Despite the current global pandemic, Matt Reeves continues shooting his upcoming film The Batman. Photos from the sets of the movie have been setting the Batman fandom abuzz by including many references to other DC Comics characters like Superman and Wonder Woman. The latest unearthed reference from a set photo posted on Twitter by Fox 32 News anchor Jake Hamilton is not about a hero at all, but rather hints at the existence of two new major Batman villains.
The photo shows a closeup of what appears to be a protest poster sticking to a wall that has been scrapped off partially, presumably by law enforcement. While large portions of the poster have been removed, you can make out the phrase "Stab out the eye", and "Destroy Gothcorp". The poster also shows a sword stabbing an eye inside a pyramid, generally associated with the fabled secret cabal of shadow governments, the Illuminati, which in the poster appears to be associated with the company Gothcorp.
So how does the poster hint at new villains? Well, in the comics, Gothcorp is the company that Dr. Victor Fries worked at while developing his freeze ray technology. Victor was betrayed by the company CEO, who told the mob about his freeze ray, which prompted the attack on Victor's life that caused him to turn into the supervillain, Mr. Freeze.
The second villain referenced in the poster has to do with the way the word "Stab" is written with the stylized "A". Comicbook fans will recognize that "A" doubles as a symbol for the character known as Anarky, a complex anti-hero who often acts as a villain, but usually with a desire to elevate the downtrodden classes of Gotham.
So does this mean that Anarky and Mr. Freeze could also be a part of The Batman? Highly unlikely, since the movie is already suffering from a surfeit of villains, which include Penguin, Riddler, Carmine Falcone, and Catwoman. Adding in two more major villains will leave little room for the story to be anything more than a series of introductions.Some people think this set poster is also referencing The Flash, who is currently getting his own Multiverse movie that includes both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck returning as Batman.
On the other hand, Reeves' intention is to create an entire trilogy of Batman movies. So it is very likely that the Mr. Freeze and Anarky teasers will be expanded upon in the next two films. The addition of the two complicated villains will also add to the themes that Reeves has included in The Batman, about the flaws in the Caped Crusader's methods of battling evil, and how the broken and corrupt nature of Gotham city is responsible for producing broken individuals who have no choice but to turn to a life of crime.
Directed by Matt Reeves and written by Reeves and Mattson Tomlin, The Batman features Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone and Peter Sarsgaard as District Attorney Gil Colson. The film arrives in theaters March 4, 2022.