The second annual DC Fandome virtual fan event took place over the weekend, and the highlight is definitely the full trailer for The Batman. Does it look a lot like Christopher Nolan’s Bat-movies? Yes! Is the dark and gritty aesthetic completely worn out? You bet! But The Batman also has a strong undercurrent of comic book fun that harks back to Tim Burton’s take on the character—Colin Farrell is obviously having a ball as the Penguin, in a way that recalls the deliciously campy villains of Burton’s reign. If anything, it looks like The Batman is splitting the difference between Nolan and Burton. Not as silly as Burton, but not as dour as Nolan. I can live with that!
It also looks like a proper detective story, which is something we haven’t really seen from Batman on film. Christian Bale’s Batman engaged in one forensic investigation scene in The Dark Knight, and Ben Affleck’s Batman did a little light breaking and entering to gather evidence, but no Bat-movie has really taken on the mantle of “the world’s greatest detective”. The Batman, though, seems steeped in the detective drama. There’s a brief glimpse of Paul Dano as The Riddler as he is arrested by Gotham City’s worst, and the news is going on about a serial killer livestreaming his kills, and Bruce Wayne has a murder map on his floor, so maybe we’re finally going full Mindhunter with Batman.
We also get to see Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle, and I like everything about it. Nothing will ever top Michelle Pfeiffer licking her hand and making cat noises for pure sexuality on film, but it looks like The Batman is centering Catwoman and Batman’s relationship in a way that is central to both, as it should be. Selina is the most significant woman in Bruce’s life, and those two cannot stay away from each other no matter how toxic it gets. They bring out the best and the worst in one another, and I would love to see that dynamic get to live on film.
As for Robert Pattinson, his back looks pretty ripped in that shirtless shot. No, he didn’t bulk up for Batman, but he looks plenty fit. That’s my whole point about the superhero bodies. Massive muscle gain shouldn’t be mandatory, just as women shouldn’t be expected to whittle their bodies down to nothing to be on screen. Anyway, RBattz is still giving me deep Goth and big weirdo vibes, which I LOVE. I will put up with the obvious similarities to Nolan’s Bat-movies just to see how this performance turns out.