PAIN AND WAYNE
Total Film|October 2020
THE BATMAN I R-Batz steps out of the shadows at DC Fandome.
Jordan Farley

After San Diego Comic-Con’s attempt at an online-only convention failed to capture the buzz of being on the hallowed ground of Hall H, it was left to DC to prove that cons can still work in the Covid era. And the inaugural Fandome did not disappoint. An eight-hour livestream featuring some of DC’s biggest upcoming hitters – including panels on Wonder Woman 1984, The Flash, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Black Adam and The Suicide Squad – Fandome saved the best for last: a first glimpse at The Batman.

The gritty teaser, assembled from just “25-30 per cent” of the film (the UK shoot was suspended in March due to Covid shutdowns), gave us our first official look at Paul Dano’s re-imagined Riddler, an unrecognisable Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Zoë Kravitz’s DIY Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright’s comic-accurate James Gordon, Trevor from EastEnders as Commissioner Pete Savage and, of course, Robert Pattinson’s emo Bruce Wayne.

There’s much we can surmise from the teaser about the direction writer/ director Matt Reeves is taking the Dark Knight. On the Nolan to Burton scale of Batmen, Reeves’ film is hewing closer to Begins than Returns – with grounded supervillains and a central mystery that appears to be taking its cues from David Fincher’s Seven. But The Batman won’t be another familiar origin story.

“It [isn’t] about how he became Batman, it’s about the early days of how he is Batman, and how he is so far from being perfect,” explains Reeves, who describes the film as a ‘Year Two’ story set 18 months into Bruce Wayne’s crime-fighting career – “Something that hadn’t been done.”

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