Warner Bros.’ virtual fan experience DC FanDome kicked off yesterday, providing audiences worldwide with their first looks at some of the most anticipated movies, TV shows, and video games in pop culture.
DC FanDome, which lasts 24 hours, has been dropping a steady stream of sizzling news about anything and everything related to DC Comics. Since yesterday, news dropped about Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated sequels, Wonder Woman 1984, and The Suicide Squad, as well as the next installments in Rocksteady’s beloved Arkham series video games Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights.
Each of these announcements is big enough to dominate the headlines on any given news day. And having them all drop over 24-hours has triggered a wave of nerdgasms across the internet. None of these major stories dominating our news feeds have generated more buzz than the teaser trailer for Matt Reeves’ upcoming movie, The Batman.
Reeves’ version of the character exists about a year and a half into Batman’s crime-fighting career. This young Batman is figuring things out, so he still hasn’t grown into the terrifying bad-ass we all know and love. That’s a great jumping-off point for a new Batman franchise because, let’s be real, we don’t need to see Martha get her pearls snatched in Crime Alley for the hundredth time?
The Batman trailer:
There are about a million reasons to be excited for this movie, even if you’re not a Batman die-hard like me. So let me list a few.
A Whole New World
Batman is one of pop culture’s most iconic characters. And over the past 80 years, hundreds of talented writers, artists, and filmmakers have put their own spin on the character. No two versions of Bruce Wayne and Batman are entirely the same, especially in film adaptations.
We’ve seen four live-action versions of Batman in the past eight years; The Dark Knight Rises’ broken hero, Batman v Superman’s jaded killer, and Gotham’s wet behind the ears cowl baby Batman. A new Batman movie means a new opportunity for a filmmaker to hit the reset button and deliver something we’ve never seen.
Out of all the filmmakers working today, Matt Reeves is the perfect pick.
Matt Reeves is one of the most intriguing directors working today. In the past decade, Reeves adapted one of the best horror movies of the 21st century, Let the Right One In – a film that’s so good that it doesn’t need an adaptation – and crafted it into his own horror classic. Let Me In pulls off the difficult feat of both honouring the original film and standing on its own.
Reeves also has a gift for spectacle. 2008’s His monster flick, Cloverfield merges the found footage format with a Kaiju movie, which is a sight to behold. Reeves also directed the last two films in the Planet of the Apes series. Reeves’ Ape films are excellent action-thrillers featuring rich characters, white-knuckle action sequences, and ground-breaking special effects. What’s most impressive is how Reeves weaves such compelling characters and complex emotional themes into blockbuster action movies about talking apes.
Reeves is a gifted genre filmmaker with arthouse sensibilities. He wants to blow your mind, for sure, but he also wants to challenge it. I’m fascinated by the thought of Reeves examining the fractured psyches of the heroes and villains in Batman’s universe.
One of the most exciting things about a new Batman series is the dream-casting that comes with it. Batman has one of the best casts of characters in all comics, and who hasn’t spent time thinking about the perfect actor to play the Joker (my pick is Elisabeth Moss).
The Batman features a top-notch cast, starting with Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Pattinson still takes plenty of flack for his star-making role as a glittery vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight series. But if you’ve paid attention to his career, he’s gone out of his way to avoid being typecast as a teen-heartthrob.
Pattinson now has a host of gritty roles on his acting resume. If you doubt he’s the right choice, I suggest checking out his turn as a first-class douchebag in the Safdie brothers’ crime flick, Good Time. Pattinson knows how to disappear into a role, the perfect skillset for any actor playing Bruce Wayne.
This film certainly isn’t lacking star power. You may not recognize him in the trailer, but Colin Farrell shows up as Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin. Also showing up to give Batman a hard time are The Riddler (Paul Dano) and Catwoman (Selina Kyle). As though this cast wasn’t already too good to be true, the movie stars Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, and Reeves’ muse, Andy Serkis, as Alfred.
The Biggest Riddle
The thing I’m most curious about is The Batman’s style and tone. The teaser trailer feels more in line with David Fincher’s classic crime-thriller, Se7en, than Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I’m all down for a pulpy and violent noir-style version of the Caped Crusader (Reeves mentions Chinatown as an inspiration). My issue is I like my Batman in a fantastic, comic book-y world. I want him to exist in the same universe as weirdos like Clayface, Solomon Grundy, and Killer Croc.
I don’t mind if The Batman looks like Christopher Nolan’s grounded Dark Knight series, but I wan’t the tone to be in a heightened reality where Manbat stalks the night skies, and Raʼs al Ghul is hundreds of years old. As much as I’m excited for The Batman, this new trailer doesn’t feel very comic book-y.
The Batman arrives in theatres in 2021.