The New Batman Trailer Introduces Gotham's Grassroots Politician, Bella Réal

In the latest trailer for Matt Reeves' "The Batman," we've finally been given a look at Bella Réal, the new character created for the film and played by Jayme Lawson. After Jeffrey Wright was cast as James Gordon, many speculated that Lawson was going to be the new Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, as the character worked as a mayoral aide in the comics and Bella Réal is a grassroots politician running for Gotham City mayor. Not much has been divulged about Bella, and Lawson has been cleverly talking her way around questions in order to keep our suspicions heightened, like during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter over a year ago.

"To be quite honest, I am bluffing every day, and I think that ties in with my character. She's gotta fake it 'til she makes it. She's running up against the big dogs, so there's not much transformation that's happening when I show up on set. I'm surrounded by a lot of great talent and I've just gotta fake it. So I'll be as nervous as can be, but I can't let it be known. So I just do what I've gotta do. It's working out so far, so that's good."

From the trailer, Réal seems on the surface to be a sincerely well-intended politician trying to clean up the crime-ridden streets of Gotham, and one that seems pretty frustrated with Bruce Wayne's lack of philanthropic efforts to help the city that helped his family earn their wealth. Is she's unaware of his extracurricular vigilante activities, or is this a political play?

Who is Bella Réal, Really?

Matt Reeves noted in "The Batman" preview featured in the February 2022 issue of Empire that he grounded each of the characters in an analog — for example, this iteration of Bruce Wayne is inspired by Kurt Cobain, and Paul Dano's Riddler takes notes from the Zodiac Killer. It seems as though Bella Réal's analog could be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another grassroots politician running on a platform of change, holding billionaires accountable, and refusing to play by the typical rules of political gain. "I wouldn't be bothering you here but your people keep telling me you're unavailable," Réal says to Bruce Wayne in the "Bat and the Cat" trailer. She doesn't have time to wait for Master Wayne's people to call her back; she's taking matters into her own hands, and forcing the confrontation.

"Your family has a history of philanthropy but as far as I can tell, you're not doing anything." These lines make it seem like Réal is unaware of Wayne's late-night Batmanning, but acutely aware that this rich dude hasn't been assisting with the uneven wealth distribution that leads to the more petty crimes plaguing Gotham's streets. Considering Reeves is taking a more noir/detective approach to "The Batman," her character could go a number of ways. Most predictably, she could be as equally as corrupt as all of the politicians seen in the Batman universe and wind up being a Harvey Dent type. There's also a chance that she's genuinely one of the only "good" people trying to better Gotham. Réal is running against Don Mitchell, whom it looks like the Riddler kills during the first trailer. Is she the antithesis of his corruption, or is she an even bigger baddie helping to do the bidding of the Riddler by gaining a position of power?

"The Batman" hits theaters on March 4, 2022 but until then, we'll be over here speculating wildly.