“The Batman” is finally out of the shadows.
The first trailer for Robert Pattinson’s take on Batman released on Saturday during the DC FanDome, giving fans their first looks at the Caped Crusader, Catwoman, the Riddler, Commissioner Gordon and director Matt Reeves’ Gotham City. Reeves explained that the movie takes place in “Year two” of Batman’s career, in which he’s still starting out and his rogues gallery haven’t become full-fledged supervillains yet.
The trailer opens with the eerie sound of duct tape ripping then offers a brief glimpse at a masked man in a green overcoat. Many fans speculate this is Paul Dano’s Riddler, who leaves behind a grisly clue for Batman. The character’s new look leaves behind the Riddler’s iconic cane and question mark-covered suit, but falls in line with the gritty, grounded tone of the trailer.
Riddler’s victim is a man whose face is covered in duct tape with the words “No more lies” scrawled in red ink. Lies are a recurring motif in the Riddler’s scheme for Batman and the Gotham City Police Department. The word is written in red over issues of the Gotham Gazette pinned to the wall.
Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) investigates the crime scene, discovering a card with a cryptic message inside. “Haven’t a clue? Let’s play a game, just me and you,” the card reads, with some mysterious symbols at the bottom. Handwritten on the other side of the card appears to be a riddle, “What does a liar do when he’s dead?” The green envelope is addressed specifically to “the Batman.”
Next, we finally get a look at Batman suited up, appearing to work willingly with Gordon and the GCPD. In the comics, Batman’s brand of vigilante justice sometimes puts him at odds with the police, so this points to a cooperative relationship for now. However, that might change later in the trailer.
At a press conference held outside, perhaps after discovering Riddler’s crime, Bruce Wayne hangs back from the crowd of reporters and puts on a bike helmet. He’s out of his Batsuit, but still has black makeup around his eyes, left over from his last suit-up. He rides to the Batcave, which is a much more low-grade and in-the-works hideout than we’ve seen before.
“You’re becoming quite a celebrity,” says an unseen British voice, likely Bruce’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, played by Andy Serkis. Bruce Wayne is typically portrayed as a billionaire playboy, so it’s presumed Alfred is referring to the growing notoriety of Batman.
The next scene shows Riddler strike again, this time sending a car with a duct-taped victim through what appears to be a funeral. Bruce is in the crowd, diving to save someone from the car’s path. The driver steps out with another letter addressed to Batman taped to his chest, a suspicious coincidence given that Bruce was also there.
Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman makes her first appearance in the next scene, robbing a safe that looks like it could be inside Wayne Manor or perhaps another building. Later in the trailer, she and Batman have a brief fight in the same area. Like Riddler’s outfit, the iconic villain’s costume is a simple black mask and bodysuit.
The trailer shows a brief glimpse at the crime lord Penguin, played by an unrecognizable Colin Farrell. He stands in the rain outside the Gotham Sanitation depot, perhaps a hideout for his goons. A group of henchmen with black-and-white face paint — usually a calling card of the Penguin’s crew — foolishly takes on Batman later in the trailer. The Dark Knight easily beats up one of the thugs, leaving him crumpled on the ground with a broken arm.
We then see flashes of Batman scuffling with a crowd of GCPD officers, the Batmobile roar to life during a chase scene with Penguin and the Caped Crusader shake off a point-blank shot to the chest. Batman also uses a grappling hook to zip up a stairwell full of what appears to be GCPD officers shooting at him, a 180-degree turn from working with them peacefully earlier.
The final moment sees Bruce take off his cowl in the Batcave as a mysterious voice says “You’re a part of this, too.” It doesn’t sound like Alfred’s accent from earlier, leaving many to wonder if it could be Riddler. “How am I a part of this?” asks Batman, to which the voice replies “You’ll see.”
Could Riddler have discovered Batman’s real identity? Where is mob boss Carmine Falcone, played by John Turturro? What havoc will Catwoman, Penguin and Riddler wreak on Gotham? Hopefully all these questions and more will be answered when “The Batman” hits theaters next year.