The latest photos from the Glasgow set of The Batman have got fans talking, and one of the things they're saying is that the latest glimpse at Matt Reeves' version of the Dark Knight Detective feels like it pays a bit of homage to the 2013/2014 DC Comics publishing event Batman: Zero Year from writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo. That story, which explored Bruce Wayne's earliest days in the Batman costume, used a kind of "proto-Batman" design that the character wore during the storyline. Both that sense of a "rough draft" of the final Batsuit and his relatively simple and stripped-down bat-motorcycle appear to be an inspiration on The Batman.
The story was Batman's post-Flashpoint origin story, used to clean up the backstory for the hero in the New 52 continuity. Originally, writer scott Snyder had not wanted to remove Frank Miller's classic Batman: Year One from continuity, but ultimately, that story did not mesh with what they were trying to do in the New 52.
The Zero Year storyline, which eventually reached outside of the Batman titles and touched on other corners of the DC Universe, was divided into three parts: "Secret City," "Dark City," and "Zero City." In "Secret City," Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham after his years of training, having been gone long enough to have been presumed dead. Both that part and the second act, "Dark City," dealt with The Riddler making a play for control of Gotham and Bruce/Batman facing off with him for the first time. In "Savage City," Riddler had taken over the city and parts of it were overgrown after an attack by Poison Ivy. Batman had to work with the GCPD and other allies to bring it back to normal.
In terms of the costume itself, there aren't a ton of similarities to the Zero Year suit. During the motorcycle sequences, he was often depicted without a cape, which certainly is the case in the behind-the-scenes photos but there's no guarantee that a cape won't just be digitally inserted, as it often was in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The "tactical" look of leather boots and things strapped to Batman's legs rather than just stored in the utility belt are represented here, too, and the gauntlet features what looks like it might be darts, which will likely draw some fan comparisons to the crossbow Batman carried around in "Savage City."
Pattinson will be playing a version of Batman who is in his second year as a masked vigilante in The Batman, according to various sources. The movie is expected to dial into the noir detective angle that first defined Batman's comics, rather than the colorful and fantastical superhero stories that he has since been inserted into.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman also stars Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth; Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle; Colin Farrell as The Penguin; Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon; Paul Dano as The Riddler; and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.
The Batman is set to premiere in theaters on June 25, 2021. With no planned Justice League follow ups in the near future, it seems likely that DC's shared film universe will be going without a Batman for a while, leaving Pattinson to redefine the role before we get either him or someone else stepping back onscreen with Superman and Wonder Woman down the line.