Well, it was worth waiting for. DC FanDome’s closing panel was for The Batman, and it turns out they’d saved the best for last. If this isn’t the trailer of the year, we’ll eat our cape and cowl.
The first thrilling footage from Matt Reeves’ movie looks absolutely astonishing. Over the sounds of a chilling version of Nirvana’s sombre ‘Something In The Way’, we get a Gotham that looks like it combines Chris Nolan’s realism with Tim Burton’s epic scale, creating a world that feels familiar and fresh at once.
You can watch the trailer below
Forget ‘I’m Batman,’ there’s a new catchphrase in town: ‘I’m vengeance,’ when Robert Pattinson lays down a brutal beating to a face-painted thug, who looks like he could be inspired by Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker.
That’s probably too much to hope for, but Matt Reeves’ take on the mythology showcased in this trailer doesn’t feel a million miles away from Todd Phillips’ grim universe.
And Reeves revealed The Batman actually shares cinematic influence with Joker, when he discussed the films that had an impact on his take. “A movie like Taxi Driver, a description of a place very much getting inside someone’s head. ‘70s, street-grounded stories.”
There’s also a David Fincher feel to the footage, something Twitter cineastes have been quick to pick up on.
Seven could actually be a great comparison for Reeves’ film, because this is a brutal Batman, and a scary one. “Because it’s still early, and because he is a vigilante, which means he takes the law into his own hands,” Reeves said.
“If you were in a city and there was a guy who dressed up as a bat, and showed up out of the shadows, and sometimes confronted those people and beat them up because he felt what they were doing was wrong, so he could put the fear of god into them about the crimes that they were committing, I think we would think ‘That guy sounds a little dangerous.’”
“He’s not the version of the character he becomes, where he’s this symbol of hope for the city. He’s early in the trajectory, so they’re afraid of him, frankly.”
Anyone who doubted Robert Pattinson’s casting as Bruce must be feeling like a bit of a clown right now, and Reeves launched into a passionate defence of his leading man.
“The thing about Robert Pattinson is that he’s an incredible actor. I feel like the work that he’s done in the last six years has been incredible. A friend of mine made a movie called The Lost City Of Z and Rob appeared in that movie, and I was like ‘Who is that guy?’ He had such charisma and Rob has this incredible beard, you’re like ‘Who is that?’ And it’s Rob. Rob in The Rover, Rob in Good Time - he’s like a chameleon. He’s such a gifted actor.”
“And he also happens to be a tremendous, passionate fan of Batman, the way I am. So it was an incredible thing to be able to connect with him, and share excitement about the character. He looks like Batman, but importantly he has the soul of someone who can play Batman like you’ve never seen before.”
But you can’t make a great Bat-movie without great villains, and there are plenty of those on display in the new trailer. Whether it’s The Riddler’s scrawled clues (and teasing voiceover? Though that doesn’t sound like Paul Dano...) or Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman (in cool cat burglar get-up) there’s lots of ghouls to get giddy about in the new footage. And Matt Reeves was happy to discuss his new rogues gallery.
“Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no-one has ever seen before. It’s really exciting. He’s such an incredibly creative actor, so what he’s doing is going to blow people’s minds. Then to have Zoë Kravitz… Her iteration of Selina Kyle, that’s incredibly exciting to me. You have an iteration you’ve never seen, but it touches on all these iconic things that people know from the comics. It’s about trying to square what you know, with what is new, and that is part of the exciting process of making a Batman movie.”
“The thing about the rogues gallery is that, in a weird way, this is the origin of a lot of our rogues gallery characters. Selina isn’t Catwoman yet, that’s actually part of the journey. Os isn’t the kingpin he’s going to become, he’s not the Penguin, in fact he doesn’t like being called the Penguin. And the Riddler is just emerging for the first time, so that’s all incredibly exciting.”
Incredibly exciting is the way we’d describe it too, Matt! The Batman will be in cinemas on 25 June 2021. We’re already queuing.