So many people thought that the new Batman movie wouldn’t be any good. And yet, The Batman trailer amassed the biggest viewer base on the internet among all DC FanDome trailers. The film became the talk of the town. Robert Pattinson really instilled fear in every blabbering hater with that rash beat down he gave to the rando with the white makeup. Overall, the way Matt Reeves edited the trailer really gave fans literal chills. But the greatest part about the trailer was that the sleuths on the internet got a whole bunch of things to break down by watching the trailer frame by frame. That’s because Reeves left us with tons of details in almost every scene.
One big conclusion that we have been able to come across is that the Riddler isn’t an agent of madness and chaos like the Joker. He has a clear motivation behind his theatrical murders. He wants to open everyone’s eyes towards the deeply rooted corruption in Gotham. He wants everyone to see the lies that the people in power have been telling all this time. And more than anything, he wants Batman to open up his blind eyes and look at the criminals hiding in plain sight. That’s why, both the riddles in the trailer have been directly addressed to Batman.
The Riddler taped the face of the Mayor of Gotham, Don Mitchell Jr. after killing him. He wrote “No More Lies” on Mitchell’s face. Along with that, we saw a bunch of news clippings on the wall. All these clippings credit the Mayor for his achievements, but the Riddler branded them as “Lies.” One particular headline reads “Don’s Done It Again,” referring to the fact that he has won his third consecutive term for the Mayor’s office.
In the next sequence, we see a car crash into the Mayor’s funeral gathering. And stepping out of the car is the District Attorney Gil Coulson (Peter Sarsgaard) who has been taped up with a neck bomb which will go off if anyone tries to remove it. The DA was also sent with a direct message to Batman. Why is the Riddler acting his own judgement on these people of Power? Because they’ve been telling lies all this time. It is possible that they are all puppets, and have been put in power by the real group of villains running Gotham from behind the scenes. This cabal is none other than the Court of Owls.
In the comics, the Court of Owls are a group of wealthy politicians and Gotham’s elite individuals who control the socio-economic conditions of Gotham from behind the scenes. Since they’ve never been brought to the big screen, we certainly believe that Matt Reeves could be using them in his trilogy. Everything in Gotham may be run by them. They may be the ones who placed Don Mitchell Jr. in the Mayor’s office. They may have appointed the DA. And they could also be the ones keeping the Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and his crime family in power.
The Court of Owls surely exist in Matt Reeves’ The Batman franchise because the Riddler hides the proof of their existence in plain sight. The card that he leaves for Batman has a skeleton and an owl on the front. The skeleton may be referring to all the members of the Secret Society of Gotham’s elites (wearing white masks), and the Owl refers to Talon and the collective group of the villainous organization. The owl in the front isn’t just an Easter Egg as the Riddler seems to be telling Batman about the Court.
Now how does all of this tie in with Batman? It’s clear that the Riddler might have stumbled upon the existence of the Court of Owls and wants to expose them. But why is he dragging Batman into it? Why is he making it personal? There’s a reason why we think that the Riddler is calling out the Batman. He is someone who thinks Batman to be a hypocrite. Maybe the Riddler somehow found out about Batman’s secret identity. He says, “If you are justice, please do not lie. What is the price for your blind eye?”
Not only is this statement a smart wordplay referring to the myth that bats are blind, but the Riddler could be taunting Bruce for turning a blind eye towards his own parents. We’ve covered one theory where we stated that the Riddler wants Batman to be in the middle of all this is because Thomas & Martha Wayne were involved in all the corruption that the Court of Owls has been responsible for. They were wealthy, and possibly in on the actions of the villainous cabal. But, if this is the big twist of the film, then it is very predictable (especially after the fact that Matt Reeves has himself hinted towards it).
So, we’ve got another twist in our mind and that’s nothing but the fact that Batman has also been unknowingly working for the Court of Owls. He thinks that he is acting out in the name of justice, but what he’s really doing is that he is acting out the will of the Court. Towards the end of the trailer, the Riddler tells Batman, “You’re a part of this too.” Batsy replies, “How am I a part of this?” Riddler states, “You’ll see.”
In this film, Batman is in his second year of crime-fighting. So it is understandable that he doesn’t know about the existence of the Court of Owls yet. The trailer made it clear that over the year, he has made a connection with Gordon, and at times he & the police may have been working with each other. But the truth is that if the Court of Owls are running the city secretly, the higher-ups at the GCPD will also be puppets of the Court. The Commissioner of Gotham (Alex Ferns) should also be corrupt. So really, the cases and tips that Jim Gordon would have handed over to the Batman may actually be targets created by the Court. In hindsight, Batman & Jim Gordon may have actually been taking out the people that threaten the power & position of the Court of Owls. That’s why, the Riddler thinks that the Batman is a hypocrite who doesn’t fight for justice, but the real villains of Gotham. It is also why the Riddler must have suggested that the Batman is a part of the deeper conspiracy of Gotham.
The first theory about the involvement of Bruce’s parents with the Court, and the Riddler knowing Bruce’s secret identity may be partly or fully true. But, the second theory about Bruce himself being unknowingly involved in the actions of the court has to be the big twist that Matt Reeves is building up towards. That would be much more powerful because it would carry the power to really break Batman on an emotional level. All this time, Bruce would have thought that he has been acting out in the name of Justice. But really, he has been doing the bidding of the true villains of Gotham, which probably led to the innocent being imprisoned.
This will set up a redemption arc for Bruce as he will then investigate the Court in The Batman 2. That will ultimately pit him against Talon. Let’s see if this theory turns out to be true. For now, we’re just hoping for the speedy recovery of Robert Pattinson who has been tested positive for Covid-19. The Batman will go back to filming once Pattinson is fit and healthy.
Directed by Matt Reeves from a script he co-wrote with Mattson Tomlin, the film stars Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, with Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin.