The new trailer for The Batman which arrived last night as part of DC's Fandome event, and among the many pointers as to where Matt Reeves' reboot will take Gotham's finest, one unexpected reveal has got fans extremely excited.
It turns out that the noirish tone will go beyond just the detective storyline and gloomy look and onto Robert Pattinson's face. With his blurred black eye make-up, Pattinson's Batman has an off-duty look which lands somewhere between Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road and cult The Crow, with a dash of Brian Molko from Placebo.
As mid-90s goth as it looks, the eye makeup has got Batman fans very excited. None of the actors who've taken up the cape and cowl before now have been seen applying the kohl. You can see it when they're stomping about meting out justice, but putting on, taking off, or just padding about Wayne Manor wearing it? No.
It's been a bit of a bone of contention among Batfans, but Pattinson's doleful glare in the trailer seems to point to a more fractured, less emotionally controlled Bruce Wayne. In that brief moment where we see him made up, he's haunted and raging in a way that Christian Bale and Ben Affleck only briefly touched.
Bale's Wayne leaned on his turn in American Psycho and ingeniously leveraged that portrait of a psychotic capitalist but set that dark energy to work as a force for the light. Affleck did a very good job of looking quite sad, but that might have been a general awareness that he was in Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, and always would be.
That change of emphasis would certainly be welcome. Despite the density of Batmen we've experienced over the last couple of decades, their stories have tended to tread fairly similar paths.
Something I've always wondered is, how did Batman become Batman? Did he have a mum and dad? What happened there?— Caspar Salmon (@CasparSalmon) August 23, 2020
In Pattinson's blearily smudged make-up, there's the clear sign that the conflicted, tortured Bruce Wayne – which fans have spent years telling sceptics was the real Bruce Wayne, despite the directions the films had taken – might finally make his belated appearance on the big screen. As the best Batman stories have always shown, it's when the Wayne and Batman personas start to bleed into each other that the character becomes properly interesting.
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