It’s really hard to overstate, even in the current superhero landscape, what a big event the first Batman film was when Warner Bros. rolled it out in 1989. At the time, the last Batman movie had the Caped Crusader deploying shark repellent and keeping ducks safe from bombs (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This time, though, the Dark Knight was getting a slick, stylish, and serious cinematic adventure with all the trappings of the other action blockbusters of the decade, and people were stoked.
The trailer for Tim Burton’s Batman isn’t as heavily stylized or focused on quick cuts and flash as modern superhero trailers are, but that actually works in its favor. It’s not afraid to take its time with the quiet moments, and then intersperse them with more of the film’s action-heavy setpieces. Plus, it opens with the Batwing zipping around Gotham City. If you were a kid in 1989 and that was the first you saw of this Batman, it was the event of your life.
Then there’s the closing moments. The trailer tells us who the stars are, then cuts to the metallic gold Batsymbol that adorned most of the film’s marketing. It doesn’t say “Batman” because it doesn’t need to. It just shows you that symbol. That’s a statement for the ages.