The Batman is finally available on home media and that only means one thing: special features. The blu-ray release came with a separate disc that has over two hours of special features on it. Those special features include featurettes, behind-the-scenes footage, and deleted scenes. Let’s get into the TBU Five Things and talk about some of the best special features for The Batman.
#1: The Fighting Style
We all love Batman for a variety of reasons, but the way he beats up criminals is probably number one. We have seen a variety of fighting styles from Batman over the years on film, from the BAM, POW of the 60s to the knees and elbows of Christian Bale. The fighting style in The Batman was unique. Director Matt Reeves stated that Alfred taught Bruce how to fight because of his MI6 days, but also Bruce cobbled together much of his style from other teachers over the years. Batman is a street fighter, but he knows what he is doing. Batman wasn’t untouchable either. He would take some punishment to keep the realistic approach of the whole film.
One thing I found interesting in this segment was when Robert Pattinson (Batman) talked about Bruce Wayne’s approach to fighting as Batman. It was a comment made that said that every night Bruce puts on the cowl and fights a thug, he is trying to recreate the night his parents were killed. Bruce, in turn, uses that rage to hand out punishment to the criminal element.
#2: Vengeance Meets Justice
A big theme of the movie was that Batman was vengeance, but Riddler saw himself as justice. Riddler thought he was helping Batman by taking out who he saw as the true criminals in Gotham City. They each experienced trauma as kids (something Reeves points out that all the main characters share), but they channel their trauma in different ways as adults. Bruce channels this crimefighter who dresses up as a bat while Edward Nashton goes into puzzles. Bruce doesn’t kill, but Edward is not afraid to attach a bomb around someone’s neck.
This segment stood out to me because it showed how Batman and Riddler are two sides of the same coin. That is a comparison that I haven’t really seen much. Usually, we see that it’s Batman and either Joker, Two-Face, Ra’s al Ghul as the dark reflection of Batman but never the Riddler. That is something new and interesting that this movie achieved.
#3: Penguin Transformation
I feel like this didn’t get enough attention. In such a short amount of screen time, Colin Farrell stole the show as Oswald Cobblepot. He was like an NBA player who came off the bench and scored 20 points in 15 minutes. The only difference was that the NBA player didn’t sit for four hours in the makeup chair.
To see the transformation that Farrell underwent and the process of putting on this makeup was incredible. There was some pretty cool video of Farrell getting into character and just messing with the crew as Oswald.
The unsung MVP of the movie might be Michael Marino in the makeup department. He put the Penguin look together as well as the Joker makeup that Barry Keoghan wore. If he doesn’t win an award, it would be a crime.
#4: The Documentary
This is something that should be done more for these big-budget comic book movies. The Batman had about a 50-minute documentary that spanned the whole shoot of the film which makes it one of the best special features. It opened up with Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz (Catwoman) in their costumes for the camera tests. Reeves spoke on how the first few days of shooting centered on figuring out how Batman sounded, how he moved, and how the people around him would react to seeing a vigilante in a Batsuit.
There was some time spent on the creation of the Bat logo with even one of the crew joking about how people online said the chest emblem was made out of Joe Chill’s gun (see, they do listen to us!). I also love how Pattinson wore the suit from Batman Forever for his chemistry reads with Kravitz. It’s funny how that’s the legacy of Batman Forever in that every new Batman wears that suit for his auditions.
Also, the documentary focused on the shutdown the film had due to the pandemic. Reeves said it was supposed to be a five-month shoot, but it turned out to be a year and a half. John Turturro (Carmine Falcone) said that Reeves basically became Batman by wearing a mask every day on set and being the crew’s own superhero.
I wish more movies had something similar to this on their special features. Instead of the quick ten-minute featurettes, give viewers an hour documentary showing the whole process.
#5: Deleted Scenes with Commentary
This is what we were all looking for! There are only two deleted scenes featured on the special features for The Batman, but the scenes come with commentary by Matt Reeves which makes these some of the best. The first scene is the Batman/Joker scene that was released shortly after the movie opened. Reeves said that Batman wanted to get inside the mind of a serial killer, so he went to see the man before he officially became the Joker. Because The Batman takes place in Year Two, that means that Batman and Pre-Joker fought in Year One, so they have a history. This version of Joker takes inspiration from that original 1940s Bob Kane/Bill Finger Joker. This meeting is unnerving to Batman because Joker calls it that Batman thinks that corrupt politicians deserve justice but can’t get on board with how Riddler delivers that justice. It’s something that Batman couldn’t admit to himself but hearing the Joker say it out loud really throws him for a loop.
The second scene is a quick scene, but it would have taken place when Batman needed Selina to get into the 44 Below. Selina is wearing Batman’s video contact lenses as she goes to see Cobblepot to get the key to the club. Penguin gives her the key, but before he does, Cobblepot lets Selina know that one day he will run the city. Reeves’s commentary provides that Selina is awkward because she knows that Batman is listening when talking to Oswald, but Oswald thinks he is getting shut down and rejected again. The backstory that Reeves put together for Penguin was great in that his whole life he was looked down on because of his looks but knows deep down that he will be Gotham’s biggest crime boss.
There are over two hours of special features, so this article features only the best of what The Batman offers. There are two great featurettes on how the car chase scene and the wingsuit scene were put together as well as a great tidbit on how one person had to hand write ALL of Riddler’s journals. The time and effort put into these types of movies are amazing, and this is another prime example of it being done the right way.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to check out the special features, you can order the film on Amazon. You can also hear an expansive discussion of not only the best special features, but all of the special features on the TBU Podcast.