The DC FanDome had plenty of new trailers and footage but one of the most anticipated films of the event was Matt Reeves’s upcoming take on the infamous Caped Crusader, The Batman. We were lucky enough to get a teaser trailer for the film with plenty to dissect so let’s jump into a shot by shot analysis of The Batman.
No More Lies
The trailer opens on a particularly dark note, providing what will be the tone of the trailer as a whole. As the sound of tape being ripped up is heard and a blood red version of the WB and DC logos is seen, we see a criminal putting some duct tape to morbid use. We hear what sounds like a pained exhale of breath as a man’s face is shown, covered in tape with “No More Lies” written on it. It is unclear whether the man is dead, but if he isn’t he certainly will be soon. Grim, to say the least.
From a Friend
An epic and awesome version of Nirvana’s “Something in The Way” plays throughout the trailer (another sign of that dark, angst-ridden tone that is established in the first shot). The GCPD begin to look into this heinous crime as we hear narration, “From your secret friend,” a voice says. I want to say this is detective James Gordon- Batman’s well-known accomplice in the GCPD- speaking. We then hear someone respond with “Who?”
We get a proper look at Jeffery Wright’s Jim Gordon in the next shot. Wright is a superb actor so I’m looking forward to seeing how he takes on a role that has been played by such a wide variety of actors in the past.
Boots Are Made for Walking
As Gordon (I’m presuming as everyone has the same gruff voice so it is hard to tell who is who) says he has no idea who this “friend could be”, we get our first look at the Bat himself. Oddly enough, it is his shoes we see first. You can see that his boots are noticeably less polished and very, well, normal.
Newspaper clippings with the word “Lies” angrily painted onto is shown with some headlines referencing a character called Don or King Don. This could be suggesting the Gotham’s mayor, Don Mitchell Jr. It may be that Mitchell Jr is the victim from the previous scene. You know the one who was a bit wrapped up. I am so sorry.
Let’s Play a Game…
Gordon reads out a card left specifically for Batman which reads “What does a Liar do when Dead? Haven’t a Clue? Let’s Play A Game, Just Me and You”. This is followed by some cryptic symbols, clearly intended as a puzzle for Batman to solve. Bizarre riddles and convoluted mysteries can only mean one thing in the Batman universe: The Riddler is on the prowl. The Riddler has been confirmed to be played by Paul Dano who I’m guessing will give a more serious performance than Jim Carrey. Gordon shows Batman the card envelope with “To The Batman” written on it whilst asking if it means anything to him.
I Am The Night
This is when we get a proper look at Robert Pattinson in the full Batman attire. The suit is similar, yet unpolished in comparison to some of the outfits from other iterations. As with his boots, they show a lack of finesse and flair that Batman has become synonymous with. Or maybe I’m reading into that boot shot a little too much. What I am trying to say is he looks pretty damn awesome here. Pattinson is definitely worlds away from his sparkly vampire days, easily stepping into the boots of the infamous vigilante. I’m talking about the boots again aren’t I?
Commissioner Pete Savage
We then get a shot of the current Gotham commissioner, Pete Savage, engaged in a press conference. This is likely an attempt to explain the unpleasant death and mysterious calling cards we see beforehand. He looks like the type who is going to be corrupted so I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be a bad guy. Savage is played by Alex Ferns. To all my fellow Brits who watch or have watched the soap opera EastEnders- do any of you remember the character Trevor? The abusive husband who got his head smashed in with an iron? This is the same actor! Definitely a bad guy then.
A little glimpse of Pattinson doing his best Winter Soldier impression. Maybe he is born with it.
Bruce Wayne rides a motorcycle through a cemetery and into the Batcave in the next shot as we hear Andy Serkis’s Alfred note that Bruce is becoming “quite a celebrity”. Again, the Batcave is pretty low tech in comparison to setups from other versions of the character. This could be because he is still young and starting out. He may not have gotten the hang of being The Batman quite yet, which is interesting. We have seen the Batman origin story many, many times. But we haven’t really delved into that awkward starting period for Wayne.
Death at a Funeral
What looks to be a funeral for a person of importance (could it be the aforementioned mayor?) is gate-crashed by a car which comes speeding into the church where it is being held. Bruce saves a child from being hit by said vehicle as it slams into the wall.
He’s Gonna Blow
The car is shown to be graffitied with various symbols akin to the ones from the card earlier. We also see someone strapped up with explosives, holding onto a phone detonator. The man’s mouth is taped shut, so he is clearly a victim of the Riddler. He has another card attached to his chest which reads, “To The Batman”. Another gift for Bruce, it would seem. An interesting fact here is that the picture of the deceased- the one whose funeral Bruce is attending- is that of actor Rupert Penry Jones. He is a relatively well known British actor who was fantastic in the show Whitechapel. Seriously, go watch that show. It’s on Netflix. But this means that Jones may be playing the character who meets their demise to the Riddler as shown at the start of the trailer. Whether he is playing the mayor is yet to be seen but he is certainly set for a grisly end. Sorry about that Rupert.
Forgive me for that terrible pun but I couldn’t resist with this next shot. It is a proper look at Bruce Wayne as just Bruce rather than Batman. Younger and clearly inexperienced, he seems a steely-eyed in the face of mayhem as civilians scatter behind him. Alfred ponders as to why Riddler is writing to Batman in the narration. I have to say, I was unsure of Pattinson’s casting myself. Embarrassingly, I was a Twi-hard back in the day. I was a teenager and so I feel I should be forgiven. I could not imagine Pattinson ever being able to step away from the role so proficiently. Like Harry Potter is to Daniel Radcliffe, Edward Cullen will always be ingrained in people’s memories when you think of Robert Pattinson. Pattinson has given excellent performances in several films since Twilight but this is the big one that really allows him to separate himself from that character and franchise. I was pleasantly surprised by this trailer and Pattinson’s ability to transform himself. I hope he can continue to do so when the film is finally released.
Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle- better known as Catwoman- is shown entering a building through a skylight and cracking open a safe. Kravitz is an actress who seems to have been in some large franchises- Mad Max and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for example- but hasn’t really flourished in a major role as she hasn’t had the chance to. Catwoman is the ideal part for an actress to show her skills with, needing a good degree of energy, physical strength, and acting chops to go along with it. Like Margot Robbie with Harley Quinn, this could be Kravitz’s chance to prove that she could be the face of Catwoman for a new generation. As long as her character is nothing like the Halle Berry 2004 version, I’m happy. Fun fact: Zoe Kravitz actually voiced Catwoman before she played her. She was the voice of Catwoman in a cameo in the Lego Batman movie in 2017. You’re welcome.
The Penguin…wait… Colin Farrell? Is that you??
Colin Farrell was confirmed to be playing Oswald Cobblepot in the film, otherwise known as established villain The Penguin. He is looking a little different in the trailer though (if it even is him). In what could be a hell of a lot of makeup and prosthetics, Farrell is unrecognizable. It is an interesting casting choice so I’m hoping that he brings something different and perhaps a little unique to the part. Danny DeVito, he is not. Although he could definitely pass for Richard Kind.
A group shot of some thugs raises some questions as to whether the Joker will make an appearance in the film. They have white face paint, black eye makeup, red lips, and a creepy smile drawn onto their faces. One appears to have a cross on his head but the similarities to the Joker seem far too close for comfort. If the Joker was to show up, would he be played by Joaquin Phoenix who took on a version of the character in last year’s Oscar-winning Joker? Or would it be a completely new actor?
A creepy voice- possibly Paul Dano’s Riddler- narrates that “If you are Justice, Please do not Lie” as we see what looks like a fight between Batman and some of the GCPD officers. Batman’s relationship with them is always initially rocky at best, finding it difficult to gain their trust due to his work as a vigilante.
The Bat and the Cat
A shootout in the rain is shown before we see Batman and Catwoman throw down. Kyle throws out her usual gymnastics as Batman easily dodges her. Their relationship is best explained as complicated in the comics and every other media form. I suppose love/hate would be the best way to put it.
Big Bada Boom
The narration- possibly from Riddler- continues with a disturbing rhyme, “What is the price, for your blind eye” as Batman is hit with an explosion whilst in an empty room where a funeral was held. Could this be the same funeral as before, a different one entirely or perhaps even a dream sequence of some kind.
Okay, That’s Just Awesome
We go full circle by returning to the guy with the duct tape from the very beginning before we get the best scene in the trailer. One of the Joker style thugs asks Batman, “Who the hell are you supposed to be?” Big mistake. The Batman gives him an insane beat down- complete with some satisfying crunching- as the other goons look on with absolute fear. The Bat responds simply, “I’m Vengeance”. I love it.
The new Batmobile has a simpler look to it. This again mirrors Batman’s simplified and rookie like style. It still looks super cool though as the engine ignites with a blue flame.
Some small snippets of Batman getting shot- and not even wincing thanks to his suit- and grappling up a multiple story staircase is seen as The Penguin joyously declares, “This guys crazy!” The Bat is then shown ominously approaching the Joker like thugs.
The focus of red and black in this trailer is emphasised by the films logo, which is entirely red with only the black of the bat symbol in the middle.
You’re A Part of This
A small clip at the end of the trailer has Riddler telling Bruce that he“is a part of this too”. Bruce asks how he is and the voice merely responds “You’ll see”. When hearing this, I was reminded of certain interpretations of Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father. It is possible that the film could follow the story of Bruce’s corrupt legacy. Some more recent variations of Bruce Wayne’s story suggest that his father was not the charitable man that the world thought he was. Instead, he was corrupt and had dealings with the criminal underworld of Gotham. This could be what is meant when the Riddler insists that Bruce “is a part of this”. Or I could just be reading into it way too much. That’s the fun of these breakdowns!
? 0 ? 1
The trailer ends with an ominous ? 0 ? 1. I assume this is the suggestion of a release date sometime in 2021 but as the Riddler seems to be one of the primary antagonists in this film, it may well have further meanings like the Riddler’s puzzles do.
The COVID 19 pandemic has thrown so much up in the air, especially in the film industry. It is unclear when we will get to see The Batman, but hopefully, we will get more information as we enter the last quarter of 2020. Watch the trailer for yourself below.