The Batman Is Certainly Putting the Dark in Dark Knight

The Batman Is Certainly Putting the Dark in Dark Knight
Image: Warner Bros.

The Batman swings into batheatres this batmarch, and as we prepare for this batdark as hell Matt Reeves flick, it’s only appropriate to run through all of the batrailers – OK, ill stop that. You want a trailer for The Batman? We got plenty.

Forget just one trailer, we’ve got a total of four trailers and teasers ahead of next month’s release of The Batman and they all promise darkness. But first, a bit of context.

The Batman movie

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.

For the most part, it looks like The Batman is an original story in this movie, 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. If you want a bit of insight into the villains in The Batman movie, we’ve got you covered.

Not just one The Batman trailer

There’s a few, let’s walk through them.

The Batman – DC FanDome teaser trailer

On August 23, 2020, Warner Bros. dropped a teaser trailer during DC FanDome.

Reeves stunned us all with this first look at Robert Pattinson in action as the latest Dark Knight in The Batman. It didn’t just give us a good look at RPatz though: it was our first, proper look into the latest cinematic incarnation of Gotham City, and its many mysterious rogues.

The trailer opens, as most nights in Gotham City do, with some murder. A masked man is busy bandaging up a corpse with duct tape. Also a very Gotham City thing to do.

This appears to be our very first glimpse at The Batman’s main antagonist: Paul Dano as Edward Nigma (or sometimes Edward Nashton, depending on the take), better known to comics fans as the Riddler. Although the green coat is evocative of Eddie’s chosen colour palette in DC’s comics, this was quite unlike any other interpretation we’ve seen of the character in live-action Batman material before.

We break down the first teaser in further detail over here, but we’ve learned a lot more since, so let’s move onto the next The Batman trailer.

The Batman – main trailer

A year later, Warner Bros. used DC FanDome 2021 to drop a bombshell on us – OK not so much a bombshell, more an epic trailer that told us all we need to know about The Batman, at least where the tone of the movie was concerned.

This trailer, if nothing else, told us Pattinson has the right amount of broody to pull off Reeves’ gothic vision.

So what did we learn?

The main trailer gave us a bit more of Bruce’s rain-soaked beatdown with some clown-makeup-clad goons, and a much more fiery look at his pursuit of Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), and new angles of action like the funeral car-crash. But there’s also a lot more focus on characters we only glimpsed in that first tease, especially Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle.

Contrasting all the anger Bruce gets to unleash, we’ve got some moments of intimacy between him and Selina as she attempts to probe what kind of man sits behind the Batman’s angry mask. Additionally, we get proper good glimpses of Paul Dano as the Riddler (and his penchant for question marks in the silliest of places), Andy Serkis as Alfred, and even a few more good looks at Jeffrey Wright’s Commissioner Gordon, too. But for all our glimpses, above all the focus here is on that aforementioned explosive anger, as Bruce turns his new persona as the Dark Knight into a petrifying unstoppable force — whether it’s a spray of bullets (or six) or attempts to turn his new ride into scrap. Nothing, it seems, is going to stop this Batman… other than perhaps his own fury.

The Batman – The Bat and The Cat trailer

This was a tasty Christmas feast from WB, it was as stuffed with new footage as the proverbial Christmas goose.

There’s plenty of Kravitz’s Catwoman, plenty of RPatz doing his Batman things, like beating the hell out of people, and plenty of Dano’s Riddler implying the Wayne family is responsible for Gotham City’s deepest, darkest secret.

This latest trailer was also definitely the most we’ve seen of Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and Kravitz gives her a refreshing sense of ease with just the tiniest bit of camp that offsets Pattinson’s brooding anger perfectly. My only qualm is her… mask? If that’s what we’re calling it? It looks bananas. But I can easily get over it since her nickname for Batman seems to be “Vengeance,” which I have to assume is because he angrily introduces himself to her or other criminals by screaming “I AM VENGEANCE!” at them at some point, after which Catwoman makes fun of him mercilessly. If I am wrong, this is still my head-canon.

The funeral scene

Last month, Warner Bros. had the audacity to drop a scene from The Batman in another trailer, known as ‘The Funeral Scene”. But it was strange. WB somewhat mysteriously decided to turn a large, almost three-minute preview of the movie into one of those ads that roll before the video you want to see. Randomly placing it in front of YouTube videos is an odd place to stick new The Batman footage when there would be literally millions clicking on it if it were just a normal video — but it’s even odder that they chose this particular clip. Here it is.

It begins at a packed funeral inside a church, which context clues indicate is for a cop that the Riddler killed. Mayoral candidate Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson) talks to a stone-faced, silent RPatz/Bruce. Bruce stares at the fallen cop’s son, then overhears Lieutenant Gordon/Wright talking about how another police officer has gone missing. Then, there are 25 seconds of people mysteriously screaming outside the church until a car bursts through the church doors, graphically hitting some people before crashing to a stop at the far end. As cops surround the car with their weapons drawn, a figure eventually emerges — it’s the missing police officer, who has a phone taped to his hand, a bomb around his neck, and a sign that says “To the Batman” on his chest.

It’s a bleak scene, and again, an odd choice to promote The Batman given that it doesn’t have… well, Batman in it (in costume, you know what we mean).

What else should you know?

Firstly, expect a monster runtimeThe Batman movie 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.

That’s about it, really. God I hope this is as good as it looks.

The Batman is finally hitting cinemas in Australia on March 3, 2022.

This article has been updated since it was first batpublished and was contributed to by Gizmodo writers Rob Bricken and James Whitbrook