The Batman Trailer Breakdown and Analysis


The Batman trailer is finally here, accompanied by Nirvana’s “Something in the Way.” The two-minutes-and-a-half of footage presents a nightmarish new take on Gotham and the Dark Knight, an impressive feat considering only 25% of the movie has been shot so far, according to what director Matt Reeves said during the DC FanDome digital event.

Matt Reeves’ Batman reboot explores the early days of the Caped Crusader’s career, about two years into it, and focuses on a younger Bruce Wayne who is haunted by his past as well as a new villain who’s leaving victims all of the city for him to find.

We see in the trailer as Batman is hunted by a serial killer who is leaving him letters at every crime scene, teasing that the movie will feel more like a detective story than the usual action take. The trailer also gives us our first look at several villains, including Penguin, Catwoman, and a gang that seems to call back to a group first introduced in an animated series.

While the trailer makes quite a few things clear about this new Batman movie universe, there are a few lingering questions left in the promo’s wake. So we’re going breaking down the trailer to see what’s really going on in The Batman. And if there’s anything you spot in the trailer that we missed, let us know in the comments!

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Before we get started, take a look at the trailer again:

Okay, let’s get started:

The trailer kicks off the character reveals right away, giving us our first look at The Batman‘s version of the Riddler — at least I’m pretty sure this is him. The riddle-obsessed villain isn’t really known for wearing a full facemask with glasses over it, but as you’ll see throughout the trailer, this movie seems to play like an extended fever dream full of grotesque baddies set against an almost overbearingly dark Gotham City.

This is the perfect version for this new take on the Riddler, who seems more like a serial killer here than the grinning megalomaniac we know from the comics, video games, and Batman Forever. In fact, Paul Dano’s Riddler looks about as far the opposite of Jim Carrey as you can get.

The trailer definitely sets up the Riddler as the main villain of the piece, a killer obsessed with getting to the Batman by leaving behind corpses and messages for the Dark Knight at his crime scenes. Above, we see one such victim, his face wrapped in tape with the words “No more lies” written over it.

Uncovering a lie seems to be a major aspect of the movie, as its a message the Riddler repeats to the Batman several times in the trailer. It suggests the Riddler knows something about the Caped Crusader that no one else does. Does the villain know that Bruce Wayne is the masked vigilante? Or does this lie run much deeper than that?

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Here’s an excellent look at what the top half of the new Batsuit looks like. It’s pretty much a suit of armor, although the cowl and cape seem to be made out of leather. And as we already knew, this Batsuit has a collar, which is a pretty neat addition to the usual suits designed for the movies.

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We get our first look at Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle doing what she does best: stealing. Reeves said during DC FanDome that this version of Selina hasn’t quite morphed into Catwoman at the start of the film and is instead still being shaped into the master thief we know and love.

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The trailer shows us a brief snippet of Selina taking on Batman, suggesting that the characters will be at odds with each other in the movie. But could this be the start of a love-hate relationship like what we’ve seen in past takes on this duo? This should be interesting.

We also get to see Colin Farrell’s absolutely incredible transformation into the scarred Oswald Cobblepot, who, according to Reeves, is still working his way up the crime ladder in this movie. He’s not yet the powerful crime lord known as the Penguin, but it sure seems like he causes plenty of havoc for the Bat nonetheless.

Here’s why I mentioned that Joker connection earlier. The gang of face-painted goons that challenge Batman in the trailer sure look inspired by the Clown Prince of Crime. My initial reaction was that The Batman was doing the Jokerz, the Joker-worshiping gang introduced in the Batman Beyond animated series, but what if these guys were actually inspired by Arthur Fleck’s actions in the ’70s-set movie?

We know that by the end of Joker, Arthur has a cult following rallying around him, despite the fact that he’s admitted to murdering quite a few people by that point. His followers, who don their own clown makeup and masks, see Arthur as a freedom fighter, someone fighting for justice in a corrupt city where the rich have it all and the poor have nothing. It wouldn’t be surprising to see that Arthur has become a symbol all these years later, inspiring the next generation to go out into the streets and cause their own chaos.

I know WB has said that both The Batman and Joker exist in their own universes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio was suddenly anxious to tie these two movies together after the massive success of the latter. If Pattinson ever does take on the Joker, you can bet your Batarangs that WB will try its very hardest to make it the Joaquin Phoenix version of the villain.

Anyway, we eventually watch as Batman beats the ever-living shit out of one of these clowns. It’s a bit…much.

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We’ll find out for sure when The Batman hits theaters on Oct. 1, 2021.

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