This weekend fans around the world were invited to a free online comic-con style event called DC FanDome. Many live panels were hosted throughout the 24-hour event revealing announcements for highly-anticipated DC projects such as Wonder Woman 1984, Justice League: The Snyder Cut, The Suicide Squad, The Flash, Shazam 2, Black Adam and of course, The Batman. Many fans such as myself spent months speculating the nature of this new Matt Reeves directed solo Batman film since the Batsuit screentest that released a while back. After seeing the inter-connectivity of Zach Snyder’s DC universe, which featured Batman alongside the likes of Superman and The Justice League, fans were left eagerly anticipating what this new dark and gritty return to the formula could look like. Some of Reeves most notable work was the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy, so we hope to see the same heart of storytelling that drove those films service this new interpretation of the Dark Knight.
From the first looks at this teaser trailer and Reeve’s panel, it appears as though the film will take elements from several comic storylines. Among these are Batman: Earth One, which saw Mayor Oswald Cobblepot be partly responsible for the murder of the Waynes for political advantage. Batman: Year One appears to be another major influence over the story as we’re seeing Batman very early in his career when he’s still regarded as a myth, while corruption is in every corner of the GCPD and a very uneasy alliance has formed between Detective James Gordon and Batman. Yet another inspiration for the film might be Batman: Zero Year, more so down from the suit design – which also takes heavy inspiration from the Batsuit featured in Batman – The Enemy Within (full review for Telltale’s Batman story releasing soon at Production Journal on YouTube).
So let’s talk briefly about the teaser trailer itself. Some notable features include Paul Dano’s ‘Riddler’, which is certainly a departure from the look we are all familiar with however has gotten fans such as myself incredibly excited for his mysterious, man-behind-the-curtain role throughout the story. We got to see Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, which is an amazing hallmark in DC history as having the first black casting for the character! I have full faith in Wright’s performance and this is an opportunity to do something unique with James Gordon. He also got a look at Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, which looks phenomenal! She appears to be very early in her career, dressed in what appears to be a prototype for her Catwoman outfit and we can already see some of that chemistry between Selina and Bruce. Another thing we saw was the Batmobile in action! We saw from some stills released a few months back that it would be a modified American Muscle Car and it definitely suits the Year One aesthetic of the film. We got our first look at Bruce Wayne, who Pattinson has managed to embody the persona of well. He seems like an isolated, conflicted shell of a person who is dominated entirely by his Batman persona – which has always been the main theme of Batman, is that Bruce Wayne is the real mask and The Batman is an expression of his rage, fear and trauma.
Only roughly 20% of the film has been shot so far due to COVID-19 pausing progress on the production of the film, so it was a pleasant surprise to see so much in this teaser trailer and has garnered a supportive fanbase behind the project. Having so little to work with and need to meet the requirements of a teaser establishing the films tone, plot direction and characters goes to show the immense amount of passion behind the project, Reeves didn’t owe us fans anything at DC FanDome, especially with how little they have to offer us so far, but he did that for the fans. Thank you, Matt Reeves.