Two questions were on every Bat fans lips following the big trailer reveal at the weekend for the upcoming The Batman reboot from Matt Reeves. Why hasn’t Bruce Wayne had a haircut, and is that fat guy in the rain really The Penguin, played by Colin Farrell? Really?
He is unrecognizable and nobody from the production was talking until a make-up artist blabbed on Instagram. Mike Marino was the makeup artist in charge of the Farrell transformation and has confirmed it was him under there.
Other details have started to emerge now that the trailer has dropped and DC Fandome is over. The design of the suit and the new Batmobile kept changing as the script evolved and took over a year to finalise. Glyn Dillon designed the suit and Robert Pattinson gave a lot of input. The suit is practical and Wayne made it himself at this stage in his career. It is still developing and will continue to do so as Batman develops. His cowl has gashes and other damage as he’s been wearing it every night for over a year at the point where we see him in this movie.
One vital component of any Batman experience is Gotham City itself. It’s almost a character in it’s own right.
In Burton’s Batman it was big, grey, dark and gothic on set’s described by Reeves as:
“…very, very theatrical, beautiful, beautiful sets…”
By the time of Schumacher it had evolved into a neon nightmare. In the animated series it was art deco. In Snyder’s world it was the slummy twin-city of Metropolis, across the bay from it’s cleaner, shinier brother. For Nolan it was very real with Chicago and Pittsburgh combining then being augmented by a CGI monorail and other additions. In the recent Joker movie it was a 1970’s New York straight out of The French Connection.
Reeves revealed his version will use Liverpool as a foundation with it’s older facades and hint of gothic architecture, waterways and industry then create a modern mega-city over the top of this with CGI.
The most expansive and interactive version of the City is from the Arkham series of games, however that is designed to provide a platform like challenge and skulking areas for Batman to… er… skulk. So it’s not really suitable for adaption into a movie.
One other thing we saw in the trailer was a hint at the direction Paul Dano’s take on classic villain The Riddler might take. Known for posing elaborate riddles to tease the caped crusader, in this version he seems to perhaps have some parallels with the real life Zodiac killer who sent messages to the police including codes, some inside greeting cards.
In part of the trailer, we are given a look inside a greeting card containing the message:
“What does a liar do when he’s dead?”
This is followed by 11 mysterious characters.
Twitter user Andrew Lane took it upon himself to crack the code, explaining his method in the replies underneath
“I used a pretty simple substitution method that I paired with English letter frequency,” he wrote. ”It gave me which symbols stood for L and E. I just filled in the blanks from there and used the riddle for some direction!”
According to Lane’s calculations, the answer to the question is:
“He lies still.”