Gotham’s Riddler is “a good guy”

Cory Michael Smith explains how we’ll see the evolution of The Riddler in Gotham

riddler-gothamGotham isn’t lacking in villains, and actor Cory Michael Smith has revealed that his incarnation of The Riddler isn’t one… at least not to start with.

Speaking to KSiteTV (via The Mary Sue), Smith revealed that the focus, villain-wise, will be on the Penguin this season, and gave some details about Edward Nygma’s arc in the show, starting with his job with the Gotham PD.

“We’re all starting at different points in our lives,” he says. “We’re meeting Oswald at a place where he is actively being beaten and slowly turning. This first season’s going to be about the rise of the Penguin. But I’m starting from a place of being with the Gotham City Police Department, being a good guy…. my intentions are completely positive. I’m trying to contribute, and it’s starting from the beginning, that Harvey Bullock is being a little rude, mistreating me… I’m underappreciated; I’m misunderstood, and I don’t understand why people don’t understand me. And that’s where I’m coming from.”

Smith also explains what sets the Riddler apart from his fellow Batman villains and what drew him to the role.

“The lovely thing about the Riddler is he’s not someone that is a sadist; he doesn’t hurt people,” he enthuses. “In the history of all the comics, he’s not someone that’s trying to harm people, necessarily. What he does is he sets up tricks to make people be as smart as him. ‘Prove you’re as smart as me. Figure this out. I’m smarter than you. You don’t understand that. Try to figure this out. If you don’t get it, something terrible is going to happen. I don’t want it to happen, you don’t want it to happen, so figure it out.’ So his whole thing is about being misunderstood, mistreated, underappreciated. He just wants people to understand how smart he is, and that he can contribute.”

Jim Carrey as The Riddler in Batman Forever
Jim Carrey as The Riddler in Batman Forever

It certainly seems like we’ll be seeing a more considered approach to the character than Jim Carrey’s buttock-flexing Riddler will provide some comic relief…until things get dark.

“My role in the first handful of episodes is really going to be setting up my role with the police department, and showing my relationship with Ben McKenzie’s James Gordon and Donal Logue’s Harvey Bullock, and also the police captain, Sarah Essen. Kind of showing my place there, how I’m treated… giving people a taste of the way I interact socially; how it’s a bit awkward and uncomfortable. I add some levity to the episodes; at least I hope I do, I hope I add some humour to them. It’s like a slow introduction. Stuff starts heating up for me, probably at mid-season.”

Gotham begins this autumn on Fox in the US. No UK air date has been announced. You can buy Batman: Year One for £7.69 at Amazon.co.uk and find out more about the comics that inspired the show with new digital magazine Uncanny Comics.