Reeves’ unique dramatic angle on the Batman universe prompted Dano to bring a new approach to his role. “By Matt [Reeves] having a certain point of view and a new one, it gives me a lot of freedom,” he told GQ. The actor is free to focus on creating his own version of the character, “like I wouldn’t worry about the others or the comics,” he added.
This is not to say that Dano wants to ignore the history of the Riddler or Batman altogether. In fact, the actor himself is a huge fan. “I tried to take all the archetypal energy I could from the comics, and I read a lot of them, and now I’m writing a comic about the Riddler,” he said. “And I was surprised by how much I loved getting the film out and engaging with that fan base – being, once again, a fan myself and how much passion there is around Batman.”
Dano was a little nervous about portraying the iconic character so close and dear to lifelong Batman comics fans. Also, longtime fans of Dano may be baffled by their favorite indie lover in the blockbuster franchise. Many major figures in the film industry, such as Martin Scorsese, have been outspoken about their distaste for sequels and reboots (via the NY Times). However, Dano knew that superhero films had as much potential as any other film as long as they had one important goal. “Why do we keep making this? It’s to reinterpret, and to reinterpret time too, to continue to investigate the characters in the world,” he explained.