The Batman panel at DC FanDome was huge – here's everything we learnt from director Matt Reeves

The Batman panel at DC Fandome was quite something. Matt Reeves talked us through his exciting upcoming movie before unveiling a brand new trailer, featuring a very, very brutal – and different – take on the Dark Knight. 

Before we dive into the big talking points, be sure to watch the trailer above! Ok, watched it? Great, isn't it? Here's everything Reeves said during the panel.

Batman's learning

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

"What is good? That's one of the interesting things, it's about is learning how to be Batman," Reeves said of Pattinson's leading hero. The Batman will take place during Bruce Wayne's second year of being Batman, and he'll still be learning the ropes, working out how far he can push the boundaries of being a vigilante. 

"It's early and Batman's still a vigilante," the directed continued. "[Gotham's people] wonder, 'That guy sounds a little dangerous.' He's not yet the symbol of hope... He's still a growing legend. People wonder whether he exists. It's one of the things he will confront in the story."

Reeves added that we still shouldn't' expect an "origins" story. "A lot of the other stories are about how he mastered his fear to become Batman," he said. "What was exciting for me was not that, but to meet him in the middle of this criminological state. For him to make mistakes."

Riddle me this

The trailer makes it clear that The Riddler will be the primary antagonist of this story, the cruel man leaving behind a trail of death. Don't expect Paul Dano's version of the character to be anything like Jim Carrey's. 

"Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no one has ever seen before... what he is doing is going to blow people's minds," says Reeves. He went on to also describe Andy Serkis' version of Alfred as "unlike any version" we've seen before. Well, colour us intrigued. 

"How all these characters connect was one of the really interesting things about writing this movie," Reeves added while discussing the cast of villains and allies, which also includes Commissioner Gordon, Selina Kyle, and The Penguin. This is going to be one jam-packed movie.

The Batsuit

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

There's a reason the previously-seen Batsuit looks quite so different. "It's very practical, the idea is that [Batman] made it himself," Reeves said. "It needs to look like he can move, but it's still evolving. He's in Year Two of being Batman."

Pattinson also spoke to another Batman actor about the practicalities of the suit. "Rob actually talked to Christian Bale and he was like just make sure you’re actually able to relieve yourself,” Reeves revealed. We're hoping Pattinson was able to unzip that suit... or... actually, let's not think about that too hard. 

True detective

"Because the movie's detective story and about corruption, we're treating it as if this Batman story could have happened. He doesn't have superpowers, just super focus. Chinatown was a key movie for us," Reeves said. "French Connection and Taxi Driver were key for us as well. A lot of '70s street grounded stories."

The filmmaker was sure to point out that this tale will be one grounded in as much reality as possible, as he's a super-hero who has no powers other than being "super-focussed" on saving Gotham from itself. That's not to say Reeves isn't a fan of the Batman movies that have played more with the other-worldly. "I love Ben Affleck as Batman, and I'm excited for the new Zack Snyder cut of Justice League," he said. And that's sure to get the Snyder Cut fans on side.

Gotham PD

Not only are we getting Tha Batman, but also a spin-off series about Gotham PD. "The Gotham PD series will go into the corruption of the Gotham Police Department," he said. "It goes back to Batman Year One... we'll see these characters from a perspective we've never seen before."

Reeves teased how we will see how corruption has managed to break down the police department and will focus on one man in particular – though he did not say who. Could it be Jeffrey Wright's Gordon? We'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, if that peek of Pattinson as Batman wasn't enough, FanDome has brought the goods elsewhere. We've got explanations of how future DC movies will fit into the multiverse, a new Flash suit, a Suicide Squad line-up, and even a  trailer for Zack Snyder's Justice League.

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.