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The Batman Scene That Drastically Changed From The Trailer To The Finished Movie

Robert Pattinson in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Matt Reeves has had a long and prosperous working relationship with Wētā FX, having collaborated on two Planet of the Apes sequels, as well as the newest DC film, The Batman. The director leans on the visual effects artists to enhance so many aspects of his feature films, from the creation of the Gotham landscape to the rain that falls on the Batmobile during that heart-racing car chase with the Penguin (Colin Farrell). But one shot that Wētā FX worked on earlier in the filmmaking process changed drastically by the time the team got to the finished feature, all because Reeves wanted to place his camera at a different angle. 

When The Batman showed its first piece of footage during Warner Bros’ DC FanDome event, the teaser trailer included a shot of Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) riding his motorcycle into his Batcave. (Which you can explore via Google Maps.) We can tell by this first shot that the Batcave is an abandoned train station, though during an exclusive conversation with Wētā FX visual effects supervisor Anders Langlands, he told us about how that shot changed between the teaser and the movie, and why. According to Langlands:

The original designs by James Chinlund, the production designer, and his art department, they've done a basic 3D model for figuring out the set design. And then that was used to build a small portion of the set that they actually built on stage at Leavesden They shot a plate of the bike pulling up. That version of the shot was in the very first teaser trailer that was released (during) DC FanDome. … But for the final shot, Matt wanted actually a different angle. If you compare the version of the shot that's in the movie to the version of the shot that's in the trailer, they’re very, very different. Because Matt wasn't able to get the camera exactly where he wanted it on the stage at Leavesden because the stage wasn't big enough to put the crane back in quite the right position for the angle of the shot he wanted. So we ended up completely recreating that environment in CG.

Being able to change and extend the environment of Robert Pattinson’s Batcave allowed Matt Reeves and the Weta team to add crucial and tantalizing details that we will be able to full appreciate when we get The Batman on home video, allowing us to pause and comb the frame. Anders Langlands confirms that the Batcave in Reeves’ version is an abandoned subway station that was built specifically for the Wayne family. Using CG, Weta made sure to add a workshop in one of the alcoves of the train station. But the clutter in this cave, according to Langlands, is an intentional inclusion to mirror the psychological state that Bruce Wayne finds himself in at this stage of his journey. As Langlands explains:

He's got packing boxes and random junk scattered all over the platforms. He's just brought stuff down from the attic and he’s going to start working on it. He's got a gym and his work benches for testing ammunition. … What I love about it is that it does feel like a lived-in space. It's not like this purpose built thing that's all fancy, showing off all of his gadgets. And it goes to the character, right ? He hasn't figured out how to be Batman or Bruce Wayne yet. And so he's just, like, taken over this space that he happened to have at the bottom of Wayne Tower. He’s starting to set up in there. You imagine that he might, purpose build some more stuff in the future, but right now it feels like he's squatting in this space.

The future of Matt Reeves’ Batman franchise sounds very exciting. Robert Pattinson talked in interviews about the subtle differences he introduced between Wayne and the Caped Crusader. The Bruce Wayne persona can become more prevalent as Pattinson becomes more comfortable in the role. Then there is that deleted scene that shows off Reeves’ version of The Joker, which some of us wished he left in the movie. There are plenty of cool characters that Matt Reeves can include in The Batman 2, but until we get more details, we just have to wait for this one to leave theaters and finally arrive on home video, where we can analyze all the precious details.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.