‘The Batman’ Trailer Teases Robert Pattinson’s Unsettling, Grittier Caped Crusader

DC had a lot to show off for its annual “FanDome” presentation: the first footage from the upcoming The Flash starring Ezra Miller, teasers for Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, sneak peeks of the Aquaman and Shazam sequels. The marquee event, however, was the reveal of the main trailer for the hotly-anticipated The Batman, Matt Reeves’ take on the cowled superhero starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne. The film was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but will officially land in theaters (not, pointedly, on HBO Max) on March 4, 2022.

This trailer, following the official teaser that premiered at last year’s FanDome, offers our best look yet at Pattinson’s take on the comic book icon. There’s always a certain level of existential torture in cinematic portrayals of Batman (for better or worse; you can blame Joel Schumacher and the hyper-camp Batman and Robin), but Pattinson seems poised to dial it to the max. The footage of him in the costume, kicking ass with tactile precision and confronting jailed criminals, is genuinely unnerving in a way unlike previous performances. Even more intriguing in his performance as Bruce Wayne: there’s less screen time there, but you can feel the depression emanating off of him through the screen as he mutters to Andy Serkis’ Alfred, “I don’t care what happens to me.” It sets off a litany of questions: what has the billionaire playboy so low, what traumas has he experienced in his journey thus far, and is there any hope for an upturn for the tortured soul.

If there’s any hope of that happening, it may lie with Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz, who makes her first appearance in the trailer. Kravitz, radiating sensual allure and wit, makes a strong first impression and nearly steals the spotlight from her presumed love interest. She and Pattinson share some kindles of chemistry in their scenes, so here’s to hoping that Reeves can ignite the pairing in full. As you might expect, the director fashions a very gritty, dark Gotham for the two to play, complete with dark alleys and even darker cinematography. It’s all very visceral, if not much of a deviation from the Nolan and Snyder eras. However, the final scene of the trailer, where a villain thinks he escapes Batman, only for the Batmobile to emerge from the flames, might be one of the most stunning shots in the entire cinematic canon.

There’s still much we don’t know about The Batman yet, but the trailer does a great job of kicking off the hype train for the Reeves/Pattinson era.

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