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Sometimes big-screen villains go out of their way to give real-life brand names a bad rap — or, in the case of the Riddler — a bad wrap. Where most people use household cling wrap to keep food fresh, Paul Dano’s demented killer in The Batman has a thing for swaddling his head in layers of the sticky stuff.
But, as Dano jokingly explained during a recent talk show interview, that’s probably not the greatest endorsement for the brand whose name seems synonymous with the Riddler’s go-to outfit accessory.
Speaking with Late Night host Seth Meyers, Dano said he’s trying to stifle his tendency to refer to plastic wrap as “Saran Wrap” after reflecting on how a big-screen lunatic in a crazy suit probably doesn’t make for the best product placement. “They actually don’t want me talking about Saran Wrap, Seth,” he teased. “I think I have to say ‘cling wrap.’”
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Dano’s riffing, of course, on people’s tendency to call a generic product by the brand name they associate with it. From Jell-O to Coke to Kleenex and more, some brands just have the built-in luxury of rolling off everyone’s tongue — even if the cola can in their hand says ‘Pepsi.’ And while they say no publicity is bad publicity, they probably haven’t seen Dano’s Riddler find criminally creative ways to give plastic wrap a whole new meaning in The Batman.
Dano also shared some insight into his preparation for the role, and it’ll do him no favors if he’s testing the waters for product tie-ins with the Riddler. Reading books about the infamous 1960s Zodiac Killer (on which his Riddler is partly based) was part of his prep regimen — though he admitted he was careful to shield his family from such gritty, real-life crime material. “…[E]specially now that I am a parent — a lot of the research I did for this was during the daytime at coffee shops because I just did not want those books next to my bed,” he said.
Of course, Dano’s Riddler costume is primed to be among the newest wave of cosplay favorites, which kind of makes us feel compelled to issue one big “duh!” of a PSA: If your cosplay plans involve dressing up like The Batman’s clue-carrying serial killer, don’t wrap your head in plastic (or anything else) that obstructs your face’s vital breathing parts. Besides, Dano’s already on record saying the sweat situation under there is murder.