Paul Dano loved exploring the history of Batman.

Paul Dano relished looking into the history of Batman

Paul Dano relished looking into the history of Batman

The 37-year-old actor portrays the villainous serial killer Edward Nashton/Riddler in 'The Batman' and the self-confessed "comic-book nerd" was delighted to delve into the past of the superhero and his various enemies for the forthcoming blockbuster.

Paul told The Times newspaper: "It's almost like each decade gave the next decade permission to happen.

"Comics in the Sixties and Seventies were a real step from the comics of the post-war Fifties in terms of the subject matter that they were dealing with. You think that's it, but then come the Eighties and suddenly you've got people taking comics and graphic novels to a different place.

"And I would similarly Tim Burton did something with Batman that was also sort of groundbreaking, and then Chris (Nolan) did and this is another step."

The movie sees Robert Pattinson makes his debut as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Paul explained that it is a younger, rawer version of the Caped Crusader.

He said: "There's something almost volatile to it. Him understanding who he is and the energy of this thing he's taken on. Not fully formed."

Much of Dano's acting career had been working on smaller projects but he had no concerns about starring in a Batman movie.

Asked if he was nervous about playing the Riddler, he said: "No. I felt so lucky and excited. I remember getting the phone call in the car with my wife (Zoe Kazan) and my dad. No, for me Batman is pretty much as cool as it gets.

"Especially if we're talking, quote, 'big, commercial' films, there's probably not a better opportunity than to go to Gotham."

Responding to critics of the superhero genre such as Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott, 'The Guilty' star said: "I'll be excited for anybody, including those people, to see this movie. It's a real film, for a massive audience."