The crime-fighting genius billionaire in a bat costume has saved Gotham from the wrath and terrorism of the most notorious supervillains for nearly a century. Batman’s first comic book appearance came in a 1939 Detective Comics issue. Since then, he has risen to become one of the most recognizable heroes across the globe. Hundreds of different interpretations of the character — whether it be in comics, animated shows or live-action shows/movies — made their way into popular culture. Now, the next and newest reincarnation of the character is coming to the big screen with Matt Reeves’s “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson.
Many different actors and directors have taken on the challenge of bringing Batman to life. While many incredible movies feature Batman, there hasn’t quite been a perfect take on the character. Batman serves as one of the most complex heroes of them all. His darkness must be balanced with his light, his brutality must be balanced with his desire for peace, and his instability must be balanced with his keen leadership and confidence. On top of that, the character contains a rich history and defined moral code that is difficult to articulate on the big screen.
The character is particularly serious, with intense and grounded stories that fuel his strengths. However, it’s a bit harder to get the general audience to take a live-action Batman seriously than it is to take an animated or comic book Batman seriously. Every Batman has a distinct flaw when viewed on the big screen, and it leaves fans feeling dissatisfied to some degree. Reeves and Pattinson’s approach to the character gave audiences a surplus of hope and showed early signs of correcting the past mistakes of former Batmen.
With the release of the first official trailer a couple of weeks ago at DC FanDome, the hype for the movie exploded. The setting of “The Batman” is laid out: A crumbling Gotham that teeters on the brink of sanity just needs a push to fall into the depths of chaos. This push, as revealed by the trailer, will come from the infamous character called The Riddler (Paul Dano). While the trailer doesn’t reveal too much about the actual story, it certainly showcases the biggest characters and sets the tone for the film. The Penguin (Colin Farrell), Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), and Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) also make appearances in the fiery trailer. More importantly, Pattinson’s Batman received the spotlight fans waited for since the movie’s announcement. This Batman seems to be separating itself from the others — perhaps this Batman is simply different.
While Michael Keaton portrayed a brilliant Bruce Wayne, the time period and lack of technology prevented the character from being as dark, serious and brooding as he could be. Similarly, Christian Bale’s Batman was beloved for the story he took part in, but many fans thought he fell short of articulating the true fear and seriousness that emanates from the character. Pattinson’s Batman appears to be draped in darkness, fueled by the fire that engulfs Gotham, and cemented in a story as close to reality as possible. The trailer also revealed the ruthless martial arts skills of this Batman, as well as the internal demons that will leave him unstable and troubled. There seems to be a much more psychological take on this adaptation of the character. This is accompanied by a more intense take on the terrifying and uber-powerful aspects of Batman, which left fans foaming out of the mouth for more.
The trailer also showcases Batman’s brilliance in a way that previous films didn’t. Much of the footage revolves around Bruce Wayne obsessing over The Riddler and the problems he causes. Batman, since his origin, has been called the greatest detective of them all. Yet, there is little to no representation of his intelligence in any of the films he’s been in. This adaptation appears to focus on Batman as a genius detective, and that’s something that fans raved over since the release of the trailer. It will be quite compelling to see a rookie, borderline psychotic Batman do anything it takes to figure out The Riddler’s plans. More importantly, it’ll be refreshing to see Batman being a true detective
One of the most important differences between “The Batman” and other versions is the use of his rogues’ gallery. The Batman franchise features some of the most interesting and diverse villains of all time, and there are so many characters they have yet to explore deeply. The Joker, while the most brilliant villain of all time, has been greatly overused in the past few decades. While characters like The Penguin and The Riddler served as villains in Batman movies before, they appeared in an earlier era of superhero movies and seemed more campy than complex. The new movie is said to include a large selection of villains, and this will perhaps be its greatest asset in differentiating itself from the rest. It will be to all the fans’ delight to see an ultra-serious take on characters like The Riddler and Catwoman.
“The Batman” is set to release in March 2022, and fans are counting down the seconds. The trailer certainly sparked the hype and showed a glimpse into the brilliant darkness fans all hope this movie will be. Pattinson in the role of The Caped Crusader left people slightly concerned, but for whatever this author’s opinion is worth, this new Batman will be the greatest representation of the character yet. Just check out the trailer — you may be there on opening night.