How The Batman Accidentally Spoiled Riddler's Plot Twist a Month Before Release

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Batman, Riddler

The Batman has finally arrived in theaters and introduced fans to a whole new Gotham universe led by Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne. After receiving rave reviews and a hit box office opening, fans are clearly loving director Matt Reeves' interpretation, which is lucky because this was just the beginning. Recent comments have already indicated plans are beginning for a sequel, while the filmmaker is also crafting multiple spin-off series for HBO Max.

Reeves is currently working on two spin-off projects from the streaming service, one to star Colin Farrell's crime boss Penguin, and what was once a Gotham PD series has now evolved into an Arkham Asylum horror story.

Between the three-hour flick and the spin-offs to come, Warner Bros. appears committed to fleshing out the latest Gotham. But The Batman isn't the only trip into Reeves' world available now, as a prequel novel to the big-screen blockbuster tells the origin of both The Dark Knight and the Riddler.

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Batman.

The Batman Revealed Riddler Twist Before Release

Batman Riddler

The Before the Batman prequel novel to The Batman was released in stores on February 1, (about before the movie's premiere) to tell the origin stories of both Bruce Wayne and the Riddler.

A family-friendly prequel tale of this nature would normally be harmless merchandising. However, Before the Batman finds itself spoiling some of the biggest twists in the mystery surrounding The Riddler.

Much of the murder-mystery plot uncovered throughout the blockbuster involved explaining Riddler's motivations and origin, with his hatred toward the Wayne family and Gotham's elite being a key factor.

Toward the end of The Batman's mystery, the hero uncovered Edward Nashton aka the Riddler grew up in the Wayne Orphanage. Nashton developed a strong hatred toward Bruce Wayne and his family from a young age, blaming them for the tough conditions he endured in the orphanage. Riddler later went on to burn down the building he grew up in years later, a significant development in his villainous career. 

The connection between Riddler and the Wayne family was a major reveal in The Batman's mystery, however, the twist was unfortunately spoiled for those who had already read the prequel book.

Many of these details were already revealed earlier in Before the Batman as it explored Riddler's orphan childhood and detailed his hatred toward the Waynes, so did the book spoil the movie?

Did The Batman's Prequel Novel Spoil the Movie?

The Riddler-Wayne connection was revealed toward the latter end of The Batman's mystery and was a key piece in the ultimate explanation for Riddler's motivations. Since unraveling the enigma of Edward Nashton ended up being so integral to the twists and turns of the plot, there's no denying Before The Batman contained major spoilers for the movie itself.

Warner Bros. and director Matt Reeves presumably had to greenlight what would be included in the prequel novel, meaning they probably didn't consider the origin story to be a major spoiler for the movie. Ultimately, most moviegoers will probably never so much as hear about the existence of Before the Batman, meaning the spoiler-heavy release won't be such a big deal to general audiences.

But in a mystery-centric movie like The Dark Knight's latest outing, discovering the reveals at the same time as the titular hero greatly enhances the experience. For those who have yet to see the movie, the clear choice would be to read the book afterward as opposed to before. While much of the Riddler's prequel tale is contained in the movie, Before the Batman also explores a young Bruce Wayne on his journey to becoming the legendary hero with details not found on the big screen.

Tie-in novels are commonplace in the modern movie industry. Sometimes studios opt for prequels, while others choose to either make a sequel book or to adapt the movie itself. However, rarely does any spoiler-heavy content like this make it to shelves before the big-screen counterpart even makes it into theaters.

With any luck, Warner Bros. will learn its lesson for future releases and be more careful to avoid spoiling its biggest releases so long before the premiere.

The Batman is playing in theaters now, while Before the Batman can be purchased from digital outlets and select retailers.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.