- HM Jiles
On Saturday August 22nd, DC comics held a virtual convention called DC Fandome where they announced and previewed some upcoming major films such as the Wonder Woman sequel titled WW84, Justice League Snyder Cut which is a different version of the 2017 Justice league movie, and major video game releases such as Arkham Knights and The Flash. They also provided updates on Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman Sequel, Margot Robbie’s Suicide Squad and Black Adam which will be played by the Rock. Those films updates are great and all but the highlight of the panel was the trailer for the highly anticipated upcoming release, The Batman. This version of the film will be directed by Matt Reeves and the main character of Bruce Wayne/Batman will be played by former Twilight star Robert Pattinson. The Batman is DC’s most heralded Franchise and the cape has been donned by some major stars like Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and most recently, Ben Affleck. It will certainly be interesting to see what Robert Pattinson can bring to the role. Robert Pattinson saw huge success in the Twilight series which produced 5 movies over the span of 5 years. This franchise will be a very different challenge though. The Batman is a coveted comic book character that fans everywhere have already seen depicted on the big screen.
Any new version of the Batman will always be pitted against the Dark Knight series directed by Christopher Nolan. Most film fans hail the Dark Knight Trilogy as the best version of the Batman movies and some feel it’s also the best superhero film trilogy ever. One of the reasons Dark Knight was hugely successful was because every role was cast and played flawlessly. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne was absolutely spot on. Even better than Bale’s performance though, was Heath Ledger playing the Joker. Heath Ledger won an Academy award for the phenomenal performance he put on in that role. There are also other standout performances as well in the trilogy with Tom Hardy as Bane, Michael Cain as Alfred Pennyworth, and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Although this is over the course of three movies, the cast was completely star studded. In the new film, starring along with Robert Pattinson will be Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and Paul Dano as the Riddler. Any superhero movie can’t be great without a great performance from the actor playing the main Villain. The Riddler is a great choice as one of Batman’s most famous villains so hopefully Paul Dano brings his A game. Whether or not these stars carry their roles as well as those that came before them remains to be seen but the trailer certainly makes it look like the casting director has a great vision for the film.
The trailer for this new Batman opens with a black screen and the unmistakable sounds of packing tape being opened and torn off. Then we see a fairly dark scene of a man who’s either unconscious or deceased laying on the floor. Another man in a mask, and gloves is peeling off pieces of packing tape. The potentially deceased man is then left in a chair with his face fully taped and a message written in Red Marker on the tape. Next, in walks Commissioner Gordon played by Jeffrey Wright. He parts through a sea of police officers and is now reading this message to the beat of Nirvana – Something in the way. If you don’t know this song, please stop reading and google it now. This song, along with the narration from Commissioner Gordon will give you goosebumps. This is definitely a great song choice and made viewers everywhere excited for this installment of the film. Now, there are absolutely many more takeaways from the trailer and we won’t spoil them all here. We do have to mention, there’s a fight scene and it looks like Robert will hold his own in that aspect of the film fairly well with the help of some awesome sound effects. The trailer also seems to show us that the Riddler will string Batman along with riddles/clues just as he did in the comics. That’s also a nice change of pace from any of the recent Batman movies we’ve seen. What we don’t see in this trailer is Robert acting as Bruce Wayne and that is just as important as his acting as Batman for the success of the film. If the viewers don’t accept Robert as Bruce Wayne, the critics will make it loud and clear as they did with Ben Affleck’s lackluster version of Bruce.
If Robert isn’t successful in this role, the onus won’t be on him. It will be on DC as they have constantly made changes to the DC Universe and don’t seem to invest in one actor/actress playing one Character for the full series. Ben Affleck recently stated he was leaving the role for good after Justice League, however, DC just announced he will appear in the next Flash Sequel. This means there will be two versions of the caped crusader in fairly close releases. That’s not good for either version of the Batman or for the DC Cinematic Universe overall. DC has simply bungled several major releases in their cinematic universe, so it’s hard for us to trust them this time. If Robert is going to have any chance at being the best Batman to date. DC will have to commit to the full series being connected seamlessly. This would allow viewers to view Robert Pattinson as the official new Batman. Most people don’t even remember Batman Begins which is the origin film for the Dark Knight Trilogy. It’s the next two films, Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises that catapulted that trilogy to hall of fame status. So while this trailer has all the trimmings of being the next great Batman movie, we’ll have to see it to believe it. The movie is slated for October 2021, see you all in the theaters.