The second trailer for The Batman finally made its debut during DC FanDome 2021 on Saturday, showcasing Matt Reeves' epic take on the DC Comics universe. The trailer showcased more of the film's star-studded ensemble in some fascinating ways, all while seeding the larger conflict between Bruce Wayne / Batman (Robert Pattinson) and Edward Nashton / The Riddler (Paul Dano). While the trailer did appear to show slightly more of The Riddler, especially without his mask, one question still lingers — why aren't we seeing his face?
At the start of the trailer, Dano's Nashton appears to be arrested by Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and the GCPD at a diner, before leaving a green-lined coffee cup on the counter with a question mark drawn on the coffee. We see Dano over his shoulder as he raises his hands, and then his face is pushed into the counter as he is arrested. Later on, Batman visits Nashton in prison, but we only see him from the neck down, even when he's speaking. The main focus of the scene appears to be on Bruce's face as he asks "What did you do?"
Superhero trailers are obviously fond of adding in fake reveals or withholding information, but the way The Batman's trailers seem to be obstructing Dano's face feel especially deliberate. It almost begs the question of whether or not there's a larger twist at play regarding the film's incarnation of The Riddler — one that requires general audiences not having seen Dano's face beforehand. While DC-savvy fans know that Dano is among the film's cast, there's still a way to play with larger expectations regarding his specific role. That could easily mean that Nashton could be hiding in pain sight as a civilian elsewhere in the film while he's committing his crimes — or even as a GCPD officer, a sort of double-life that several real-life serial killers have taken — only to make the reveal that he's really The Riddler feel more significant.
There's also the possibility that Dano's Nashton might not be the true Riddler, and that he could either have an accomplice or be a smokescreen for the real killer. Theories have swirled surrounding the real role of characters like GCPD officer Stanley Merkel (Barry Keoghan), and whether or not he could secretly be behind part of the Riddler conspiracy. While these first two trailers don't fully set up that possibility, they also don't deny it either — and with The Batman's March 2022 release date approaching, hopefully we won't have to wait long to find out.
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The Batman is currently set to be released on March 4, 2022.