The Batman trailer dropped yesterday and the discussion around it is already insane. There have been lots of positive reactions to the grounded visual approach, the murder mystery/detective angle of the story, and what it looks like Robert Pattinson will bring to his performance of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
However, just like any notable trailer drop, The Batman trailer is also causing its fair share of speculation. While it’s easy to see that the story will feature around Paul Dano as a sadistic interpretation of the Riddler, there is a deeper revelation. Writers Matt Reeves and Mattson Tomlin look to be using the Riddler to introduce a villainous cabal that has never been seen on the big screen: the Court of Owls.
Before we take a look at the evidence in The Batman trailer, let’s do a quick explainer on the Court of Owls.
Who Are the Court of Owls?
The Court of Owls was introduced in 2011 by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo. They are a secret society of Gotham elites that have existed since the founding of Gotham City. Through their trained assassins called Talons, the Court of Owls flexes incredible power over the course of Gotham’s history. But, their most important tool is invisibility. They remain in the shadows and hide their identities behind owl-themed masks.
Watch The Batman trailer again before we show you the evidence…
So, what in The Batman trailer leads us to believe that Matt Reeves is planning on introducing the Court of Owls? Time to break down the evidence…
A Conspiracy to Unravel In The Batman Trailer
At the beginning of The Batman trailer, we see a mysterious green-clothed figure stretching some duct tape as he looms over a body. As the trailer progresses, we see this body being examined by Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), and the words “NO MORE LIES” scrawled in red ink (blood?) across the duct-taped face.
In The Batman trailer we also get a look at a collage of newspapers that highlight the career of Gotham’s mayor, Don Mitchell Jr., including a “historic third term.” Painted over these newspapers in red ink (blood?) is the word, “LIES.” It’s very possible that the duct-taped body that the Riddler has possibly murdered and set up for display is Gotham’s mayor.
So it seems like the Riddler is wanting to expose some terrible secret about Gotham’s mayor. And what form does his riddle take? A greeting card with an owl on the front.
This alone isn’t a huge piece of evidence in The Batman trailer but it’s the spark to a fuse of other intriguing clues regarding the first big-screen appearance of the Court of Owls. Writer/director Matt Reeves has talked about this film’s desire to explore the corruption present in Gotham City and how deep it goes. That corruption will even cause Bruce to investigate his own family’s history. From what this trailer shows, it looks like the Riddler is leading Batman on a mystery that will reveal the Court of Owls as the true puppet masters behind all the corruption in Gotham City.
And if the final cryptic lines of The Batman trailer are to be believed – the Riddler says (presumably to Batman), “You’re a part of this too.” – it’s possible that the Riddler knows Batman is Bruce Wayne and that his family could have historical connections to the Court of Owls.
Considering that Reeves has gone on record stating that The Batman will feature a number of notable villains, it makes sense to use those villains as a lead-in to an unfamiliar feature film entity like the Court of Owls. They are recent enough creations that they haven’t made a huge impact outside of the comic storylines. It’s a great opportunity to introduce moviegoers to the Court of Owls. Plus, having a secret society is a perfect story device for a mystery, which Reeves and other creatives involved with the production have stressed that The Batman will be.
There’s enough in The Batman trailer to suggest that the Court of Owls will be debuting on the big screen in The Batman. Do you think we’ve done some good detective work? Or are we just hooting in the dark?