If you’ve watched even a handful of comic book movies, then you’ll have gathered by now that the vast majority of heroes are pretty terrible when it comes to keeping their identities a secret. Obviously, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers weren’t exactly going incognito, but not everyone seems to be as good at concealing their alter-ego as Superman, who throws on a pair of glasses, styles his hair ever so slightly differently and becomes unrecognizable.
Spider-Man: Far From Home ended with Peter Parker being named as the man behind the mask, while nearly every single live-action Batman movie that’s ever been made sees at least one character figure out that eccentric and reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne moonlights as a costumed crime-fighter. Matt Reeves’ The Batman franchise will no doubt have several of the supporting players eventually figure out that Gotham City’s favorite son is hiding a big secret, and the recent trailer makes it look like the honor could fall to Paul Dano’s Riddler in the first installment.
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Obviously, the puzzle-happy villain has always been regarded for his genius-level intellect, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he’s managed to join the dots and figure out that Bruce Wayne and the Dark Knight are one of the same. If Jim Carrey’s Riddler could figure it out and still have the time to dial his overacting up to eleven and chew the scenery, then Dano’s more grounded and combat-ready version should have no problem at all.
As ScreenRant explains:
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment after the logo appears, the end of The Batman’s first trailer shows Bruce Wayne in his new version of the Batcave, presumably after completing some sort of mission. As he removes his helmet, one of the screen displays in front of him seems to be showing a picture of himself on it, which then fades to a message that leaves Batman looking particularly pensive. Could this be The Riddler sending another message to his “secret friend”? The audio over the top that has someone (presumably Dano’s Riddler) telling Batman that he is “part of this” too is clearly from another scene, but the trailer is subtly leaning into the hint that Riddler knows Bruce Wayne is under the cowl. Quite how he’s found out will have to wait until The Batman comes out in 2021.
The voice-over heard during the trailer indicated that while the Riddler and the Caped Crusader both seem to be targeting Gotham’s rampant corruption, they’re going about it in entirely different ways, and if Edward Nashton does indeed figure out Bruce’s dirty secret, then the mind games between the two will only intensify as The Batman‘s story progresses.