More than 12 months after the first teaser was released, Warner Bros. premiered the first official trailer for The Batman starring Robert Pattinson at DC FanDome over the weekend. It's hard to not think this film isn't going to be special with a sublime style, chilling score, and incredible cast backing up the Caped Crusader.
Specifically, Zoë Kravitz and Paul Dano appear to be in a league of their own. Don't get me wrong, R-Batz looks great and has the look of a brooding Batman nailed but we've already had many excellent interpretations of the character in live-action. Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck all brought something different, and while Pattinson no doubt has the acting chops (watch Good Time if you haven't already), it's arguably been done.
Catwoman and The Riddler have so much to play with that we haven't seen on the big screen – the latter especially. Michelle Pfeiffer was arguably the best part of Batman Returns yet is outdated by today's standards, while Anne Hathaway was very hit or miss in The Dark Knight Rises, so the mantle of best Selina Kyle is up for grabs. That's not even addressing the abomination that was 2004's Catwoman flick with Halle Berry (*shudders*).
Kravitz comes across as both calm and threatening while totally in control of the situation, playing the polar opposite to this new Batman that is rash and lashes out. It's one that will hopefully play a major part in the movie, as the few lines shared between the pair come off as electric. It's something that may even play a throughline in a trilogy if we get there.
Then we have Paul Dano's Riddler, a somewhat wacky creation first appearing way back in Detective Comics #140 in 1948. Often played as a bit of a goofball and rarely taken seriously, live-action interpretations have been woeful. Jim Carry's take on the character was fun for kids but never did the character true justice. Cory Michael Smith in Gotham had his moments, though eventually went down the comical route once more losing what potential was there from the start.
We are long overdue for a sadistic, megalomaniac version of Edward Nashton, that sees him trying to one-up Batman at every turn in a desperate attempt to be the superior mind. Many people (including myself) wished we saw what Nolan's Riddler could have been. Thankfully, everything we're seeing from this new trailer looks to answer that question and more.
What really needs to be applauded is the restraint shown by Matt Reeves and WB to not reveal Dano's face. That enigma needs to be kept all the way to opening night because right now, it's working. It's working incredibly well. Imagine if they never show his face in the film? I'd be down for that.
The sound of gaffer tape, the question mark symbol in the coffee, the eerie voiceover. We then get the final words of "what's black and blue and dead all over... you" – proving that this really could be The Riddler we've been waiting decades to see on screen.
The Batman will star Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Jayme Lawson, Andy Serkis and Colin Farrell. It will debut in theatres worldwide from March 4th, 2022.