One of the most hotly anticipated films coming out in the future is the upcoming The Batman, the new installment of the eponymous franchise starring Twilight legend Robert Battinson--er, sorry, Pattinson--as the hero in question.
Fans will be waiting a while yet, though: The film doesn't come out until October 21, 2021. But that hasn't stopped them from already figuring out a puzzle left by The Riddler in the trailer, which just dropped this past weekend.
In it, The Riddler sends The Batman a card with--you guessed it--a riddle inside, and fans have had a field day cracking the code.
The riddle reads:
"What does a liar do when he's dead?"
The riddle is followed by a series of coded symbols.
In what some see as a nod to the Zodiac Killer, The Riddler, played by Paul Dano, not only uses riddles to confound his pursuer but also his own alphabet to make his killing sprees all the more enigmatic. In the card featured in the trailer, the answer to the riddle is given in this alphabet.
But either The Riddler's riddling game is really bargain-basement, or the film's creators are playing games with us, because one fan had it cracked within hours of the trailer dropping, and several others had it by Sunday.
A fan named Andrew Lane seems to have been first over the finish line.
So hyped for Matt Reeve’s Batman Movie, I decided to solve The Riddler’s code. #TheBatman https://t.co/vsxVxucedv— Andrew Lane (@Andrew Lane)1598151269.0
So what does a liar do when he's dead? Well, as Lane discovered, "He lies still." Clever!
So how did he do it? Lane first assumed that the first word might be "Batman," but when he plugged those letters into the rest of the phrase, he got gibberish. So then he assumed that recurring symbols were either E's or L's--being that E and doubl- L are the most frequently occurring single and consecutive letters in English, respectively--and that turned out to be the right tack. Who knew?
Game designer Mike Selinker also cracked the code, using a similar-but-different method than Lane.
In the new #TheBatmanTrailer, the Riddler leaves a card with the question “What does a liar do when he’s dead?” I c… https://t.co/9XyeuvinHr— Mike Selinker (@Mike Selinker)1598204453.0
Like Lane, Selinker noticed that there were consecutive letters in the cipher. So he set about extrapolating what the double letters might be. A double-L word was the only thing that made sense in the context, and the rest shook out from there.
On Twitter, Lane and Selinker's fellow fans were definitely impressed!
@TheMasterD101 Excellent detective work.— Leonard Dement (@Leonard Dement)1598159335.0
Please read this thread and know that this is exactly the kind of stuff that makes me excited for the Riddler as a… https://t.co/KPMHOJmH7T— Cooper Ebel (@Cooper Ebel)1598220357.0
@TheMasterD101 Did you notice it is also the exact amount of characters for his real name? Edward Nygma Coincidence? I think not lol— Erick Arroyo (@Erick Arroyo)1598155225.0
Just seen someone supposedly solved the riddle from the batman riddler card and it's the "what does a liar do when… https://t.co/7FKyI7xbum— 🦇Blair🦇 (@🦇Blair🦇)1598286039.0
@TheMasterD101 Nice work! Thanks for sharing and congrats. For what it’s worth I thought the first word was “Batman… https://t.co/bI4VRPgexm— Jeff Bradley (@Jeff Bradley)1598370602.0
By codecracking the Riddler's puzzle in the trailer for THE BATMAN, once again, @mikeselinker proves he's the alpha… https://t.co/FEVtguO9RD— Austin Wintory (@Austin Wintory)1598207775.0
Yo, @mattreevesLA! You should totally show some love for @TheMasterD101, who already cracked the code in your first… https://t.co/VBcQ2Ml8L3— Josh Weiss (@Josh Weiss)1598280089.0
@TheMasterD101 I was way off... https://t.co/5DprL7yeTT— Jon-Jon (@Jon-Jon)1598348412.0
But some others couldn't help but laugh at how quickly and easily people cracked the code.
This reminds me of the time I created a secret message presented in Wingdings in a d&d game as a handout to my play… https://t.co/SD1qpMkFKA— wulfansur (@wulfansur)1598280488.0
@PaulTassi @Forbes Not to brag, but I beat him to it. 😁 https://t.co/YtDu0BH7N8— Trentin Quarantino 😷 (@Trentin Quarantino 😷)1598206839.0
Ok, this is amazing...if this guy on Twitter could crack the code this fast off a quick clip from a trailer then ho… https://t.co/V0MzLBkniJ— Tim Clifford (@Tim Clifford)1598285697.0
In addition to Pattinson in the titular role (and, of course, his human counterpart Bruce Wayne), The Batman also stars Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catowman, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.