Connecting Imaginary Dots are pieces we write here that allow us to be what we all truly are: fans. These should not be taken as scoops, exclusives or facts; just speculation about the things for which we all share a great passion.
The Batman already looks amazing. Not going to lie, I have probably watched that trailer way too many times by now. We’ve had so many different incarnations of Batman in film. Michael Keaton explored the character in a Gothic world. Christian Bale brought him into the modern era and politics. Ben Affleck showed us that a man can stand among giants. Now, it is Robert Pattinson‘s turn to show us another side of the Bat we had yet to explore. How about we dive in and see what little clues this trailer is hiding from us. Let’s highlight what this trailer may be telling us about this new world and the story it might tell.
Oh, what an opening this is. The sound of duct-tape being ripped is familiar but not when it means to silence a person. Well, killing him is actually a better choice of words here. His victim seems to be the Mayor of Gotham going by the newspaper clippings. Yes, we start this story with our look at the main antagonist, Paul Dano‘s Riddler. He is quite a departure from the character we know but the iconic green is still present. He deliberately is sending messages to Batman. A green envelope attached to the silenced politician starts off the investigation. At one point, he lets a man strapped with a bomb drive into a funeral. Pattinson‘s Bruce Wayne is present so it creates the illusion he might know is behind the cape and cowl. This is mainly because of the following quote from the trailer:
“You are a part of this too.”
This question seems to be directed at Bruce Wayne in the trailer. There is a chance this is just a red herring, as the timing of the quote shows us Bruce unmasking. Kuddos that this is the first version where he doesn’t magically lose his eye paint. Something about this quote is interesting, as it alludes to some bigger picture. We know that director Matt Reeves has planned an entire trilogy. As such, he can already set some important story elements early on. We know that A Long Halloween arc will also be an inspiration. There are small glimpses of John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone in the newspapers. Reeves even discusses in the DC FanDome panel that they will uncover a much deeper level of corruption. His second quote around the halfway point does hint at this more.
“If you are justice, please do not lie. What is the price for your blind eye?”
Reeves is already working on a mini-series that will explore Gotham P.D. during Year One of Batman. He once again pointed out that the corruption of the police force will play a major role in that show’s story. We even get a glimpse at it in this trailer, as we see Batman escaping from a group of cops with his grappling hook. As he dives deeper into the mystery, he might stumble upon something he wasn’t meant to find. At the beginning of the trailer, we see the police work alongside him so something must’ve happened to make them turn. The short snippet of Batman surrounded by cops may have kickstarted the manhunt.
There is one aspect of the story that is subtle but might hint at why this all connects back to Bruce Wayne. A major emphasis was put on this versions’ bat symbol. It looks to be made from the gun that killed Thomas and Martha Wayne. He carries the guilt around with him wherever he goes. It seems like just a nice little touch but it could become an important emotional element for his character. If the corruption was spread throughout the city, his family would’ve been involved as well in some way. Any sane person would start to question if his family had kept secrets from him before their death. What kind of secret could that be? Well, maybe Riddler’s greeting card already teased it.
I do not think the Court of Owls will be introduced in this first installment though. They might be hinted at throughout but the focus will be on Riddler unraveling Gotham’s system. The actions of this story will unravel Batman’s journey deeper down into Gotham’s history. Reeves is exploring the detective aspect of the character. Slowly uncovering the influences of a shady organization that has existed since the 1600s seems like a perfect fit. The only missing riddle is what connection does Edward Nashton have to the bigger picture.
So, how do Catwoman and Cobblepot play into the story? Let’s start off with the more obvious connection, Zoe Kravits’ Selina Kyle. Most likely, she ends up getting entangled after stealing an important item from the victim’s apartment. We see the warning tape as she is trying to break into a safe. Her involvement isn’t necessarily deliberate. She just ends up getting dragged into the bigger picture. As Batman still operates alone, she might become an unlikely ally throughout the film. This is just the start of their relationship that will develop throughout the trilogies’ overarching story.
Alright, let’s talk about the Penguin. First off, I still cannot believe that was Colin Farrell. What an amazing makeup job they did. Either way, we are here to discuss his role in the bigger picture. Once again, Reeves confirmed that a lot of the villains in this film aren’t fully formed. Oswald is still working his way up the ladder before cementing his role as a mob boss. This actually might be the reason he is in this film. As he rises through the ranks in this film, we get introduced to how deep the corruption is in the city. Cobblepot simply becomes an unknowing pawn throughout the trilogy. Maybe we get a Batman Returns tribute as he runs for mayor at one point. Have to replace the one lost at the beginning of this one. Well see how deep the rabbit hole goes once The Batman releases October 1st, 2021.