By Ellis Keipper
This Friday will see the release of the newest Batman movie, The Batman. I think it’s hard not to be excited about the release of this installment in the franchise. I have been a long-time fan of the character since I was little, and many of my favorite video games, tv shows, and movies all feature Batman as a main character. For years, rumors circulated that there was a solo Batman movie in production. These suspicions were confirmed in August 2020 at the DC Fandome when a trailer dropped for a Batman film starring Robert Pattinson which was directed by Matt Reeves. This trailer took the internet by storm. Now, a year-and-a-half later, it’s almost here. There are just so many reasons why you should be excited about this movie.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. This movie’s cast is stellar. Robert Pattinson has come such a long way from his days starring in Twilight. While many would argue that his best performance was in Good Time, it’s hard not for me to talk about The Lighthouse. Pattinson’s performance in this film is intense and went to great lengths to portray a lighthouse keeper who is slowly driven insane by his on-screen companion, Willem Dafoe. This movie also stars Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, and Colin Farrell as Penguin to name a few. In short, this cast list is absolutely stacked.
What’s been missing in Batman films for so many years is the life that Gotham city brings to the story. The last time this was truly embraced in a live-action Batman movie was in the Tim Burton films from the early 90s. Where Christopher Nolan’s films collided realistic and dark, Reeves’s new film will return to the more cartoonish aspects of the character while still staying true to the darkness of the character. One notable difference is that this movie was filmed primarily in Liverpool– which lends itself to a more gothic look akin to the Batman animated series. Also, the plot of this film will be more deep-rooted in the politics and police force of the city than other Batman films have touched on in the past. The reason this is so important is that in many of the best Batman stories, the city of Gotham has felt like a character of its own. Many of the most famous Batman characters such as James Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Harvey Dent, and many more are crucial figures in the operation of the city itself. Alongside these figures, the citizens of Gotham are more directly affected by the actions of the caped crusader and his rogue of villains than many films in the past would have you believe. The closest we’ve seen this portrayed in a live-action Batman movie was in 1992’s Batman Returns. This film, in particular, will get closer to that aspect of the character more than any other Batman films have in the past.
Finally, I’d like to discuss the influences that Matt Reeves drew inspiration from when creating this movie. Early on in its rollout, Reeves announced that this take on the character would focus more on his detective abilities more than anything else. The trailers led myself and many others to believe that the influences taken for this movie would be from David Fincher’s Se7en and Zodiac. Early reviews of the movie have seemed to confirm these suspicions. The Riddler is the main antagonist of this movie. Early on-screen portrayals of the character have presented him as some goofy guy in tights that commits random crimes and says riddles. Needless to say, they haven’t taken him very seriously. From what I can infer from the trailers, The Riddler will be a serial killer who primarily focuses on killing corrupt government officials. If you’ve seen Se7en or Zodiac, you probably can connect the dots on where I’m going with this. Basically, this movie is going to be a detective thriller– which I’m very excited about.
All in all, The Batman is one of the most anticipated movies of 2022 and I have complete and total faith that it will fulfill everyone’s expectations.