Almost 30 years have passed since then Batman forever, Joel Schumacher’s legendary take on the Dark Knight starring Val Kilmer, has hit theaters. In an era when superhero movies weren’t quite the mainstream, Batman managed to be one of the few comic book icons to make it to the big screen. Largely, thanks to the bad guys.
In addition to the personality and cunning of the Caped Crusader, Gotham City and the vast gallery of criminals it offers is one of the greatest charms of the Batman universe. Some are more down-to-earth like mafia mogul Carmine Falcone, others are more outlandish like The Riddler.
Edward Nashton was, in fact, the main villain in the popular hero’s latest appearance on the big screen, played by Paul Dano. He was also one of the enemies that Kilmer faced in the 1995 film, in which he was played by stage actor Jim Carrey. However, it would have been a completely different version.
In an interview with Playlist, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman stated that during the film’s casting process, Robin Williams was one of the main choices for the role of The Riddler, when Michael Keaton was still a prime candidate to continue playing Bruce Wayne before Kilmer took over:
“I remember kind of that extraordinary day where Joel sent me to San Francisco, and I spent the day in Robin’s kitchen and he just talked about Riddler. And he was like, genius isn’t the right word. It was like he opened his head and the universe would speak in it. He was so lovely and sweet and I remember When I got home, he had left a message on the answering machine…my girlfriend at the time kept playing it over and over again.”
Who is The Riddler?
Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprung in 1948, it first appeared in Detective Comics #140 As a man in a flashy green suit with question marks on it, completely obsessed with mind games, riddles and puzzles.
Additionally, Edward Nashton is known as one of Batman’s more intellectual foes, not particularly notorious for killing or wreaking havoc, but rather for playing tricks on the police, planting false leads, and displaying his ingenuity in every crime.
The Riddler is one of the most frequently featured villains in Batman adaptations, whether in animated, video game, comic book, or live-action form, as he’s had a long list of actors playing him outside of Dano and Carrey.
His live-action debut was in a 1966 film and series, where he was played by Frank Gorshin and John Astin. in the FX series Gotham, which focused on the city and its inhabitants rather than the character of Bruce Wayne, who was barely a kid on the show, Edward Nygma was one of the great heroes and one of the most popular characters alongside the Robin Lord Taylor version of The Penguin. In the series, Corey Michael Smith brought the character back to life.