Like Batman himself, Elfman’s theme enters at the midpoint of the trailer. Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) has mucked up the world by meddling with the timeline via super-speed — hence why now there are two of him. It looks like the Earth now stands hopeless against an invasion by Zod (Michael Shannon), so the Barrys head to the Batcave to get help. After an establishing shot of the cave, complete with the 1989 Batmobile, the camera pulls back to reveal the back of Batman’s mask. As the camera moves back and the cowl fills the frame, we hear faint piano notes of Elfman’s theme.
In the 1989 film, the song first hits its crescendo when Batman confronts a criminal on a rooftop. When the man asks, “What are you,” the Dark Knight pulls him in close and declares: “I’m Batman.” The music goes silent so the words make their impact, but as Batman throws him off and glides away, the theme returns and hits its operatic highs.
The trailer follows the same pattern. As the Barrys come face-to-face with Keaton’s Bruce Wayne, he again declares, “I’m Batman,” the music pointedly fading out as he does so. The trailer then cuts to a shot of him diving into battle against a group of gunmen, Elfman’s theme drowning out the bullets and punches alike.
“The Flash” arrives in theaters on June 16, 2023.