The Batman trailer launched at DC Fandome provided the long-awaited first look at Robert Pattinson's take on the Caped Crusader in filmmaker Matt Reeves' upcoming movie. In one of the biggest departures from tradition, Batman is shown without his mask. wearing smudged black eyeliner around his eyes. Stephen Amell, who played Green Arrow on the CW's Arrowverse for many years, took to Twitter to express his approval for Pattinson's look.

"If you wanna launch a DC Franchise that has some legs, the smokey eye look is a good jumping off point."
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Amell's remark is a reference to the early seasons of Arrow, in which his character Oliver Queen did not sport the traditional green domino mask from the comics in his superhero guise. Instead, Queen wore green eye makeup similar to Pattinson's. It was only in later seasons that Queen embraced the domino mask, which according to the show's producers was meant to symbolize the character's growth from a vigilante to a true superhero.

Based on the trailer, Pattinson's Bruce Wayne has a different motivation for the black guyliner. This Bruce wears the bat cowl just like previous versions of the character. But while the other Batmen also wore guyliner underneath their masks to make it seem like the cowl fit seamlessly over their faces, the eye makeup part of the uniform was never shown on film.

Although the black eyeliner part of the costume can easily be seen as humorous, the way Reeves presents the look makes all the difference. Audiences get the sense that this Batman, who is only in his second year of being a crime fighter and has no problem brutally punishing criminals to make them fear him, is too obsessed with his mission of saving Gotham city to bother with removing his makeup.

Regardless of whether fans like or dislike the guyliner, there is no doubt that the majority of them are loving the trailer for The Batman, and are excited to discover this new take on the mythology of the Dark Knight under Reeves, who revealed during DC FanDome his intention of presenting a new, gritty and messy take on Batman in a movie that is not an origin story.

"For me, what was exciting was not doing that, not doing the origin, not doing what we'd seen done so beautifully in other movies, but instead to meet him in the middle of this criminological experiment, to see him in the becoming of Batman and to see him make mistakes as Batman and see him grow and fail and be heroic, do all of the things that we associate with Batman, but in a way that felt very human and very flawed."

Directed by Matt Reeves and written by Reeves and Mattson Tomlin, The Batman features a lead cast of 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 is expected to arrive in theaters Oct. 1, 2021.

Neeraj Chand