Over the years, more than a few of Hollywood’s biggest names have donned the cowl. From Adam West’s lycra-clad crusader in the ’60s, to Christian Bale and his gritty, gravel-voiced modern take on Gotham’s protector – every new actor has something different to add to the role. Now, there’s a new dark knight on the prowl.
Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and starring some of Hollywood’s hottest talent, Warner Bros’ upcoming superhero drama is a whole new take on the world’s greatest detective. Similar – but not connected – to this year’s Joker origin story, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson in the lead and will be a standalone effort.
Eager to know more? Here’s everything we know so far about The Batman movie…
When is The Batman out in cinemas?
The Batman is due in US cinemas on March 4, 2022. Its original release date of 25 June 2021 has been shifted due to delays related to the coronavirus, first to October 2021 and now to the following year.
A UK release date has yet to be confirmed – but production has been confirmed to be able to resume in September 2020, on the condition of shooting on purpose-built sets rather than on location as was the case before the global lockdown.
Is there a trailer for The Batman?
Yes, a trailer was shared during thee DC FanDome virtual event on August 22. The 2-minute and 23-second long trailer was soundtracked by the Nirvana song ‘Something In The Way’.
Besides Pattinson as Batman, the trailer also gives a look at Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Paul Dano as The Riddler and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman. Watch it below:
Who is in The Batman cast?
don’t you love it when robert pattinson pic.twitter.com/qRQCYh27mc— best of rob (@mysoulisfromrob) January 23, 2021
Not long after Matt Reeves signed on to direct, Ben Affleck stepped down as Batman. Our new Batman/Bruce Wayne is none other than Robert Pattinson. The former Twilight star will be playing a younger version of Batman, closer to the start of his career. In January 2020, Matt Reeves revealed the first camera test of Robert Pattinson in the Batman costume and released it via Twitter.
Using Twitter, Reeves has confirmed a number of the film’s cast members and their characters. After appearing in Lord of the Rings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Planet of the Apes and Star Wars, Andy Serkis is making his transition to the world of DC films as Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Wright is James Gordon, Bruce Wayne’s chief ally in the Gotham police force. Peter Sarsgaard is district attorney Gil Colson, Barry Keoghan is Gotham cop Stanley Merkel, and Jayme Lawson is a character named Bella Reál.
What is the plot of The Batman?
Little is known of Matt Reeves upcoming solo adventure, but we have been told it will focus on Bruce Wayne’s younger, more vulnerable years. Other sources claim the film will be set during the 1990s and could show a fresher, less-grizzled version of the Caped Crusader making use of his detective skills, rather than brute strength.
Similarly to Batman Forever, The Batman will see Bats face off against an assortment of baddies from throughout his career. Speaking to The Reporter, director Reeves revealed his film will feature “a rogues gallery” of villains getting up to no good.
Colin Farrell, who will play The Penguin in the film, has spoken about the script, calling it “gorgeous” while giving little away as to specifics.
“I’m in the process of talking to Matt Reeves, who’s the director, who wrote the script, and wrote a really beautiful, dark, moving script, really gorgeous,” Farrell told Jimmy Fallon. “It’s all very hush hush,” he added, “but it’s a really beautiful script that he wrote and he has a real love for it, Matt. So, we’re in the process of finishing designing the aesthetic of the character.”
Reeves has also spoken about his idea to give The Batman a “humanist” bent.
Talking with reporters, he explained his plan as: “I’m going to pitch the version of Batman that I would do, which is going to have a humanist bent. And who knows if they’ll have any interest? If they don’t, then I won’t do it. And that’ll be okay… I was really lucky that they said yes.”
He added that he doesn’t plan for the film to be an origin tale (presumably that means we won’t have to see Wayne’s parents die again). “I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is. Like this guy, he’s majorly struggling, and this is how he’s trying to rise above that struggle,” Reeves said.
“But that doesn’t mean that he even fully understands, you know. It’s that whole idea of the shadow self and what’s driving you, and how much of that you can incorporate, and how much of it you’re doing that you’re unaware of.”
He also added that he wants his version of this Batman character to not be “fully formed” yet. He said: “I just felt like well, what I’d love to do is to get a version of this Batman character where he’s not yet fully formed.
“Where there’s something to do in this context with who that guy would be in this world today, and to ground him in all of these broken ways. Because at the end of the day, this guy is doing all of this to deal with trauma in his past.”
Additionally, Jeffrey Wright, who was Reeves’ choice as Commissioner Gordon, has spoken to Collider about Reeves’ vision for the movie and how he’s approaching his role. “What I do is going to be very specific to Matt Reeves’ vision of Gotham, and it’s going to be reflective of what Robert Pattinson’s Batman is going to be. To pluck one character out of the whole, is a forced idea.
“All of us are working together to create a tone and a language and an energy and a vibe that is specific to our film.”
Reeves also recently told The Daily Beast that his ambition was to make a “Batman movie that could be different.”
“There have been some great Batman movies, and I didn’t want to just do a Batman movie. I wanted to do a Batman movie that could be different,” the filmmaker explained.
“I pitched [Warner Bros] what I would do, and I said, look, I appreciate that you want me to do a Batman movie, but I don’t want to just do a Batman movie; I want to do a Batman movie that has a chance to be something different, and humanist, and can use the metaphors of the genre.”
Talking further about the new film in an interview with SiriusXM (via The Hollywood Reporter), Wright called the film the “next evolution” of Gotham.
“Like with any film, we’re working together to create a mood, to create an idea, a setting, a tone,” Wright said. “This is the next evolution since 1939 when these stories began.”
“This is the next evolution of Gotham,” Wright added. “So I am working off the stage [director] Matt [Reeves] is providing and also working off what [star] Robert [Pattinson] is doing. We are trying to create something together that is our own, but is also Batman.”
Wright also called the film’s Batmobile the “most badass muscle car you could imagine. It’s grounded in Gotham. It’s grounded in Americana.”
🦇🏎 #TheBatman pic.twitter.com/qJFNprk1ut— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) March 4, 2020
Co-writer Mattson Tomlin said in August 2020 that the film will dig deep into Batman’s trauma. He discussed Reeves as a filmmaker during an interview with Den Of Geek, saying that Reeves is “always coming from a point of emotion” rather than focusing purely on action.
“I think that really looking at Batman as somebody who has gone through this trauma, and then everything that he’s doing is then a reaction to that, rather than shy away from that, I think this film leans into that in some very fun and surprising ways,” Tomlin said.
The recent trailer suggests that The Court of Owls could play a major part in the film, as explained in a theory from ScreenRant. The Court are “a secret society of wealthy politicians” who Bruce believed to be responsible for the murder of his parents as a child.
The key clue in the trailer is a card left by The Riddler, which as well as containing a riddle inside, has an image on the front which is an owl, teasing that the Court of Owls could in fact be an antagonist to look out for in the film.
“Since The Riddler seems to be directly addressing Batman at each of his crime scenes, he might also be trying to tip Batman off to the existence to the Court, since he knows that Batman has positioned himself as a figure of justice within Gotham City,” ScreenRant explained.