'The Batman' trailer shows Robert Pattinson as a dark and violent superhero

The British actor makes his debut as the Caped Crusader in March next year

A brooding Robert Pattinson is shown as a vengeful Dark Knight in The Batman, in the first action-packed trailer that was released on Saturday.

Unveiled at the DC FanDome, an annual online event promising trailers, news and first-look previews of coming projects from DC Comics, Pattinson's turn as the Caped Crusader offers a glimpse of a dark, bleak and violent version of Batman.

Lasting a little over two minutes, the footage opens with a scene of police officers arresting a man in a cafe. The milk in his coffee is swirled into a question mark, the calling card of Batman’s nemesis the Riddler.

“Fear is a tool. When the light hits the sky, it’s not just a call. It’s a warning,” Pattinson is heard saying over a shot of the Bat-Signal. The superhero is then shown methodically taking down bad guys as his Batsuit absorbs several bullets.

The trailer also shows Zoe Kravitz, who plays Catwoman, aka Selina Kyle, make a dramatic entrance, while Colin Farrell looks unrecognisable in his role as classic villain the Penguin.

Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth and Jeffrey Wright as Gotham City's police chief commissioner Gordon also make appearances.

Paul Dano plays serial killer the Riddler, who taunts Batman.

The trailer comes after a teaser was released at the DC FanDome event in 2020, which gave fans their first glimpse of Pattinson as Batman.

Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), The Batman introduces Pattinson as the superhero, following in the footsteps of actors including Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, Val Kilmer, Michael Keaton and George Clooney. Affleck, who last played Batman in Justice League (2017) was set to star in, write and direct the film, but left the project because he was reportedly dissatisfied with the script.

“Part of the problem was that we worked on the script, and I was trying to figure out how to kind of crack it. I was never happy enough with it, where I thought it was worth actually going out and making it because I just didn't want to do a version that I wasn't really excited by,” Affleck said at the time.

Reeves was soon announced as the new director, with Pattinson revealed as Batman in 2019.

The Batman has been beset by delays owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Filming in Britain was halted in September last year after Pattinson reportedly tested positive for coronavirus only days after shooting had resumed following lockdown-imposed closures of production.

“A member of The Batman production has tested positive for Covid-19 and is isolating in accordance with established protocols,” Warner Bros said at the time. “Filming is temporarily paused.”

While the studio did not identify the person infected or indicate when filming would resume, Hollywood trade publications, including Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, said they had confirmed that Pattinson, 34, was the ailing cast member.

The film was originally set to be released in June and then October this year. It is now scheduled to be released on Friday, March 4, 2022.

Reeves has said his version is inspired by classic film noir and will depict a “very human and very flawed” Bruce Wayne trying to solve a series of crimes in his second year as Batman.

Updated: October 17th 2021, 9:52 AM