Matt Reeves has stated he was a fan of the Adam West Batman series growing up and, as a kid, he took it seriously despite its colorful campiness. The director, however, will leave that tone far behind in his entry into the Caped Crusader’s history, The Batman.
As a matter of fact, he promises that his film will go further than the dark atmosphere kept up by Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan before him to be the scariest Batman movie ever.
“This movie, I think, is probably the scariest Batman that’s been done,” Reeves said in an interview with Total Film. “Because the idea of what Batman’s doing – it’s scary. Never been done in quite this way. It’s a detective story, it’s an action movie, and it’s a psychological thriller.”
That is saying a lot when you realize the live-action feature films have never gone to the lengths of the comics and the animated universe has to unsettle or terrify viewers. Batman & Robin, while horrifying, isn’t meant to be scary so it doesn’t count.
A few scenes here and there in Batman Begins are an exception, but most would more quickly think of The Killing Joke movie or graphic novel as well as episodes of Batman: The Animated Series such as “On Leather Wings,” “Feet of Clay,” and “Dreams in Darkness” when considering Batman’s scariest moments.
The Batman, meanwhile, has a lot to live up to but even prior to Reeves’ allusions and comparisons to David Fincher’s thriller Se7en – mostly due to the gritty murder-mystery route Reeves goes down.
We’ve seen glimpses of the parallels to Se7en in the trailers that debuted at DC FanDome this year and last and a new trailer that dropped in Japan does a better job of making those parallels more noticeable.
Collages of newspaper clippings we assume were put together by Riddler deplore lies and corruption in Gotham’s elite as they also seem to implicate Bruce – who Riddler says is “a part of this too” – and the rest of the Wayne family.
The trailer also shows us in its final moments Robert Pattinson taking off the cowl or helmet for the first time. It’s a move that can be seen as hyperbolic when we already know what Pattinson looks like as Bruce but there’s a grave implication in the sequence.
The way it’s structured with voice-over by Paul Dano, who plays Edward Nashton/Riddler, is leading viewers and analysts to believe that old Edward is onto Bruce and knows his secret identity. “I’ve been trying to reach you…Bruce Wayne,” he says with an eerie laugh reminiscent of the Joker.
Such cryptic words are normally the calling card of a psychopath who knows more than he’s letting on but with Warner Bros. keeping plot elements of The Batman under wraps, we won’t know anything until the movie comes out on March 4th in the new year.