The Batman introduced director Matt Reeves’ twisted reimagining of the Riddler, played by Paul Dano, and one well-hidden Easter egg teases the villain’s masterplan from the very beginning.
In The Batman, the Riddler is a menacing presence hidden in the shadows and drawing inspiration from the real-life Zodiac Killer. His riddles lead Robert Pattinson’s Batman through a web of intrigue that ensnares Gotham’s political, business and criminal elite, including Bruce Wayne and the crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Turturro). In the end, it is revealed that in his warped view of the world, the Riddler viewed the Batman as his ally, following the riddles and utilizing his strength to carry out the legwork of the plan the Riddler had masterminded.
The Riddler’s plans culminate in having Batman bring Falcone out of his club, the Iceberg Lounge, where the Riddler can assassinate him from his apartment window. While this final stage of the plan is only revealed towards the end of the film, at the moment of Falcone’s death, an Easter egg spotted by one eagle-eyed fan and confirmed by the film’s director, Matt Reeves, teases the Riddler’s plan from early on.
At the 31:55 mark in The Batman, during an establishing shot of the Gotham City streets outside the Iceberg Lounge, the Riddler can be seen in his apartment. Silhouetted by a light in the window, the figure of Dano’s Riddler is visible as he watches and waits for his moment to kill Falcone. The Easter egg was caught by Twitter user @itsRyanUnicomb and shortly after was confirmed by Matt Reeves:
This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it detail demonstrates how meticulously the world of The Batman was constructed in order to bring the Riddler’s menacing masterplan to life.
Here is the synopsis for The Batman:
Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies — Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) — amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as the titular hero and Bruce Wayne, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, with Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Colin Farrell as the Penguin, and Barry Keoghan as The Joker.
The Batman will hit HBO Max and be available digitally on April 18, with physical media copies dropping on May 24. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of The Batman franchise, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.