After failing to create an Avengers-like single franchise universe for the DC Comics with Justice League, Warner Bros. Pictures has gone in the other direction. Now, the DC Universe has split into millions of multiverse takes on the characters, with multiple variations of superheroes all existing at once. Currently, there are several Batmans (Batmen? Batsman?), from the Arrowverse version to Batfleck to the old-time Keaton Batman. But the newest is Robert Pattinson's Batman (or, as I like to call him, R.Batz). These easter eggs in Robert Pattinson's The Batman trailer promise that even if this is yet another version of the Caped Crusader, he's still calling back to the same cave.
The Batman panel closed the DC FanDome event on Saturday, Aug. 22, with a talk from director Matt Reeves. His description of the new movie was that it was a slice of Batman's history not yet done on the big screen. This is no "Year One" origin story of Batman Begins, nor is it the grizzled, jaded Batman of Justice League. It also does not jump to the established mid-range Batman of The Dark Knight.
Instead, Reeves will focus on the era just after Year One — call it "Year Two," when Batman is now a known figure, but he and the rest of Gotham are trying to figure out precisely what that means.
Here are the biggest moments and callbacks in the trailer you might have missed:
1. The Riddler's Code
The trailer opens with Commissioner Gordon reading aloud the rhyme within the card left by The Riddler next to his latest body. But the real question is on the left:
What Does A Liar Do When He's Dead?
"He lies still."
2. Two-Face Is Also Here
At the Riddler's crime scene, there's a headline framed on the wall: "MARONI DRUG BUST." Fans of The Dark Knight trilogy will do well to remember the mob boss who throws acid on Harvey Dent's face is Sal Maroni. Perhaps Two-Face isn't here yet, but the tracks are being laid for him and Dent's DA to cross paths soon.
3. Catwoman: A Cat Burglar
I love the reference to the knitted cat-ear hats that were so popular in 2017 by putting Selina Kyle in one. At DC FanDome, director Matt Reeves said Kyle has not yet become Catwoman, and from the trailer, it's obvious she's still merely a cat burglar.
One of the most famous of the Batman villains, Penguin is a tough nut to crack. Danny DeVito's character-defining turn in the Keaton Batman films has made it all the harder to bring the character back.
That's why fans have been wild to see Colin Farrell take on the role. He's only in the trailer for all of a second, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo. But check out those teeth and that nose.
5. The Court Of Owls
Another note about The Riddler's card that sent fans into theoryland was the owl on the front. Now, it could just be a coincidence, but with the large-scale gallery of villains, fans are wondering if it's a sign the secret villain society known as the Court of Owls could be part of the upcoming rebooted franchise.
In the comics, the Court of Owls trains children to become assassins, but here it could be a way to bring all of Batman's rivals together into one collective.
6. Gotham P.D.
Perhaps the most interesting image is this one. As fans know, Batman works with the Gotham Police. He's basically a detective in a rubber suit with ears, Commissioner Gordon's best player.
And yet, here he is in the new trailer, fighting the cops. Reeves mentioned during the FanDome panel that the forthcoming Gotham P.D. series on HBO Max would tell the story of Batman's Year One from the POV of the corrupt cops in Gotham City. Could scenes like this be a set up for that coming show?