Aside from The Joker, The Riddler is perhaps one of Batman's most iconic villains. Over the years, he's evolved from a slightly ridiculous, pathetic supervillain to a demented, obsessive-compulsive psychopath almost on a par with The Joker.
However, when it comes to screen time, he hasn't been so lucky. With just a handful of episodes in the original 1966 Batman TV show and a mediocre portrayal by Jim Carrey in Batman Forever, the only time Edward Nygma has been able to shine has been in the first season of Gotham. However, even this portrayal, no matter how enticing, is far from accurate to the character from the comics.
With three solo Batman movies pencilled into the DCEU slate, the chance for The Riddler to strike fear into Gotham City is once again alive. While Jason Todd is rumored to be taking on the role of main villain in the first of these (although with Jason Todd anything appears to be possible), The Riddler would definitely feel right at home in this new, darker version of Gotham.
But who could play him? As Jim Carrey made clear, the actor behind the role can make or break a character, and so I've decided to list the five actors that could definitely pull off the character.
5. David Tennant
Opening the list with the most obvious choice, David Tennant was considered by many to be the perfect actor for the role before Marvel went and scooped him up for Jessica Jones next year.
Regardless of his allegiance, Tennant would still be a perfect fit for The Riddler, having played both sides of the character already. As The Doctor, Tennant kept his cool as the quick thinking genius that makes The Riddler so compelling. As Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he made his psychotic side clear, becoming a seething monster that cackled at the thought of mass murder.
The Riddler can be a misleading character, appearing weak and insane to all that see him, when in reality he has the potential to bring down Gotham on his own. David Tennant would have embodied him perfectly.
It's just a shame Marvel got there first.
4. Crispin Glover
In the same way David Tennant could master the genius and madman aspects of The Riddler, Crispin Glover could just as easily take on the weak, unassuming side and the malicious, evil persona.
In his breakout role as George McFly in Back To The Future, Glover spent the majority of the film pathetically trying and failing to stand up for himself. This would translate perfectly into The Riddler, with his cover usually resorting to him pretending to be a useless fool who couldn't possibly commit a crime.
Likewise, Glover's almost creepy role in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland showed off the actor's potential as a villain. Glover's character was offputting, unlikeable and paralleled The Riddler in several ways. If Glover could just combine both roles together, we'd have ourselves a perfect Riddler.
3. Matthew McConaughey
If this list had been made five years ago, the chances of pretty boy McConaughey making the list were next to zero. However, with his recent portrayals in Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective, Matthew McConaughey has definitely managed to prove his worth as an actor and is a top contender for the role of The Riddler.
However, McConaughey earns his spot on the list not just from his dramatic performances but also his ability to act like a complete and utter scumbag, shown from his role in Magic Mike and numerous romantic comedies from the early 2000s. On top of the evil and all that, The Riddler is, by all accounts, an arrogant dick that likes to let everyone know that he holds all the cards. If anyone can master that, it's McConaughey.
What's this? Two Doctors on the same list? Preposterous!
Actually, when you stop and think about it, casting Matt Smith as The Riddler makes perfect sense. The 11th Doctor was full of quips and one liners, much like The Riddler, but also hid a fierce, darker side that contrasts heavily with his usually mild mannered personality.
While characters like The Joker are constantly in a state of insanity, The Riddler joins the ranks of The Mad Hatter and Two-Face, where rather than being a full time crazy, he's prone to sporadic outbursts. Matt Smith, with his ability to swap between calm and crazy at the drop of a hat, would be the best actor for the job in this case, containing every aspect of the supervillain into one role.
You may not have heard of Noah Taylor by name, but you'd definitely recognize him from his varied acting portfolio. From Tomb Raider to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Game of Thrones, Taylor has certainly proved himself as a varied actor and also has the perfect mix of abilities to successfully pull off The Riddler.
In his breakout role, Shine, Taylor's character, David, spent a large portion of the film being tormented to the point of being sent to a psychiatric institution. The broken spirit of his character imprints perfectly into that of a crazed supervillain like The Riddler.
Additionally, Taylor portrayed the sadistic Locke in seasons 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones, which saw him murder dozens of characters and sentence Brienne to a battle against a giant bear purely for his own enjoyment.
Also he played Hitler. If that doesn't convince you then nothing will.