Aside from a few promotional images and two trailers, audiences were largely in the dark as to the look and feel of The Batman. Would it be as dark and serious as the Nolan films? Or would director Matt Reeves lean more into Tim Burton’s “loner outsider” angle that dominated his 1989 and 1992 films? Today, that all changed as Warner Bros. released the first clip from their forthcoming reboot, which solidifies early expectations that the film will be an intense ride.
In the clip, a somber Bruce Wayne is seen talking to a politician as he enters a cathedral to attend a funeral. As he glimpses at a young boy who resembles his younger, orphaned self, he overhears James Gordon talking to another cop about the disappearance of Gil Colson. His eavesdropping is suddenly disturbed by escalating screams outside the cathedral. As the sounds of a car speeding outside increase, Wayne looks up to see a shadowy figure, the Riddler, standing on a balcony looking down at him. A car then crashes into the church and stops, allowing the Gotham City Police Department to surround it and see a man emerging: Colson. Wired with a bomb and a ringing cellphone, the clearly captive Colson reveals a letter attached to his chest with the words “To The Batman” written in black ink.
The clip reveals a few important details. It’s the first time we see Gordon in the same room as Bruce as he discusses the missing person case, albeit from a distance. It also establishes a thematic link to Bruce Wayne’s tragic childhood, when he lost his parents to a shocking act of violence. Finally, it shows the Riddler in action as he somehow kidnapped Colson and made him drive a car into the cathedral to deliver his first riddle to Batman. Since only Bruce Wayne is there, and the Riddler seemed to be looking only at him in the trailer, does the villain already know his foe’s secret identity? And what role does Catwoman and the Penguin play in the Riddler’s schemes, if any?
At three hours long, the movie has ample time to address all those questions and more, but viewers will have to be a little more patient as The Batman still has a little over a month before it debuts in theaters on March 4.