Much Ado about Robert ‘Bat’tinson in ‘The Batman’.

The teaser trailer for Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ premiered during the virtual DC FanDome event.

(Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

For a movie that is only 25% complete, Matt Reeves has certainly put together a teaser trailer that is leaving everyone on the edge of their seats wanting more. With Nirvana’s ‘Something in the Way’ echoing melancholically (it is still a Batman movie, after all) in the background, ‘The Batman’ sets itself up as a realistic take on the World’s Greatest Detective solving a series of crimes in Gotham City.

Earlier this year, we were treated to a glimpse of Robert Pattinson’s Batman as well as a tease of how the soundtrack – composed by Michael Giacchino (‘Star Trek’, ‘Jurassic World’) – was going to sound like. The nearly 1-minute red and black clip was received well, with some even comparing the appearance of the Bat-armour to the one from the Batman: Arkham game series. In fact, Pattinson himself had a hand in designing the suit, making sure that it looked like it could be updated/evolved as the legend of Batman grew – this movie is set during Batman’s second year of being a vigilante.

Fast forward to the reveal of the teaser trailer on 22nd August and we got a clearer look at Pattinson’s Batman and Bruce Wayne.

From what we have seen, Pattinson plays Batman as the sleuth he was meant to be, with him appearing at a crime scene with Detective Gordon (played by Jeffrey Wright from HBO’s ‘Westworld’) and doing a bit of watching (spying?) on a bike as an incognito Bruce Wayne.

In one rainy scene, Batman is faced with a bunch of thugs wearing clown paint (the Joker, anyone?) and one of them asks him, “The hell are you supposed to be?” to which Batman beats him up rather viciously and replies with, “I’m vengeance.”

Fans who grew up watching Bruce Timm & Eric Radomski’s ‘Batman: The Animated‘ series would recognise this throwback line to Season 1, Episode 10: ‘Nothing to Fear’.

We are also introduced to a familiar cast of characters… but not as we have seen them before. Behold, the Rogues Gallery – or at least, those who would soon be part of the Rogues Gallery.

The Riddler / Edward Nashton played by Paul Dano.

The last time we saw a live-action version of The Riddler, it was Cory Michael Smith’s portrayal in the ‘Gotham’ tv-series. Before that was Jim Carrey in 1995’s ‘Batman Forever’. This time around, Paul Dano’s version of The Riddler seems to be a mix between the two, but bordering towards the sinister. From the DC FanDome reveal, Matt Reeves has mentioned that The Riddler would be the main villain, taking Batman on a trip around Gotham trying to solve his murders via his usual modus operandi of riddles. Costume-wise, this Riddler favours a more militia look, with comic book artist Nick Derington noticing that he seems to be wearing military surplus.

Catwoman / Selina Kyle played by Zoë Kravitz.

Our favourite cat burglar has appeared in numerous live-action iterations, with versions played by the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer (‘Batman Returns’), Anne Hathaway (‘The Dark Knight Rises’), Eartha Kitt (1966’s ‘Batman’), and both Camren Bicondova and Lili Simmons in the ‘Gotham’ tv-series.

While these actors – except for Bicondova who played Selina during her foundation years – portrayed a Catwoman in her prime, Zoë Kravitz’s version seems to not have reached there yet. In fact, in the teaser, we see her decked up not in her signature catsuit, but rather a leather jacket and a balaclava-esque mask. What I loved most about the balaclava was that it had pointy tips, essentially giving her the silhouette of having cat ears.

Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin played by Colin Farrell

Danny DeVito’s Penguin in ‘Batman Returns‘ was very stylised, much like the movie he appeared in (courtesy of Tim Burton, of course). This Penguin, however, seems to be much more closer to the one played by Robin Lord Taylor in ‘Gotham’ where he worms his way up to being a mob boss.

“Oz is not yet the kingpin that he’s going to become. He’s The Penguin and in fact, doesn’t like being called The Penguin,” said Reeves during the panel at DC FanDome.

While we got just a glimpse of an unrecognisable Colin Farrell under a pile of prosthetics in the teaser, he exudes a menacing enough aura to make us believe that he will indeed end up being the kingpin he is known to be.

I am excited to see where this is going and it would be interesting to see how Reeves handles converging the stories of characters with such rich history into one storyline yet still keeping things fresh for audiences.

“How all these characters connect was for me one of the challenges but also one of the exciting things about the creation of the story, which is that in going on this urge and compulsion to solve this series of crimes, you touch on all of  these iterations of  the beginnings of these characters. The whole movie is like a snowball rolling. You can just feel the momentum building and building.”

Matt Reeves

‘The Batman’ was scheduled to be released sometime in 2021 but with the recent news that Pattinson himself had tested positive for COVID-19, we can expect delays.

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