The upcoming Batman film is approaching, and fans received an intriguing reminder on Twitter. Director Matt Reeves [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes] has promised a return to the characters detective roots and early footage has excited fans. Even those who may have been sceptical of Robert Pattinson donning the cape and cowl.
But in a world where every year sees multiple superhero films released, even a brand like the Dark Knight needs to stand out.The Batman’smost recent marketing does just that.
It flashed across social media like a signal in Gotham’s sky and had fans engaged for hours.
The latest film is set to feature Paul Dano as The Riddler. This will be the first big-screen iteration of the villain since Jim Carrey’s depiction in 1995.
The character appeared to take control ofThe Batman Twitteraccount late last month.
The first puzzle is simple enough. If Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) starring as Catwoman was not enough, the post had an occasional capital letter throughout it.
Googling these letters takes you to The Riddler’s website. “Those who make me are likely to break me,” teases one. Another says, “The more I am revealed, the less I exist.”
The capitalised letters aren't a coincidence either, 'rata alada' according to Google Translate means winged rat, which various members of Batman's Rogues Gallery have referred to him as over time.
The Riddler has included a fail-safe for any shortcuts. Opening another window to search for an answer is met with a mocking taunt.
“You scour the internet for truth, but you still need to answer me.”
Cleverer people than this writer solved the riddles and posted their findings to social media.
What you get is rewardingly and interesting even if the details and purpose remains vague. Answering correctly gives you an image of Gotham mob boss Carmine Falcone. Beside him is Colin Farrell’s Penguin.
The picture has a white border around it and resembles a surveillance photo. Perhaps taken by Batman, likely by The Riddler.
Another correct answer results in what look to be police sketches of Batman in various stages of completion. This one is even more cryptic.
The images appear to be randomised and create more questions than answers about the film. However, they do hint at what viewers can expect.
Farrells’ Penguin looks to have more in common with the version fromThe Animated Seriesthan Danny De Vito’s grotesque, yet hypersexual creature fromBatman Returns. Matt Reeve’s take on The Penguin seems to be more of a gangster than a supervillain in keeping with the film’s grounded aesthetic.
The Police sketches indicate that Batman may be operating outside of the law for some of the film.
This concept is common in the comics and was the cornerstone of Tim Burton’s defining superhero film in 1989. The ending to Christopher Nolan’sThe Dark Knightsuggested that his films might head in this direction but this story was skipped over by the third film in the trilogy.
An early trailerfeatures Batman talking to Commissioner Gordon so there may be a secret alliance or some sort of grey area involved between the two.
Importantly, this incredibly effective promotional stunt tells us that this iteration of The Riddler is going to be something very different and distinct.
Perhaps the most vital goal of this campaign was right in front of us from the beginning. To remind us that Zoe Kravitz is in this film and is playing Catwoman.
The Batmanopens in theatres on March 3.