The Riddler’s identity?
It seems clear that after two DC FanDome trailers and numerous stills without a single shot of Edward Nashton’s face, DC are not going to be forthcoming with new images anytime soon, and that means we could have to wait until The Batman arrives on March 4th, 2022 to find out exactly who The Riddler really is.