Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Batman.
The Batman fans are debating whether the film drops a very specific reference to one of the Caped Crusader's most deadly villains: Bane.
The scene in question takes place in The Batman's climactic third act. After being shot point-blank in the chest with a shotgun, the Dark Knight is forced to take a breather while Catwoman handles some of the thugs inspired by Riddler's crimes. When the situation goes from bad to worse and Selina Kyle is dangling for her life at the mercy of an armed aggressor, Batman injects himself with an unnamed serum that kicks his body into overdrive to save her. While it's currently unconfirmed, some fans believe the substance to be Venom, a volatile performance drug often used by Bane.
While the vial in question is never named, fans are basing their speculation on Batman's reaction to the substance. Beyond simply knocking the gunman aside, he proceeds to attack him in a frenzied manner, severally injuring the masked assailant before being stopped by his allies. Some are drawing parallels to the comic book story Batman: Venom by Dennis O'Neil and Trevor von Eeden. The narrative follows Bruce Wayne as he becomes addicted to the performance-enhancing drug in a bid to push himself beyond his breaking point.
While director Matt Reeves has yet to address the speculation around the vial, the filmmaker has opened up about which villain he'd love to include in a sequel... and it's not Bane. "I think Hush is a really interesting one to do. I'll choose Hush," said Reeves. "That doesn't mean that the next [movie villain] will be Hush. I just want to say, there are so many." While fans may be excited to potentially see the sinister Tommy Elliot appear in live-action, Reeves reinstated that nothing has yet been decided and that the sequel is still in early development.
The Batman debuted to stellar reviews from fans and critics alike. Many are praising its dark, gritty take on the mythos of Gotham City alongside some stellar performances from Robert Pattinson, Paul Dano, Zoë Kravitz and Jeffery Wright. The film chronicles Batman in his early years as a crime-fighter, pitting him against the evil intellect of a serial killer calling himself The Riddler.
The Batman is now in theaters.