If fans of The Batman need a Bat-signal to call the Dark Knight, all they need is to search on Google.
Entering a search for the terms “Bruce Wayne,” “Gotham City,” “Bat-signal” or “Caped Crusader” on Google currently directs the user to an ordinary-looking search results page. However, next to the links used for sharing the results to social media is an animated GIF of the Bat-signal. Click on the GIF and the background of the page becomes dark and stormy, and will have its own Bat-signal projected onto it. Moments later, the Dark Knight himself will zip along the screen.
This fun addition to Batman-related search terms is to promote director and writer Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson in the title role. With Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin, the latest addition to the Caped Crusader’s big-screen outings exists outside of any other DC films and is not part of the larger DC Extended Universe.
The disconnect from other DC properties is part of the reason that Pattinson can’t see a crossover with Superman working for his Batman. According to Pattinson, the world created by Reeves is so grounded that it would be difficult to factor in the more fantastical elements that Superman would bring. “Like, we were talking the other day, like, ‘Can you add Superman into it but he just doesn’t have any powers? He’s just a guy in a cape?’ He’s just like, ‘I’m Superman!’ And they’re like, ‘So?'”
This doesn’t mean that The Batman will remain a stand-alone movie forever. An HBO Max show focusing on the Gotham City Police Department called Gotham PD has already been greenlit and is said to serve as a prequel to The Batman. Colin Farrell is also due to reprise his role as Oswald Cobblepot in another series that will focus on the Penguin.
If the movie is successful, Reeves has even more ideas for sequels and spinoffs to add to his Bat-verse. One idea that has been talked about, but not yet commissioned, is a show focusing on Kravitz’s Selina Kyle. “I’ve talked to the HBO Max folks,” Reeves said. “What we’re really trying to do is to launch this world. If the world embraces this, we have a lot of ideas for things we want to do, and for sure we want Selena to continue.”
The Batman zips into theaters on March 4.
KEEP READING: How Robert Pattinson Helped Create a More Emotional Batman