When you take into account television and film, there are three major universes for DC comic book characters right now. First, there is the Arrowverse. This is the series of shows that air on the CW, highlighted by Arrow and The Flash. Then there is the DCEU, which is the cinematic version that sees Ben Affleck as Batman and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Finally, we have the smallest, as it only contains one show on Fox, Gotham.
Each universe has their own take on several different characters from the pages of the DC comics. Some characters appear in several of these worlds, but portrayed by different actors/actresses. Then there are some characters that appear in one, but not the others.[Kenny]
One of those characters is a classic Batman villain. His name is Edward Nygma, or as many of you may know him as, The Riddler. As of right now, the only live action take on the character is Cory Michael Smith’s take on Gotham.
With such a great character, it would not come as any surprise to see a new version pop up elsewhere at some point in the near future. Given he is a Batman villain, and Bruce Wayne has not yet shown up in the Arrowverse, the most likely spot is on the big screen.
Plenty of fans have been pushing for Neil Patrick Harris to take the role opposite of Ben Affleck’s Batman. And sure, he would probably make a great Riddler. But I have another idea. Matthew Gray Gubler, best known for playing Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds, would be the perfect candidate to play the classic baddie!
Anyone who has seen Criminal Minds knows Reid is all about his big brain. He is always spitting out random facts. He can do the most complicated of calculations like it was three plus three. He also has a way with words, since he knows every word in the dictionary.
So let’s jump back to the character of The Riddler again real quick. Nygma is extremely smart and also obsessive. He tends to have a bit of a charm and wit to him. But he is also a total psychopath. And of course, as the name implies, he is a pretty big fan of riddles and puzzles.
Got all that? Good. Now back to talking about Dr. Reid. In terms of smarts, Gubler has shown he can handle a character like that like no other. He often has the best scenes on Criminal Minds when he just rattles off some insane stat that only Reid would know. On a similar note, Reid also has shown his love for puzzles/riddles countless times on the show.
In addition, Gubler has shown his fair share of wit and charm as Reid. Overall, he is a very geeky and awkward character. But despite this, his interactions with other characters can show how witty he can be. Especially when he would interact with Morgan. And if you don’t believe an actor can be awkward and still pull off charm, then watch a few episodes of Criminal Minds. Gubler will prove that wrong.
That leaves the only question being can he pull off the psychopath and evil side of the character? Well, it just so happens Reid has a little bit of a dark side too. There was a time on the show when Reid dabbled with some drugs. During this time, we saw a much more distant version of the character. He would often lie to his team, and had a much more sheltered outlook.
So with that small snippet of character, I feel confidence that Gubler could go full-on baddie if it was asked of him. If the character of Reid were to ever take a turn to the dark side, he honestly would be just like the Riddler.
Of the two current universes where the character could appear, Gubler would likely be more at home in the Arrowverse, given he is more known for television and not blockbuster films. So if they ever brought Batman to the world of Stephen Amell’s take on Oliver Queen, please let them give Gubler a call.
But with that said, he could certainly hold his own within the DCEU as well. That universe has a much darker overtone than the television world. Gubler knows how to handle that dark tone, as things can get pretty grim on Criminal Minds. So while he may not be the biggest name in the world of movies, he could easily step into the Riddler’s shoes on the big screen.
So what do you think? Do you think Gubler would make a good Edward Nygma? Who would be your pick? Tell us in the comments!