A common concern amongst movie fans is that the industry is potentially suffering from an oversaturation of superhero content. Since the year 2000 we’ve had 3 adaptations of Spiderman, 2 adaptations of Superman, 2 adaptations of Batman, 2 Fantastic Four adaptations, an X-Men franchise, a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and The DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Needless to say, we haven’t exactly been starved for content. With all this under consideration, it would be understandable for people to have apprehensions about yet another Batman project. I certainly did when I initially heard about its production. However, now that the second trailer has come out for the movie, I feel better about discussing my cautious optimism for The Batman which is due to be released in March 2022.
Without revealing too much of the plot, the two trailers have done a fantastic job of conveying the tone of the movie. Batman is still in the first few years of his crime-fighting career but has established himself to the point where the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) call on him for help. Catwoman also seems to be a new player on the scene of Gotham and it is apparent that there will be a few tense moments between her and Batman set against the beautiful backdrop of the gothic city. The Penguin appears to be an underlying and ever-present menace to the city. If I had to take a guess, I would say that his organised crime activities serve to be the main source of conflict for Batman and this is what will put him in the path of Catwoman. However, seeing as The Riddler is being set up to be the big threat of the movie, I imagine that Batman will either apprehend The Penguin around the halfway mark, or use him to get to The Riddler. The action scenes are set to be brutal, leaning into Batman’s darkness, particularly in this raw phase of his career. There’s something refreshing about the sight of uniformed officers storming a cafe to apprehend The Riddler. It brings back that classic image of Gotham City, seemingly in the 40’s/50’s. Although I imagine this movie to take place in the modern day, I feel like they are deliberately being vague about the city’s aesthetic in relation to time. Speaking of aesthetic, almost every single shot from the two trailers could serve as beautiful screensavers. I’m excited for the cinematography of this movie, particularly the contrast of light and dark in scenes involving explosions and gunshots.
The reason why the title of this blog includes the phrase ‘cautious optimism’ is because I’m normally wary of getting overly excited about upcoming movies. There have been too many instances in the past where a movie has been overhyped, for seemingly no reason, only to fall short of everyone’s expectations. The 2016 release of Suicide Squad comes to mind. Personally, I thought the movie was so-so, and I didn’t think it would ever be a gamechanger. Nevertheless, there were swathes of fans who were building up anticipation for the movie well in advance. When I heard they were making a Batman movie, without Ben Affleck or any connection to prior movie continuity, I was definitely sceptical. However, after seeing the trailers, hearing Matt Reeves description of the story, and Robert Pattinson’s musings on the character of Batman himself, I can safely say that I think The Batman is set to be the best Batman movie ever made. I look forward to seeing a hopefully masterful weave of detective work, raw brutality, heart stopping action scenes and a new take on the psychological aspects of being The Dark Knight!