The Batman: All the hidden Easter eggs and clues from the first trailer

MILL VALLEY, CA - OCTOBER 05: Robert Pattinson appears at the 42nd Mill Valley Film Festival - Special Screenings Of "The Lighthouse" And "Harriet" on October 5, 2019 in Mill Valley, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images)
MILL VALLEY, CA - OCTOBER 05: Robert Pattinson appears at the 42nd Mill Valley Film Festival - Special Screenings Of "The Lighthouse" And "Harriet" on October 5, 2019 in Mill Valley, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images) /

With the first teaser trailer of Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman movie now available, what riddles did it give to fans and moviegoers?

As those who’ve been watching DC FanDome know, the first teaser for Matt Reeves’ (Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes) take on DC’s Dark Knight Detective finally dropped at the end of the event. Simply titled The Batman, the footage shown not only looks incredible but complete. This despite the film still being in production (which was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and scheduled for release sometime in 2021.

Nevertheless, it was more than enough to give prospective viewers an idea of Reeves’ vision for this twelfth version of a live-action Batman. Aesthetically, it resembles Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy with an even heavier emphasis on gritty and grounded realism. In terms of cinematography, style and tone, one could mistake it for a David Fincher movie; there’s more than a passing familiarity to Se7en (1995), Zodiac (2007), and even The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011). It also confirmed that Robert Pattison, as Batman, is a bona fide badass, even if his Bruce Wayne did have a touch of Twilight‘s Edward Cullen in all his emo glory.

It also featured quite a few bells and whistles for Batman fans. And considering how the Riddler (Paul Dano) is the main villain, it seems appropriate that we should try spot some of the clues that the teaser showed us. Not just comic book-related Easter Eggs, mind you, but even ones which may be hinting towards the larger story of the movie itself.

So, dear readers, cue up the trailer, max its resolution, and get ready to pause at key moments as we dissect the first teaser of The Batman.

“Let’s play a game, me and you.”

First off, there’s the Riddler himself. He certainly doesn’t look anything like he does in the comics, but there are telltale hints to his comic book roots. For one thing, the jacket he wears is green – the color associated with the Riddler. Also, he’s wearing glasses over the top his full-face mask, and some versions of the Riddler (particularly the one seen in the television series Gotham) portray him wearing glasses regularly. And of course, like the Riddler, he loves leaving clues for the police.

Speaking of which, the crime itself has quite a few tidbits. If you look closely at the newspaper clippings, particular the ones with “LIAR” scrawled over, they’re all about one Don Mitchell Jr., the three-time elected mayor of Gotham. That’s who the murder victim is, which may account for why the FBI is there along with the Gotham PD. Another newspaper wall clipping features a headline that says “Maroni Drug Bust!” Batman fans would know this is Sal Maroni, the mafia boss responsible for turning district attorney Harvey Dent into the villain, Two-Face.

As for the Riddler’s greeting card, that, too, is loaded with hints. There’s the riddle itself, “What does a liar do when he’s dead?” Answer: He lies still. Since the Riddler’s riddles give clues to his next crime, the answer to riddle may also refer to the funeral scene which we later see in the teaser. The card itself is a Halloween card – likely Matt Reeves’ reference to Batman: The Long Halloween which he says inspired the film. There’s also a large owl on it. Could this be a hint to the Court of Owls – the secret society of the rich and powerful who run Gotham from the shadows? That would go into some conspiratorial territory, especially if the Riddler’s murder victims are also somehow connected to Bruce Wayne’s parents.

There’s also those weird symbols on the bottom of the card, which seem very reminiscent of the real life Zodiac killer. Those symbols are likely a substitution cipher, with each symbol representing a letter. Since people usually sign greeting cards on the bottom, those symbols could spell out the Riddler’s name. Since there’s six symbols on the first line, and five on the bottom, “Edward Nygma,” the Riddler’s alias, fits perfectly. The only problem is three of those symbols are identical, and may not correspond with the right letter of the alphabet.

“Something in the way.”

We do get teases of other villains, as well. There’s shots of Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman breaking into a safe and fighting Batman. Her balaclava has just the hint of cat ears which is a nice touch, and, given its homemade look, echoes the “Year Two” vibe Reeves is striving for. There’s also shots of a completely unrecognizable Colin Farrell as Oswald Copplepot/The Penguin. He doesn’t sport a monocle, though, and it seems his henchmen are the only ones carrying umbrellas. However, in terms of appearance, it seems the filmmakers definitely took their cues from the Batman: Arkham video game series.

More from Batman

Yet the most prominent are the face-painted gang members, particularly the leader whom Batman gives a satisfying, but savage, beating. There’s hints of the Joker in their collective makeup, which calls to mind the Jokerz from Batman Beyond, the street gang who took on the Clown Prince of Crime’s visage and iconography to pay homage to him.

However, if you look closely, you can see their faces are made up to look like skulls. In fact, it seems very reminiscent of Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), the Mexican holiday which coincides with the Catholic Church’s All Saint’s Day which also coincides with Halloween. So yes, it’s another Long Halloween nod by Reeves.

“I’m vengeance.”

Of course, we can’t talk about a Batman film without Batman himself and his “wonderful toys.” Nearly everything gives off a Caped Crusader near the beginning of his career while also becoming an established fixture.

The costume seems clearly modeled off tactical body armor, especially with the neck collar. The Batcave looks sparse, and seems to resemble an abandoned section of Wayne Manor more than an actual cave. The Batmobile is a custom-built muscle car with a jet engine wielded to the back. And we get plenty of shots of Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne in black eye shadow, which, of course brings out the white of his eyes while wearing the cowl.

What you may not have caught are some interesting tidbits. The gauntlet seem have what look like removable harpoons, which could be attachments for his grapple gun. When he gets shot in the chest, there’s a visible golden glow around the bat emblem, likely a nod towards the classic bat on yellow oval symbol. Also, while he does seem cooperative with Gordon (Jefferey Wright) and the police during the opening of the teaser, take a closer look at the scene of Batman whizzing up with his grapple. Those are cops shooting at him. Looks like Bats may wind up getting in trouble with the law again.

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There’s sure to be more trailers forthcoming, especially once filming resumes, giving us even more hints for us to mull over. We’ll, of course, keep you posted for the latest news about The Batman. Until then, what other clues and Easter Eggs did you spot that may have been overlooked?