Paul Dano Says His The Batman Script Had a Tracking Device

Paul Dano says The Batman production was so secretive that his script for the Matt Reeves film had a tracking device attached to it.

Dano was a highly respected actor before The Batman, but best known for arthouse films and Oscar-calibre fare like There Will Be Blood. He had never taken part in a blockbuster-scale production before Reeves tapped him to play The Riddler in his new take on The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight.

Also Read: To Understand Matt Reeves and The Batman, Look to the 1970s

“When it was said I was going to do that part, I never received that many texts, phone calls, emails,” Dano says in a new interview with GQ. He was given plenty of production materials, and told, “Don’t lose this. Put it in your ‘special binder,” he recalled. He noted that he had seen several methods of keeping secret materials from being stolen or lost: “But this was the first time I had a binder with a locking code on it. Then they added a tracking device.”

In a MovieMaker cover story earlier this year, Matt Reeves detailed his influences for every stage of The Batman — how The Godfather influenced Colin Farrell’s role as The Penguin, how Klute influenced the dynamic between Batman (Pattinson) and Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), and how The Zodiac Killer influenced The Riddler: “The premise of the movie is that the Riddler is kind of molded in an almost Zodiac Killer sort of mode, and is killing very prominent figures in Gotham, and they are the pillars of society. These are supposedly legitimate figures. It begins with the mayor, and then it escalates from there,” Reeves explained.

So The Batman isn’t exactly a typical superhero movie. But it’s scope is still such that Dano, who is now writing a Riddler comic for DC Comics, likely wouldn’t have done it a few years ago.

“I would have been less ready to do a film like The Batman when I was 25,” says Dano, who is 38 now. “I think I would really have had a hard time doing all the press and getting recognized. And I can handle that now. The biggest difference now is that I want it more clearly, frankly. Like: I want to be an artist, and I want to be an actor, I want to be a director, I really want to make my next film. And, um, I guess I want to be a comic book writer?”

Main image: Paul Dano as The Riddler in The Batman.