Seeing really is believing. While I already had full confidence in Robert Pattinson as an actor, the trailer for 2021’s “The Batman” has given me full confidence in his version of Bruce Wayne.
While it’s easy to manipulate trailers to make the films they promote seem competent — “Man of Steel” comes to mind — what we got DC FanDome’s “The Batman” trailer is oozing with style and tension. I absolutely love Matt Reeve’s dirty, crime-ridden version of Gotham City so far, and it’s very clear that Pattinson’s take on the caped crusader might have more personality than any other version of the character. The film’s villain is also very clearly The Riddler, and so far, I’m down or it.
“The Batman” follows a young version of the vigilante who hasn’t quite figured out how to be Batman. As such, I suspect we’re probably going to get a film that explores his motivations to be Batman more than any film before it, and the personal demons he has to struggle with. There have been many tales that have alluded to the fact that Batman is constantly riding this line of being no better than the criminals he beats up, and it looks like “The Batman” is going to explore that struggle wonderfully.
Ben Affleck’s version of the character tried to portray that aspect, as “Batman v. Superman” introduced us to a Batman that uses guns and is not afraid to kill, but he came off as cartoonish and nonsensical, mostly because the two films he was in for a considerable amount of time were bad films. And as dark as Batfleck got, you never thought he could be an all-out villain; indeed as moody as all the on-screen Batmans of the past got, they always had a strong moral code they followed and they were always generically good, if not brutal in the ways they sought justice. Most Batmans can’t even kill The Joker, a psychopath who has proven over and over that he’s too dangerous to be kept alive.
Given the imagery in this trailer, I think it’s very clear Pattinson and Reeves are going for a much darker Batman tale than what we’re used to. Whether or not it will link up to 2019’s “Joker” is yet to be seen. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this film will be able to sit comfortably on the shelf next to it.
So far, Battinson gets a vote of confidence from me.