The Batman director Matt Reeves has teased that the film will serve as an origin story for several Batman villains, in addition to telling the story of Robert Pattinson's Batman in his second year. During the DC FanDome event, Reeves explained that "I guess the one thing about the Rogues Gallery is that it actually, in a weird way, this is the origins of a lot of our Rogue's gallery characters... so that's all incredibly exciting." And after seeing The Batman trailer, it seems like all of Gotham's rogues are doing to have a pretty dark and intense origin, indeed.
In his full explanation, Matt Reeves stated that when it comes to how The Batman will treat Batman's Rogue's gallery, Batman's career will be a catalysis for the rise of a new type of criminal:
"I guess the one thing about the Rogues Gallery is that it actually in a weird way, this is the origins of a lot of our Rogue's gallery characters. So like, Selena isn't Catwoman yet that's actually part of the journey. Oz [Cobblepot] is not yet the kingpin that he's going to become, He's The Penguin - in fact he doesn't like being called The Penguin, and the Riddler is just emerging for the first time, so that's all incredibly exciting."
Batman fans still remember how director Christopher Nolan explored the theme of villain escalation at the end of Batman Begins, and into The Dark Knight. However, Nolan's idea was that Batman's presence attracted a worse class of criminals like The Joker to Gotham City. Based on Matt Reeves' teases during DC Fandome, its seems The Batman will explore more cause-and-effect style connections between Batman and his rouges; Batman's actions will push cat-burglar Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz), or local gangster Oswald Cobblepot (Colin Farrell) to evolve into the villains we know and love (Catwoman, The Penguin). Paul Dano's Riddler looks terrifying as a serial killer version of the clue-loving baddie.
Not surprisingly, a lot of fans are now worrying this sounds too much like the Gotham TV series, which carved big origin stories for... Catwoman, Penguin, and Riddler, which had figures like Jim Gordon or young Bruce Wayne directly influencing the lives and fates of Selina, Oswald, or Ed Nigma. The difference in The Batman is, clearly, tone: nothing feels much like a soap opera in this gritty, Se7en-style version of Gotham City. The showdowns between Batman and his foes look like they will be deadly serious.
The Batman will be in theaters on October 1, 2021.