DC FanDome – The Batman Trailer

Matt Reeves debuts the much anticipated first look at The Batman at DC FanDome with a trailer that highlights this new Dark Knight.

Today it was confirmed that The Batman would not take place in the DCEU but would be in its own separate universe, allowing Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson to craft a unique vision of the Dark Knight not tied up into any continuity. This is being called ‘Batman Year Two’ so this is a Batman that has been operating for a while. Now fans get a look at what this Gotham City, this Batman, and his rogue’s gallery look like.

Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves were at DC FanDome and showcased the first trailer for the film. They highlighted how the film is a mystery story that will delve into a mass conspiracy of corruption that may ask Bruce Wayne to confront his own family’s legacy in Gotham City.

Many wondered if we would get a full trailer since production on The Batman had to shut down, so it was never quite clear how much of the film was finished. Reeves said they only shot 25 percent of the movie. It will be moving the last part of the production from the streets of Liverpool to studio backlots and sets later this year. The trailer hints at the villains, highlights the tone, and further sets up this Batman down to the suit and fighting style.

Reeves says this is very much an origin story for many of the villains. While they are operating they still haven’t quite fully become their iconic takes. This is Riddler’s first appearance, Selina Kyle is growing into becoming the more classic Catwoman, and Oswald Cobblepott isn’t quite the Penguin yet. Riddler appears to be the main antagonist of the film, with his riddles challenging Batman and allowing the filmmaker to tell a detective story. Riddler seems to be less a sharp dressed antagonist or even the wild personality of his previous live-action incarnations, with this one appearing more like a shadowy Zodiac killer figure. We also get a glimpse of Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle as Catwoman, which seems like it is drawing inspiration from the 90’s Catwoman with the look of her mask and simple jumpsuit.

Matt Reeves cites Chinatown, French Connection, Taxi Driver, and many other 70’s crime films as inspiration for how he wanted this Batman movie to play. The film’s October release date now works to the film’s advantage, as it appears to be drawing influence from film noir as well as thriller films like Se7en, Prisoners, and even a little of Saw. Combine that with the dark nature of Batman, Catwoman, and Riddler this could play as a big event movie for the Halloween season, which worked very well in Joker‘s favor in October 2019.

We get a glimpse of how violent and ruthless this Batman is, very much a quick bare-knuckle boxer with a multi-layered style that gives his suit a popped collar look. We get to hear Pattinson speak as Batman and see his Batmobile in action. The trailer also acknowledges a long-running joke many fans have had about the Batman character in a live-action film. For his suit to work, he would have to wear eye-liner underneath the mask. All previous incarnations have the make-up gone when he takes off the mask, but this film keeps it to further establish this take on Batman being slightly more down to earth than previous incarnations.

Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne is also glimpsed in the trailer, and he is less the slick businessman of Christian Bale, the chiseled ‘Just For Men’ fashion style Ben Affleck, or even turtle neck wearing Michael Keaton. Pattinson’s Batman seems to be a darker more moody Bruce Wayne, which some on the internet have already dubbed emo Bruce Wayne.

Reeves also touched on that upcoming Gotham P.D. television show that is being developed on HBO Max, which will see the story of Batman’s first year of operation but through the eyes of corrupt cops.

The trailer was a strong way to end the DC FanDome Event, and a perfect bookend for what started with Wonder Woman 1984. That is a much brighter colorful hopeful adventure taking place in the DCEU that will move the main franchise forward, while the event ended with a look at a much darker tale and a radically different look of a popular hero that will stand on its own. It further underlines the overall theme of the event: all these vast corners of the DC Universe in various forms of adaptations matter. There is something for everyone, with so many different styles and numerous stories to tell. These characters can survive and despite being 80 years old, there is no shortage of stories to tell with these characters.