Hasan Minhaj’s Riddler is coming back to your earbuds.
The comedian-actor made a virtual appearance at Spotify’s Stream On event Wednesday, announcing “The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark,” the next podcast series from Spotify, DC and Warner Bros. under their exclusive multiyear partnership. Minhaj had voiced The Riddler in 2022 hit Spotify podcast “Batman Unburied,” which starred Winston Duke in the title role.
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“Audiences are going to travel back to Gotham City with me in a story that leaves clues, puzzles and shines a spotlight on my personal favorite character, The Riddler,” Minhaj said in the video (watch the clip below).
“The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark,” with a creative team led by filmmaker and comic book writer David S. Goyer (creator and EP of “Batman Unburied”), is slated to premiere on Spotify later in 2023. The series will follow an unexpected adventure from the perspective of one of Gotham’s most cunning super-villains: Edward Nygma, aka The Riddler, who teams up with the Dark Knight to battle a new threat. The series will feature characters from “Batman Unburied,” including Batman, Barbara Gordon and Alfred (for which casting has not yet been confirmed). In the new series, Batman begrudgingly forms an alliance with The Riddler to bring down another super-villain who’s obsessed with cleansing Gotham’s streets of sinners… including the unlikely duo.
Minhaj touted “The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark” as featuring the return of fan-favorite characters from “Batman Unburied,” adding, “But this time, instead of Batman saving The Riddler, Batman needs the Riddler’s help to save the Bat from certain death. And this time — finally! — The Riddler gets the spotlight that he deserves.”
“In a million years, I would have never thought that I’d be included in the canon and the history of Edward Nygma,” said Minhaj, a self-described lifelong fan of DC comics. “You know, dreams do come true.”
In other podcast news at Stream On, Spotify announced a pact with YouTuber Markiplier to produce exclusive video episodes of “Distractible” and “Go! My Favorite Sports Team” for the platform, beginning March 8, 2023; the return of the “Forbidden Fruits” podcast hosted by Julia Fox and Niki Takesh for Season 2, featuring all video episodes, premiering March 17; and a deal for “The Comment Section With Drew Afualo” weekly podcast, which will be moving exclusively to Spotify on April 5.
The company also announced enhancements to its Spotify for Podcasters portal, expanding the availability of Spotify-unique features such as video podcasting and interactive episodes. Down the line, Megaphone, Spotify’s advertising and hosting solution for enterprise publishers, will be integrated into Spotify for Podcasters. The company said it recently signed Netflix and Australia’s Schwartz Media as podcast publisher partners.
“The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark” is the third series under the Spotify, DC and Warner Bros. partnership, following two previous releases: “Batman Unburied” and “Harley Quinn and The Joker: Sound Mind,” starring Christina Ricci as Quinn and Billy Magnussen as The Joker.
“We’re excited to build on the success of ‘Batman Unburied’ and ‘Harley Quinn’ with the next epic installment focusing on The Riddler, the most cunning character in the DC Universe,” Julie McNamara, Spotify’s VP, head of global podcast studios, said in a statement. “We are lucky to have an incredible creative team and cast led by Hasan Minhaj, bringing his wit and verve, in a way that can only be done through an immersive audio experience.”
“Batman Unburied” premiered in May 2022, topping Spotify’s charts in 35 markets across nine language adaptations; the series has been renewed for a second season. On Jan. 31, 2023, “Harley Quinn and The Joker,” binge-dropped all seven episodes, reaching the top of the charts in six markets.
Peter Girardi, EVP of alternative programming for Warner Bros. Animation, commented: “In ‘Batman Unburied,’ Hasan and the entire creative team gave us a dynamic take on The Riddler that begged to be explored further. This new series is an exciting opportunity to do just that as we continue our amazing partnership with Spotify and create some of the most immersive and original DC stories that can be found on any medium.”
Watch Minhaj’s video announcement about “The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark”:
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