Director Matt Reeves released a scene from his upcoming superhero cinematic reboot film The Batman, via the video hosting site Vimeo. The scene had leaked online earlier, so Reeves made the smart decision to turn the situation into another opportunity to promote The Batman.
Now, before I get into commentary about it, watch the full scene from The Batman!
The sequence helps drives home the point this is a crime thriller and detective story, with Bruce Wayne treated every bit as interestingly as his masked alter ego. I’ll explain basically what happens, but will try not to say too much that could be spoilerish outside of what this clip itself reveals.
We see a brooding, silent Bruce (Robert Pattinson) attending a funeral while Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson) speaking to him about doing more philanthropy to help Gotham City. Bruce notices the deceased’s son, mourning on the front row near the coffin. Bruce overhears police including Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) discussing the disappearance of Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson (Peter Sarsgaard).
Suddenly, outside comes the sound of some sort of disturbance. There are screams, banging, and the sound of a vehicle swerving and breaking. Bruce looks up and spots a silhouetted figure (we know who this is, but of course, but I’ll refrain from saying it just in case anyone reading is in doubt) watching the funeral and staring at Bruce. Seconds later, a car barrels through the window into the funeral. Bruce dives toward the young boy mourning on the front row, tackling the kid out of the way just as the car plows across the room and smashes into a pillar.
Police swarm the vehicle, and when the driver exits, it’s none other than Gil Colson, tied up and wearing a bomb around his neck. A phone taped to Colson’s hand begins to ring, and a sign on his neck says the call is for “Batman.” Bruce stares at the phone, and that’s where the clip ends.
There are only a few words spoken in the entire sequence, but the tension is palpable and suspense starts to build even before you know what precisely to be worried about.
Robert Pattinson doesn’t speak at all, his presence that of someone standing firm and leaning into an oncoming hurricane, dark eyes hard and piercing through the gale, daring the wind to try and move him. He sees and hears everything, mind working fast and planning his next move without moving an inch, until he erupts into action when a life is threatened.
Wright is one of the few characters speaking in the scene, but he, too, is all about watching, weighing, calculating, and only erupting into action when the moment necessitates. Sarsgaard doesn’t have much time on screen but for what it’s worth he looks terrified and confused, and panicked that someone isn’t going to answer the phone.
Reeves announced the release of the clip on Twitter…
Everything I see and learn about this movie convinces me Matt Reeves is delivering what could be my favorite Batman film ever, with exactly the approach best suited for a sustained franchise.
Now, a word about leaks and spoilers…
I hope nothing else leaks from the film, but if it does then I hope fans don’t spread it around or encourage such spoiling, and I hope Reeves and Warner continue to be creative in the marketing for The Batman and the handling of leaks.
This is going to be a mystery, a detective tale, full of suspense and twists. Figuring it out requires the brilliant expertise of Batman. That means there’s a lot of info we shouldn’t know beforehand, or it ruins the story and surprises. Maybe you don’t feel such things ruin the experience for you, but for most people a mystery and twist require lack of advance knowledge to be effective and entertaining.
Do you really want to spoil that, and spoil it for others? Don’t leak stuff, and if someone else does leak it then don’t share it and spoil things for others who are inevitably bound to see it accidentally in Google News headlines, in replies to other things on social media, overhearing it in conversations, etc.
It’s not enough to say “stay offline” or “don’t read the hashtags” when we all know that’s a disingenuous way to frame it in a world where trolls actively spend their time figuring out new ways to get spoilers in front of as many eyes as possible, including (and sometimes spitefully specifically targeting) those who are avoiding spoilers.
I’ll have lots more articles about The Batman in the coming weeks and months, dear readers, so stay tuned and check back soon! The Batman releases March 4th and streams on HBO Max starting April 19th.