The Batman panel capped off the DC FanDome event, and it was worth the wait. Finally, we’re seeing director Matt Reeves’ fresh take on the events leading up to Bruce Wayne transforming into a masked vigilante. The Robert Pattinson-starring film resides in a different universe than the DCEU, like Todd Phillips’ Joker (which did take a stab at rewriting Batman’s origin story in, uh, a not-so-great way) that starred Joaquin Phoenix in an Oscar-winning role. Will The Batman bring similar accolades for Pattinson? One can only hope. Yet as Matt Reeves stressed during his panel, please don’t think of this as an origin story.
Thank goodness, because we’ve heard that origin story many times already. There was plenty of reason to expect a different version of The Dark Knight than we’ve ever seen previously, and from the vibes of this trailer, that suspicion has been confirmed. And I’m not simply referring to Pattinson’s refusal to get buff like every Batman-playing actor who came before him. As Reeves revealed before the trailer’s release, he mostly wanted this film to feel “grounded,” and it sure feels like we’re seeing that above.
Grounded, violent, and layered as hell? Check, check, and check. We’ve also got the introduction of Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and a peek at Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman and Colin Ferrell as Penguin, along with a brutal beatdown from Pattinson with an effective Batvoice emerging from beneath the cowl: “I’m vengeance.” The use of Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” can only be described as an inspired addition. Also, this smokey eye makeup is unavoidably reminding me of The Crow:
Between the secret-concealing new Batsuit and Fast and Furious-style Batmobile, it’s clear that a massive amount of effort went into making this movie feel grounded and authentic, even as it’s painting outside the comic-book lines. We’ll see how successful the entire project turns out when The Batman arrives on October 1, 2021.