The Batman Swings Into Battheatres This Batmarch

The Batman Swings Into Battheatres This Batmarch
The Batmobile. Image: Warner Bros.

Matt Reeves’ long-awaited The Batman is coming. Of the DC slate of superheroes, Batman is at the top of the most loved, so to see the caped crusader return is very welcome, with Robert Pattinson no less.

We absolutely can’t wait to see Batman take on a Zodiac killer-style Riddler in The Batman.

First, some Batrailers

We’ve been burned before getting hyped by a trailer only for the movie to flop, but surely not this time, Robert Pattinson means business. And vengeance. He definitely means vengeance.

In The Batman, Pattinson takes on the dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne.

In October 2021, we got our first real trailer, unveiled during DC Fandom. It gave us more of RPatz, who showed us he has the right amount of broody to pull off Reeves’ gothic vision:

Everything we had seen from The Batman so far had been incredibly dark and over the Christmas break, we were given more of the same. Darker even. The trailer teases violence. Did I mention this version of Batman is dark?

Here’s Warner Bros. belated Christmas present, a trailer featuring Catwoman:

The new trailer is as stuffed with new footage as the proverbial Christmas goose. There’s plenty of Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, plenty of Pattinson’s Batman beating the hell out of people and plenty of Paul Dano’s Riddler implying the Wayne family is responsible for Gotham City’s deepest, darkest secret. We also got a glimpse of the new Batmobile in these trailers, an icon of the Dark Knight.

There’s also this TV spot, which mostly includes footage from the main trailer.

Instead of just doing justice to the legacy left behind most recently by Christian Bale and Ben Affleck, Pattinson might just overlap them. He looks the right man for bringing Reeves’ vision to life.

What to expect from The Batman?

Firstly, expect a monster runtime. The Batman is expected to go two hours and 55 minutes, including eight minutes of closing credits. That’s absolutely massive. For comparison, the Justice League went for two hours and 47 minutes.

The Batman is only set a couple of years after Bruce Wayne has started his career as a vigilante, and it seems like he’s yet to find that work/alter-ego life balance that allows him to masquerade as a socialite and throw people off the track of his secret identity. Perhaps that’s why the Riddler seems to know exactly who Batman really is, and why he seemingly begins his criminal career by leaving gruesome messages for the Dark Knight instead of generically terrorising Gotham City.

What’s really intriguing is that Riddler seems to be positioning himself as an agent of justice by exposing whatever the hell the Wayne family has been keeping hidden — something that Alfred (Andy Serkis) may be well aware of, and has been hiding from Bruce. The other possibility is that Alfred knows something about the night Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered in Crime Alley, something that Bruce doesn’t know — and the idea that Reeves might be shaking up Batman’s oft-told origin story is pretty exciting.

We also get a little more context of Colin Farrell’s Penguin and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman. Kravitz gives her a refreshing sense of ease with just the tiniest bit of camp that offsets Pattinson’s brooding anger perfectly. But Farrell, if you didn’t know it was him, you’d be forgiven for not recognising him. His role in this film is guaranteed to impress you. Andy Serkis, Jeffrey Wright and Paul Dano are also set to make The Batman truly epic. But the trailer hides Dano’s face – speculation is mounting as to why, as obstructing The Riddler’s face feels deliberate. A question mark scar? A disfiguration only the plot could explain?

We got to gaze directly into Pattinson’s heavily-shadowed eyeballs in The Batman trailer released at DC Fandome last year, but until now we’ve not seen much else. If these trailers aren’t enough to get you pumped, we don’t know what will.

Is The Batman an original story?

For the most part, it looks like The Batman is an original story, however it’s most likely inspired by the darker Batman comics of the 90s and the early 00s. Considering the film’s focus on detective work and following the trail of the mysterious Riddler, it’s likely to be mostly like The Long Halloween (however this run of comics featured more villains than just The Riddler). In a lot of ways too, it looks at least partly influenced by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, which are often thought of as the best Batman films.

the batman
Image: Tim Sale and Gregory Wright/DC Comics

Is The Batman linked to the DCEU or its own Batuniverse?

No, The Batman isn’t linked to the DCEU. While the film was originally set to star Ben Affleck, who’d also be the director and be linked to the DCEU, The Batman changed shape along the way to be a part of its own universe. That means it’s not a part of the other DCEU films, like Justice League, Man of Steel or The Suicide Squad. This checks out, considering the tone is noticeably different to other DC films, more similar to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, or Joker, which also exists within its own continuity.

This article has been updated since it was first published and we will continue to make changes as we learn more.

The Batman finally looks like it’s coming to cinemas in Australia on March 3, 2022. While you wait, why not check out all the other sci-fi, horror and fantasy films coming our way in 2022.