With “The Batman,” director Matt Reeves promises a Dark Knight movie like fans have never seen before, with a detective story and cop thriller that puts Robert Pattinson’s masked vigilante through his paces with a murder mystery and offers origin stories for his iconic rogues gallery.
At the virtual DC FanDome event Saturday, Reeves premiered the first teaser trailer for the anticipated superhero movie (in theaters Oct. 1, 2021) that finds Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, in the second year on the job fighting crime in Gotham City. Wearing the gritty 1970s influence of “Taxi Driver,” “Chinatown” and “The French Connection,” the film puts DC Comics’ iconic hero at the center of a series of killings calling him out specifically in a narrative that unearths corruption in the city’s inner workings and how it might involve Bruce’s family.
Batman tussles with cat burglar Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz) and also takes on a gang of goons ready to throw down. When they ask him, “Who are you supposed to be?” the Caped Crusader viciously pummels a guy but instead of saying the usual “I’m Batman,” Pattinson’s hero instead utters, “I am vengeance.”
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“For me, what’s really important about this iteration is a lot of the other stories are about how he had to master his fear and master himself in order to become Batman. In that Batman state, he’s sort of in his best self,” Reeves said. “What’s exciting was not doing that. Not doing the origin, not doing what we’d seen done beautifully in other movies. But instead, to meet him in the middle of this criminological experiment, to see him in the becoming of Batman and see him grow and fail and be heroic – do all of the things that we associate with Batman but in a way that felt very human and very flawed.”
COVID-19 shut U.K. production of “The Batman” down, but “I’m very anxious to get back to work and continue to form this beloved character,” Pattinson added. ‘I’ve always been a massive fan.”
The cast also includes Jeffrey Wright as Gotham P.D. commissioner James Gordon, Andy Serkis as Batman’s faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot (Reeves remarked he “doesn’t want to be called the Penguin”) and Paul Dano as a very creepy masked Riddler. “It’s a version of the Riddler no one’s ever seen before,” Reeves said. “What he is doing is going to blow people’s minds.”