Fandom Heresies: Thoughts On The New The Batman Trailer

Hello all you happy people! Yes, it is I, falconlord5, here to discuss more fandom shenanigans! But first, some housekeeping. If you enjoy my inane ramblings, you can support met on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

On that note, I will also start posting preview chapters of my upcoming novels No Blood for Business and Brockhold next month.

Today, we are going to discuss the newest The Batman trailer, starring (shudder) Robert Pattinson as Batman and Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman.

Join me under the cut!

Why Is The Riddler A Serial Killer?

Let’s start with the biggest problem this movie has: its complete and utter mischaracterization of the Riddler.

Yes, the Riddler has had many characterizations over the years. Comes with being around for what, eighty years now? Holy crap. So of course every writer’s going to have a different take. But there are a few core tenants of Riddler’s personality that have coalesced over the years:

  1. He thinks of himself as both Batman’s equal and a gentleman. This, like most of Riddler’s characterization, came from Gorshin’s take on the character (it is amazing just how important Batman (1966) is to the overall Batman mythos). True, Gorshin’s Riddler was often a giggling maniac ala the Joker (whereas Cesar Romero’s Joker was comparatively straight-laced), but he still considered himself a cut above common criminals. BTAS only solidified this take.
  2. He isn’t a killer. This one is kind of important, because most of Batman’s Rogues Gallery has gone done the insane mass murderer route, while the Riddler stands in contrast. Turning him into yet another mass murderer just makes him a second-rate Joker.
  3. He’s an intellectual villain. He tests Batman’s deductive skills and wits, not his ability to kick ass.

There’s more, but the point is: The Riddler isn’t some bad Joker knockoff. Guess what this movie turned him into?

Sigh. This is gonna be great.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

Let’s move on to The Batman‘s second biggest problem: Robert Pattinson. Quite possibly the single most miscast actor in the Batman role after Ben Affleck. I can’t believe he’s getting another chance in The Flash; he should’ve been fired for stinking up the joint a long time ago.

We actually get to hear Pattinson as Batman in this trailer and his voice is… okay. It’s low and raspy, kind of like how Batman should be, but it lacks the bass of Kevin Conroy’s version or the memetic hamminess of Christian Bale’s. At least he’s putting some effort into it: none of the Burton/Silver Batmen masked their voices while in costume. And, thank Godzilla, he isn’t using a ridiculous voice changer like Affleck.

About the only good thing I can say for Pattinson is that he at least kind of resembles Batman. He isn’t the muscle-bound uber jock that many comics have turned the Bat into, and he has the right cheek bones.

There Are Redheaded Black People, You Know

On to less depressing aspects of this movie!

Okay, I would love for Jim Gordon to be played by an actual redhead at some point. But otherwise, Jeffery Wight is a dead ringer for Gordon. In fact, when I watched the first trailer, I didn’t recognize Wight at first, but I knew he was playing Jim.

Given how poorly he was treated over in the James Bond franchise, I’m looking forward to seeing Jeffery’s work here.

Waugh Waugh!

Nothing to complain about here, really. Colin Farrell is a good actor, and at least they kept the Penguin somewhat comic accurate. No more damned pretty boys (looking at you, Gotham and Telltale!), this Penguin is a proper fat bastard. I like that they kept him American, too.

Andy Serkis is going here as Alfred, too. He’ll be fine, there’s nothing really to say.

Femmes Fatale Are Kind Of Rare These Days

Okay, here’s the casting I’m most on the fence about. Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman.

On the one hand, she has played Catwoman before (in a movie I hate for other reasons). On the other hand, I think Lego Batman butchered the characterization of all its characters, this movie already has a major miscast in its lead (and totally mischaracterized its lead villain), and as the heading indicates, femmes fatale are a rare archetype these days. There are no more Lauren Bachalls, is what I’m saying.

Essentially, I’m back to The Dark Knight Rises and Anne Hathaway. I had, more or less, the same misgivings about her. And she proved me wrong. I’m willing to wait to see if Zoe Kravitz will too.

Of course, we did hear Zoe as Catwoman in this trailer, but the lines are cliche and generic. We need to see her in action, and that won’t be until 2022.

The Costumes Suck

They do. The Riddler doesn’t look anything like the Riddler, Batman’s costume is all black again, and Catwoman’s costume is a joke.

Can we get some comic book accurate costumes, please?