After years of preparation and delays, “The Batman,” the superhero’s first solo picture since 2012 and his twelfth appearance in a live-action feature film, will be released in March 2022. “The Batman,” which was first announced in 2014 as a DC Extended Universe tie-in starring Ben Affleck both behind and in front of the camera, has veered off course to become a completely distinct product. Instead, Matt Reeves (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) directs and co-writes “The Batman,” a new take on the character starring Robert Pattinson as a younger, angrier Bruce Wayne at the start of his crime-fighting career.
The film stars Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Colin Farrell as the Penguin, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, and features an array of other characters from the Batman mythology. The idea of taking Batman “back to basics” as a gritty detective storey isn’t new to the big screen, but Matt Reeves hopes his take on the character is sufficiently different from anything we’ve seen before, a gripping and emotional narrative that, unlike so many other Batman films, focuses more on the Dark Knight himself than his colorful villains.
With the film’s premiere on the horizon, there’s a lot we already know about “The Batman,” as well as a lot we don’t. Here’s what you need to know.
The Caped Crusader is played by Robert Pattinson.
When “The Batman” was first conceived as a DC Extended Universe film, it was assumed that Ben Affleck would reprise his role as Bruce Wayne. After Affleck stepped down as director and his script (co-written with DC Films co-founder Geoff Johns) was shelved, new filmmaker Matt Reeves stepped in with his own vision for a Batman film starring a younger actor. Robert Pattinson, best known for the “Twilight” flicks but a critical favourite for indies such as “Good Time” and “The Lighthouse,” was Reeves’ first choice for the part, which he wrote particularly for him.
Pattinson, who has shied away from big franchise films after the failure of “Twilight,” is a lifelong Batman fan who jumped at the chance to play this version of the character. His casting in 2019 attracted the expected backlash from Batman fans (both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck were previously rejected), and he generated even more controversy when he joked about not going to the gym for the job. Despite the fact that Pattinson’s opinions on Batman’s anti-killing code are mostly consistent with how the character has been depicted in comics, film, and animation throughout his entire life, some have taken issue with them.
Catwoman will be played by Zoe Kravitz.
The Penguin and Catwoman would play important villain roles in “The Batman,” it was confirmed early on. After a flurry of casting rumors involving Vanessa Hudgens, Aubrey Plaza, Lupita Nyong’o, Tessa Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alexandra Shipp, and Logan Browning, uncertainty regarding who would play Selina Kyle in “The Batman” may now be put to rest, since the black catsuit has been formally claimed. In Matt Reeves’ film, “Big Little Lies” actor Zoe Kravitz will play the Caped Crusader’s famed femme fatale. In the comics, Selina has a long and complicated relationship with Bruce Wayne, and her part in the film might go in any number of directions.
Catwoman plays a significant role in The Batman.
While Catwoman has rarely been shown as an unambiguous villain in Batman lore, she has grown into an anti-hero in her own way in the last 30 years. Selina Kyle has been the protagonist of her own comics series almost continuously since 1993. She was arguably the protagonist of 1992’s “Batman Returns,” had her own picture in 2004 (which we won’t discuss), and fought alongside Batman in 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” According to the trailers, “The Batman” would look at the character from a variety of perspectives, such as a thief, a vigilante, and a romantic counterpoint for Batman.
Matt Reeves, who also penned the script, is directing The Batman.
Soon after Ben Affleck stepped down as director of “Batman,” it was announced that Matt Reeves would be tasked with shepherding “The Batman” from idea to completion. While “The Batman” will be Reeves’ first step into the world of superheroes, he has a history of directing films with grandiose concepts and larger-than-life characters, as seen by his work on “Cloverfield” and the rebooted “Planet of the Apes” flicks.
Originally, Reeves intended to employ Ben Affleck’s script, which still featured Affleck in the titular role. Reeves, on the other hand, revealed a few months after being hired as director that he was scrapping Affleck’s screenplay and beginning over.
Despite the fact that Reeves’ script will have a younger protagonist than Affleck’s, the filmmaker aims to deliver a mature, ambitious film that doesn’t talk down to its viewers.”
There will be no connection between the picture and Ben Affleck’s Batman.
When “The Batman” was first announced, it was meant to be a standalone film in the DC Extended Universe, pitting Ben Affleck’s experienced Dark Knight against Joe Manganiello’s assassin Slade Wilson (a.k.a. Deathstroke). In Zack Snyder’s version of “Justice League,” where Lex Luthor discloses Batman’s secret identity to Deathstroke, Manganiello’s part in the film was teased. Deathstroke, according to Manganiello, would have used this information to wreak his terrible vengeance on individuals close to Bruce Wayne, as well as to engage in combat with Batman and his teammate Batgirl. As DC Films retools the DC Extended Universe, numerous narrative lines from “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” have been left hanging indefinitely.
After rejecting Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns’ original script for “The Batman,” Matt Reeves set out to write a fresh tale centred in the DC Universe, but not as interwoven and packed with cameos as prior DCEU entries. He would later add that he didn’t want his Batman film to “be burdened with the responsibility of connecting the characters from all those other movies.” Instead, “The Batman” would be set in its own universe, separate from both the DCEU and the previous live-action adaptations directed by Christopher Nolan.
Fans are clamoring for more. When “The Flash” hits theaters in November 2022, Batfleck’s version of the character will receive at least one final feature.
The film will emphasize Batman’s detective abilities.
Reeves indicated in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that his screenplay for “The Batman” will be a “point of view-driven, noir Batman tale” that plays on the idea of Bruce Wayne as the world’s best investigator. Reeves promised to send Pattinson’s Batman on a “journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime,” while also delivering an emotional, transformative arc for the character, in contrast to previous films, which he claims haven’t really delved as deeply into the Dark Knight’s detective skills.
In 2022, the Batman will make his big screen debut.
The journey from announcement to release of “The Batman” took over eight years. It was one of ten DC Comics-inspired films announced by Warner Bros. in October 2014, before the cameras had even stopped rolling on “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” albeit the version of “The Batman” under development at the time is completely different from the one set to be released in 2022. The Matt Reeves “Batman” was planned to be released on June 25, 2021, but that date was announced before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, halting production approximately a quarter of the way through filming.
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“The Batman” was given a third and (hopefully) final release date of March 4, 2022, shortly after the second COVID postponement. The film will be available in theaters for 45 days before being streamed exclusively on HBO Max on April 19. “The Batman” is the first of five live-action films set to be released by DC Films in 2022, with “Black Adam” set to premiere on July 29, “The Flash” on November 4, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” on December 16, and “Batgirl” set to premiere on HBO Max before the year’s end.