The Batman debuted in theaters on March 4. It is a dark film–not only thematically, but visually as well. Everything is covered in shadow and darkness, and when you see color, it’s washed out and fleeting.
The visual style is a tribute to classic film noir: that hardboiled genre with long shadows, furtive glances, and gritty dialogue about lowlife gangsters and their untrustworthy dames. In this movie, Batman is less a classic action hero and more a brooding detective, who blurs the line between what makes a good cop and what makes a bad one. This is a young Batman who doesn’t yet have his moral compass–just an instinctual desire to “clean up the streets” and do more good than harm. He may not always do good. He may occasionally do harm. But he’s trying to be better, which makes him compelling.
Here are 17 references and Easter eggs you might have missed in The Batman, plus the end credits scene. Let us know in the comments if we missed any major ones.
1. Comic influences
The movie opens with Riddler spying on the mayor’s family with a pair of binoculars. It recalls Hitchcock’s 1954 voyeuristic thriller Rear Window, as well as the Buffalo Bill stalking scenes in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
3. "Ave Maria"
4. "I am Vengeance."
It’s become a running joke in the comics that Batman has a tendency to sneak up on allies when he makes his entrance, and then ghost them while they’re in the middle of talking to him. True to form, Batman does this several times throughout the film to both Gordon and Catwoman.
Penguin’s club, The Iceberg Lounge, is his hangout spot in nearly every movie, TV show, comic, and video game. In The Batman, it’s a seedy nightclub with depraved, red lighting.
5. Flaming Batmobile
While being arrested, Falcone makes reference to Oswald Cobblepot’s “gimp” leg, which gives him the trademark “waddle” that the crime lord is known for. Most recently on the TV show Gotham (2014), actor Robin Lord Taylor placed a particular emphasis upon his limp while portraying a younger version of Oswald Cobblepot.
In all iterations, Batman has a strict no-kill/no-guns policy, which he reiterates to Gordon while they’re on a stakeout together. Gordon quips back, while pointing his gun, “Yeah man. That’s your thing.”
Batman will eventually claim the mantle “World’s Greatest Detective,” but he’s not there yet. He is unsuccessful at preventing most of the Riddler’s crimes, often figuring out the solution after it’s already too late. It’s important to remember that this is a young Batman, who is still developing his moral code and crime-solving skills. When he prevents the mass killing at the very end of the film, it awakens his inner responsibility to protect people over settling personal issues.
7. Gotham Square Garden
At the end of the movie, right when Batman seems like he’s too hurt and tired to continue, he activates a green vial on his costume, which gives him a final boost of adrenaline. Some viewers have taken this as a reference to Venom, the chemical compound that gives Bane his super-strength and enhances his feelings of aggression. If Reeves makes another Batman film, maybe he can explore this further, especially if Batman becomes dependent or addicted to taking the drug.
9. Maybe Bludhaven?
After the end credits roll, we see a green Riddle question mark followed by a web address: www.rataalada.com. If you go to the site you get a cypher coded message, plus a percentage meter that’s slowly counting up.
According to the sleuths on Reddit, the coded message reads: “You think I’m finished, but perhaps you don’t know the full truth. Every ending is a new beginning. Something is coming.”