‘The Batman’ promo display challenges fans to break the Riddler’s code

Twenty-six years since his last cinematic appearance, the Riddler will serve as the main villain of The Batman, with Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight facing off against Paul Dano’s Prince of Puzzles in his DC debut. Dano’s much darker take on the classic comic book foe has been a major fixture of the film’s marketing, and this new promotional standee for The Batman highlights the Riddler’s ever-present threat by featuring one of his coded messages.

Images of this new theater display are circulating online. On the base of the standee is a cipher code from the supercriminal, thereby challenging fans to try and work out what it says.

This standee makes use of the same cipher Riddler employs in his coded threats to Batman in the trailers. Fans have been studying those for months, so it didn’t take long before the apparent meaning behind this message was revealed. Twitter user @blurayangel followed up their original post by claiming that the code reads “You are el rata alada.” Or, as translated into English, “You are the winged rat.” The fan didn’t show their working, but that sounds about right.

Writer/director Matt Reeves’ big pitch for The Batman is that it’s a crime thriller take on the franchise which will emphasize Bruce Wayne’s status as the World’s Greatest Detective. This fits with the film’s presentation of the Riddler (real name: Edward Nashton) as a mysterious murderer akin to the Zodiac Killer. Promotional materials containing coded messages like this one are a fun way of reinforcing the detective elements of the movie, allowing audiences the chance to think like Batman themselves.

Joining Pattinson and Dano in The Batman are Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Penguin (ahead of his own spinoff series), Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone. After much delay, it’s finally due to swoop into theaters on March 4, 2022.