The Best Scene in ‘The Batman’ Was Filmed 80 Times

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Paul Dano as the Riddler in 'The Batman' (2022)

Credit: DC Studios/Warner Bros.

Matt Reeves is currently in charge of Batman in the current live-action DC space, and he did a magnificent job with The Batman (2022), which used a grounded take on Gotham as Christopher Nolan did in his trilogy. Reeves’ work has also been ambitious with character portrayals, like casting Paul Dano as The Riddler, who now revealed his best scene took 80 takes to film.

Robert Pattinson's Batman in The Batman
Credit: DC Studios

Related: ‘The Batman 2’: 7 Comic Storylines Matt Reeves Should Adapt Next

There have been fantastical portrayals of Batman, like 1995’s Batman Forever; though appreciated by fans, it’s one of the sillier iterations that exists. Tim Burton began the grounded approach when he created Batman in 1989. While the Batman Returns (1992) sequel was more fantastical, Burton was the first to ensure that the Dark Knight felt more real.

This take on realism was explored far more by Christopher Nolan, who is celebrated as the perennial Batman creator, especially considering The Dark Knight (2008) is regarded as the greatest superhero movie ever made. Instead of making it appear that Bruce Wayne did extraordinary things, he was only a highly trained billionaire who could afford great tools.

Reeves took things far more into the detective side, as The Batman is a noir-styled take on Gotham. Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) must stop a serial killer called The Riddler (Paul Dano), who has been tormenting the city and killing corrupt politicians. One of the most tense scenes between Batman and The Riddler occurred at the film’s end, which took a staggering 80 times.

Paul Dano Asked For 80 Takes for His Riddler Scene in ‘The Batman’

Paul Dano as the Riddler
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The Guardian put together a profile of Paul Dano, who is currently about to start in the film Dumb Money, highlighting the meme stock frenzy of Gamestop during the pandemic.

Paul Dano is one of the best actors in the world, and he has starred in hit films like Little Miss Sunshine (2006), There Will Be Blood (2007), Prisoners (2013), and The Batman.

While filming The Batman, Dano portrayed a far different version of the villain than had ever been shown in a live-action movie. His version of the character is said to be loosely based on the infamous Zodiac Killer. The Riddler dressed in green garb and a full-faced mask while he appeared to be deeply unhinged.

Though he mostly outsmarts Batman at every turn, he finally gives himself up to meet his hero. The Riddler believes he and Batman are cut for the same cloth, which they aren’t. Despite Batman wanting to clean up Gotham, he does not wish to do so by killing people.

In an intense final scene between the two, The Riddler gets set off when he realizes that Bruce Wayne doesn’t understand him. According to Reeves, that scene took a staggering 80 takes. Reeves revealed to The Guardian:

“Paul loves doing a lot of takes, as do I. We took two days on the final scene between him and Robert Pattinson as Batman. We must have easily done 70 or 80 takes. Paul loves exploring. He’s obsessive that way. There were all these moments as the Riddler where he’d be tickled by something and then fly into a rage. You never knew from take to take where that switch would come. I’d be sitting there with the headphones on, trying to stifle my laughter because he’d always do something surprising. Paul would ask me: ‘Was that crazy? Was that too much?’ I’d say: ‘No it’s fantastic. Let’s do another.'”

The scene is quite tense, and it highlights how The Riddler believes his work to be for the benefit of Gotham. He wants to expose the police and politician corruption in the city but is breaking the Caped Crusader’s most sacred rule. Batman cannot kill, even if the people he is chasing down happen to be politicians who take bribes.

The Riddler thinks he and Batman are after the same thing, but he goes off into an emotional tirade when he finds out this is false. It’s truly a fantastic scene, mainly carried by the acting prowess of Paul Dano. Dano wanted to get the insane nature of The Riddler’s pathology down and did so by asking for 80 takes.

The result is a scene that carries the tone of the entire film, showcasing the types of criminals that Bruce Wayne will be facing in Gotham. The Riddler meets The Joker (Barry Keoghan) at the film’s end, which we hope materializes into a team-up in the sequel.

Robert Pattinson as Batman
Credit: DC Studios

Related: Matt Reeves Wants ‘The Batman 2’ to “Push It Farther”

Dano took his portrayal of The Riddler even further by writing a tie-in comic for DC Comics. He revealed he has yet to be contacted to appear in The Batman 2, but we hope that Matt Reeves calls him. He is our favorite version of The Riddler, and the villain is hugely important to the Batman universe.

What do you think of Paul Dano’s scene in The Batman taking 80 takes to film? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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