The latest trailer for The Batman has finally dropped during 2021’s DC FanDome. After around three-and-a-half hours, we got a sneak peek behind the scenes and then a new look at the second trailer to build up to its March release. It still kept quite a few secrets as it kicks off with Paul Dano‘s Edward Ashton getting arrested by the Gotham PD, but it only builds the mystery from there. After the first trailer teased his role in the story, it was a curious way to start the new trailer this way. His face is purposely obscured throughout the trailer, as we get a better look at Matt Reeves‘s noir-inspired story. There is one shot in particular that may open up a bigger question: who is the true villain of The Batman?
Last year in August, we theorized that perhaps this version of the Caped Crusader’s mythology is building up to his eventual meeting with the Court of Owls. Reeve‘s even hinted at a deeper corruption in the 2020 DC FanDome panel. His version of the Riddler even asks the question “If you are justice, please do not lie. What is the price for your blind eye?” So, one could assume that Ashton’s role in this story is to bring something far sinister to Bruce Wayne’s attention throughout the story. The second trailer highlights this fact when you notice that he’s obsessed with a mystery surrounding his parent’s death.
As the screenshot from the trailer highlights, he’s highlighted the statement hinting at the sins of his father. What is interesting is that this might be a callback to Batman: The Long Halloween, where his father saved a young Carmine Falcone from a bullet wound. Perhaps this one action would end up unleashing the crime wave that established the darker side of this corrupted city. So, Ashton may be one of many victims of John Turturro‘s Falcone throughout history. Selina Kyle’s inclusion in the story with The Long Halloween ties would add to that potential storyline intersecting. Riddler’s actions in this story are to leave the breadcrumbs to bring the darker history surrounding the Falcone family to the forefront.
It doesn’t seem like this version of Batman will face off against rogues like Mr. Freeze or Clayface any time in the future. So, we might have a much smaller story for now. Falcone is the prelude to the bigger picture, as his downfall could open up to a much larger story. I’ll still hold on to the belief that the Court of Owls will have a role of some kind in this trilogy, but there’s also a possibly simpler explanation. Perhaps it’s truly the tale of Batman taking down organized crime by dismantling Roman’s empire throughout Gotham. In reality, this might be Riddler’s goal by the end of the story. Not too dissimilar from Alberto Falcone’s storyline in the original comic. It’s not uncommon for adaptations to fuse characters.
This concept sets up some incredible future storylines and breaks up The Long Halloween story throughout the initial trilogy. Riddler’s story may simply be the prelude, as once Falcone is taken down, the rest of his family tries to take over. Pattinson’s version of Bruce Wayne might have to take on other mob bosses that are fighting for power to fill that vacuum. We’d get the Maroni family, who have an important role in turning Harvey Dent into Two-Face. It could setups the Sinois family with Black Mask and White Shark entering the field. The trilogy could end in an all-out turf war where Batman has to learn what it truly means to be Gotham’s hero.