The Batman trailer left fans with as many questions as it provided answers about Matt Reeves' Batman reboot. The trailer featured actor Paul Dano's haunting version of The Riddler - presented here as a serial killer/vigilante bent on ending corruption in Gotham, with a penchant for leaving complicated codes and clues for the police and their tenuous ally, Batman. Reeves is already having a bit of fun with fans, dropping several Riddler-brand puzzles for eagle-eyed fans to discover. While Riddler's encrypted clues were deciphered, there's been a bit more debate as to the identities of two of the villain's victims, that we see meet grisly fates. Now, we may know them both!
A new theory pieces together clues from The Batman trailer and interviews with the cast, as well as Matt Reeves. To boil it down: the theory is that Riddler's second victim in the trailer - a man who literally crashes into a crowded funeral in an SUV, only to reveal he's bound in duct tape, with a note addressed to "The Batman" and cell phone both taped to his body. A later scene seems to indicate that Batman can't defuse the situation (literally) and that poor man ends up getting blown up. According to Screen Rant, that man is Gil Colson, the Gotham D.A. played by actor Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern).
The first Riddler victim (the man with his head mummified by duct tape, and a message that reads "No More Lies") is actually Gotham's mayor. That first kill in Riddler's anti-corruption/anti-Batman campaign prompts events like the big press conference that Bruce Wayne is seen spying on, not to mention the big funeral that draws prominent figures of Gotham like Bruce to that big Gothic church, where the Riddler next strikes. It would make sense that after the mayor Gotham City's D.A. would be next, and there's visual evidence to back up the idea that it is Peter Sarsgaard strapped to that phone.
We know from early production teasers on social media that Sarsgaard would sport a shaved head in The Batman - the same hairstyle of Riddler's second victim. The fact that we would see Sarsgaard in front of our eyes and not even recognize is also far from remarkable; Colin Farrell's Penguin is a featured character in The Batman trailer, and no one (not even the cast) initially recognized that it was him! Likewise for Paul Dano, who is hidden beneath that creepy Riddler mask. In fact, if you didn't know who was cast in the roles, The Batman trailer would really only confirm that Robert Pattinson's Batman and Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon are in this flick.
One big endpoint about the theory that Sarsgaard's Gil Coulson is going to die, is its connection to the longtime theory that Sarsgaar and "Gil Coulson" (a new character) are actually part of Matt Reeves' plan to introduce Two-Face into The Batman universe. Some have theorized that "Gil Coulson" is just an alias, and Sarsgaard is actually playing Harvey Dent. This scene with Riddler's bomb could arguably be the inciting incident that scars Dent and makes him Two-Face. Another theory says that Gil Coulson will die, making way for Gotham to promote Harvey Dent to the position. Reeves could have easily cast an actor as Dent on the sly, as The Batman is suspected to introduce a wide variety of future Batman rogues, alongside Zoe Kravitz' Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Farrell's Penguin, or Dano's Riddler.
The Batman is currently set for release on October 1, 2021.