The Batman is just weeks away now. Exciting, right? The Caped Crusader is about to step into a new era with Robert Pattinson under the cowl and Matt Reeves behind the camera. Even better, the movie is set to be almost three hours long, making it the longest Batman standalone ever made.
As you might imagine, that means there's a whole lot to cram in: multiple villains are cropping up in Gotham, a certain Cat, and a story that's set to be far darker and more grim than anything we've seen from The Dark Knight in recent times.
You ready? From the release date, to the trailer, and even the first full scene - here's everything you need to know about The Batman.
The Batman release date: March 2022
The Batman release date has shifted around a lot, but is settled at March 4, 2022.
If you discount Batman v Superman, this is the first solo Batman movie in a decade (The Dark Knight Rises released in 2012), making it the longest gap between Bat-Flicks since Tim Burton’s Batman arrived onto the scene.
The Batman is set to be 175 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for "strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material."
The Batman cast
First, the main man: Robert Pattinson will be playing Batman/Bruce Wayne. However, it was a long road to get there.
In May 2019, Deadline reported that director Matt Reeves had two people on his Batman wishlist: Robert Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult, who had previous superhero experience as Beast in X-Men. After much debate on social media, Pattinson was eventually cast as Batman a few weeks later.
Joining Pattinson is Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright, who is playing Commissioner Gordon. Fleshing out the cast further is Catwoman, played by Zoë Kravitz. Signing on in October 2019, Kravitz may have beaten several others to the role. Hobbs and Shaw’s Vanessa Kirby was at one time mooted as a frontrunner for the role of Selina Kyle, yet Kravitz won out in the end. The actor has since spoken about her approach to the role: "I also tried to think about it not as Catwoman, but as a woman, how does this make me feel? How are we approaching this and how are we making sure we're not fetishising or creating a stereotype? I knew it needed to be a real person."
Also jumping onboard board The Batman is Paul Dano, who will be playing the Riddler. The news broke just a day after Jonah Hill decided to walk away from talks about playing an unnamed Batman villain, believed to be the Penguin.
The Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood actor is now tasked with bringing the character of Edward Nygma (renamed Edward Nashton for The Batman) to life. It’ll be the first time The Riddler has appeared in a live-action Batman movie since Jim Carrey took on the role in Batman Forever, and a leaked photo shows a different take on the iconic villain's costume.
Colin Farrell and Andy Serkis were tapped to play the Penguin and Alfred Pennyworth respectively. Serkis has been confirmed by Matt Reeves, though Farrell wasn't officially brought in as the Penguin until January 2020. We still can't believe it's him under all this makeup!
But all of these stars can't get equal screen time, right? During an interview with the GMA Network, Farrell teased that he only has a bit-part to play: "I haven’t got that much to do. I have a certain amount in the film. I am not all over it by any means. But there are a couple of some tasty scenes I have in it," he said. Speaking to the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he confirmed: "I'm only in it for five or six scenes."
Meanwhile, yet another villainous figure is entering the fray: John Turturro will be playing mob boss Carmine Falcone. The character also appeared in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, portrayed by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins.
Peter Sarsgaard is joining The Batman as Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson, though a duality-themed Instagram post has fans wondering whether he'll be playing Two-Face. Rounding out the cast is Jayme Lawson as Gotham mayoral candidate Bella Real and Alex Ferns in an unnamed role.
Finally, in what appears to be the last set of casting announcements, Max and Charlie Carver will play mystery roles.
As for unconfirmed casting, THR reports that Warner Bros. had two different versions of the movie, one including a specific actor, and one not including them. Both cuts were test screened, and the studio has now settled on which it prefers.
The Batman trailer features Batman vs. The Riddler
The first official trailer for The Batman is here and it's everything one would hope; brutal, action-packed, chills-inciting, and revealing. If you think it's promising now, just wait until you realize every shot in The Batman trailer is with only 25-30% of the film finished.
We know now exactly what Robert Pattinson looks like as the Caped Crusader, both with and without the mask. There's even a look at Paul Dano's Riddler, and thanks to Reeves, we know not to expect anything similar to Jim Carrey's Riddler.
"Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no one has ever seen before... what he is doing is going to blow people's minds," said Reeves following the reveal. The director also touched on the interactions between so many different Batman characters coming together for the latest flick. "How all these characters connect was one of the really interesting things about writing this movie," Reeves said. With Commissioner Gordon, Selina Kyle, and the Penguin all set to play some role in The Batman, expect nothing short of a high-octane thrill ride from start to finish.
A new look at The Batman was unveiled at DC's FanDome event in October, with the next trailer showcasing more of Zoë Kravtiz's Catwoman, as well as Andy Serkis' Alfred and Colin Farrell's Penguin. "This is a powderkeg and Riddler's the match," says Batman. Check it out below.
A behind the scenes featurette was also unveiled at FanDome.
"The first conversation I had with Matt [Reeves, director] about it, I just knew there was something radically different from anything we'd seen in Batman movies before," Pattinson says in the footage.
"We'd seen lots of origin stories, we'd seen things go further and further into fantasy. I thought, well, one place we haven't been is grounding it the way that [the comic] Year One does, to come right into a young Batman, not be an origin tale but refer to his origins, and shake him to his core," Reeves explains.
Then there's the Japanese trailer for the film, which may even be hinting at the Joker.
Need more? You're in luck. The first full scene from The Batman, featuring Bruce Wayne saving the day at a funeral and Riddler enacting his masterplan, has been spotted as part of a YouTube ad, of all things.
A clip of the funeral scene of #TheBatman has released. pic.twitter.com/TFy8prma2LJanuary 22, 2022
The Batman plot: how long has Batman been on the job?
We now know a lot more about The Batman’s story, judging by the trailers. Riddler prods and pokes at both Batman and Jim Gordon, leading them to investigate a series of murders. Gotham normally racks up the body count, so don't be surprised if it's the latter. It's also clear the relationship between Catwoman and Batman will be a big part of the film.
There's also now an official synopsis: "The Batman is an edgy, action-packed thriller that depicts Batman in his early years, struggling to balance rage with righteousness as he investigates a disturbing mystery that has terrorized Gotham. Robert Pattinson delivers a raw, intense portrayal of Batman as a disillusioned, desperate vigilante awakened by the realization that the anger consuming him makes him no better than the ruthless serial killer he’s hunting."
The film is set during the Caped Crusader’s second year on the job – so don’t expect everything to be rosy for the crime-fighting vigilante.
"It's early and Batman's still a vigilante," director Matt Reeves said at FanDome in 2020. "[Gotham's people] wonder, 'That guy sounds a little dangerous.' He's not yet the symbol of hope... He's still a growing legend. People wonder whether he exists. It's one of the things he will confront in the story."
Interestingly, The Batman is confirmed to exist in its own Earth in the multiverse, so don't expect crossovers with Joaquin Phoenix's Joker or any of the mainline DCEU characters, such as Henry Cavill's Superman.
It also seems that Jim Gordon will be a more hands-on ally to the vigilante. "I think Gordon is much less reticent, he's very much in the thick of things with The Batman so they're different in that regard," Jeffrey Wright told GamesRadar+ of the differences between his MCU character The Watcher and Gordon. Wright also commented: "They are [both] holding the scales, so to speak. They're definitely characters who are concerned about justice and justness." That sounds like classic Gordon to us.
The Batman, though, isn't going to be a re-telling of the origin story we all know so well.
Director Matt Reeves said in an interview with Nerdist: "I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is."
What evidence is there of that approach? It can perhaps best be seen in the teaser for the Batsuit, featuring what appears to be a Batman logo made out of gun parts. Could this be the weapon that gunned down Bruce's parents in Crime Alley?
Three comic books that inspired the movie have also been revealed (H/T ComicBook.com). They are: Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman Ego and Other Tails by Darwyn Cooke, and Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. The Long Halloween is a detective story that features a wide array of villains, while Year One is an origin story for both Batman and Catwoman that involves corruption in the GCPD. Ego, meanwhile, sees Bruce try to retire as Batman, only for his consciousness to split between man and vigilante. Both sides of his psyche engage in a debate, and Bruce's feelings over his failures come to light. These all seem very in line from what can be gleaned from the teaser trailer – a moody, psychological, and grounded detective tale.
We can also expect an "emotional connection between Alfred and Bruce,” Alfred actor Andy Serkis told LADBible. “That's really at the center of it."
The Batman set photos show off Catwoman, Superman Easter eggs... and possible villain teases
#LastDay #TheBatman cc: @GreigfraserD pic.twitter.com/0AkcqlX1QYMarch 13, 2021
We don't want to Bat-Spam you with set photos, especially for the spoiler-averse among you who don't fancy a peek behind-the-scenes just yet.
With that in mind, there are a bunch of set photos from The Batman tucked away in the links below. If you want to see them, they're all yours, and feature everything from a Mr. Freeze tease, to a bike chase with Catwoman and even what Chicago looks like a stand-in for Gotham. Meow.
Matt Reeves has even marked the end of filming with a shot of his own from March. Yes, there's a clapper board. That's set photo law at this point.
- New Batman set photos show the Batcave exterior and a wintry Gotham
- New The Batman set pics show Catwoman, Batman, and Chicago as Gotham
- The Batman set photos tease multiple new villains and a surprise Superman Easter egg
- New The Batman set photos tease potential Year One connection
- The Batman set video teases friendly rivalry with Catwoman
Plus, Reeves has shared a behind the scenes look at editing, which shows off Batman and what looks to be his grappling hook.
Wow, I have been away so long...! Just popping my head out of the editing room for a moment to say #HappyBatmanDay ! Can’t wait to share a lot more with you all four weeks from today at #DCFanDome ! (Sorry about the messy desk #LongHours) #TheBatman @TheBatman pic.twitter.com/ye0u1xQo65September 18, 2021
The film's composer, Michael Giacchino, also shared a clip of the score to Twitter, which is sounding suitably gothic.
Happy #BatmanDay everyone!! We have been hard at work and can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to!! @mattreevesLA #DCFanDome #TheBatman @TheBatman pic.twitter.com/BGyiOSxdaaSeptember 18, 2021
Another sneak peek from Reeves comes in the form of an animated poster of Batman in the rain, captioned: "Question everything."
Question everything.#TheBatman pic.twitter.com/OUOkscOdK0December 20, 2021
The Batmobile and Batsuit: official previews
New promo art #TheBatman #DCFanDome pic.twitter.com/nj5ERV9To7September 12, 2020
🦇🏎 #TheBatman pic.twitter.com/qJFNprk1utMarch 4, 2020
As you can probably tell, Matt Reeves' version of Bats' vehicle does away with the high-tech gadgetry of previous iterations in favor of a lean American muscle-style V10 car.
What appears to be new shots of The Batmobile have been revealed in a now-removed post on concept artist Jeff Frost's website.
Frost, who has worked with Warner Bros. before on Batman v Superman, has shown off a mini model of Bats' souped-up ride, including the backend. Take this with a pinch of Bat-Salt, however, as it's far from official as of writing.
Concept Model Maker Jeff Frost posted some pictures of a model of #TheBatman's Batmobile on his website! pic.twitter.com/xHNkj6WYtvMay 31, 2020
The Batman logo has been revealed
Excited to share the very first look at our official #TheBatman logo, and some very cool additional #DCFanDome artwork by the amazing @jimlee — see more of #TheBatman at the #DCFanDome global event in the Hall of Heroes this Saturday, 8/22! #TheBatman #DCFanDome #ForTheFans pic.twitter.com/ApfngNbyorAugust 20, 2020
This Batman certainly likes black and red.
Director Matt Reeves revealed The Batman logo alongside a poster for the movie's then-upcoming FanDome panel in August 2020.
The Batman villains include Riddler, Penguin, Carmine Falcone, and Catwoman
Riddler, the Penguin, and Catwoman (if you want to count the anti-heroine as more of a villain) have been confirmed for The Batman, meaning the Caped Crusader will have his hands full with those looking to terrorize Gotham. But there could be more on the way.
"Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no one has ever seen before... what he is doing is going to blow people's minds," says Reeves at DC's FanDome event.
If you fancy taking the Riddler on yourself, you can try it out at Rataalada.com. Solve three riddles (look away now if you don't want the answers! In order, they are: Batman, street, laws) and you'll get a glimpse at three GCPD sketches of the Batman himself.
Carmine Falcone will also be rocking up in Gotham's underworld. He'll be played by The Night Of actor John Turturro.
Forbes had also namechecked "Two-Face and a host of other villains" as being scheduled to appear, alongside the then-unconfirmed Riddler and Catwoman. That hasn't materialized... yet. Peter Sarsgaard joining the cast as D.A. Gil Colson, however, fills a very Harvey Dent-shaped role. If the whispers grow louder and turn into something tangible, even Arkham Asylum could struggle to hold the heaving villainous cast.
A Lego set might have given us a hint at a Riddler vs. Batman showdown in the Batcave, too.
The Batman is getting a spin-off prequel
Hell to the yes. The Batman is getting a spin-off centered around Gotham City's boys in blue. It'll be coming to HBO Max at an unannounced date.
Casey Bloys, HBO Max content chief, revealed that the series will crossover with the movie. Speaking to The Wrap, he said: "Matt Reeves is obviously a producer on Gotham City PD. We don't want to reserve characters just for films or for TV. There should be kind of some fluidity between them. So that is the idea. I mean, we're in very early stages on that. So I don't want to suggest that any one character will be. But yes, that is, generally speaking, that is the idea, that there will be crossover."
While this doesn't actually suggest that we'll be seeing Battinson on the small screen, it's still exciting to find out that the film and series will be connected to this extent. Plus, Bloys seems to have revealed the spin-off's title: Gotham City PD.
According to Variety, The Batman's director, Matt Reeves, and its producer, Dylan Clark, are both signed on as executive producers. Boardwalk Empire creator and The Sopranos writer Terence Winter was once attached but has since left the project. Joe Barton, the writer/creator of crime drama Giri/Haji, is onboard to showrun instead.
Reeves even teased how The Batman and the series connect during the movie's FanDome panel, including where it fits on the timeline.
"The idea is we go back to Year One," Reeves explained. "Year One is the beginning, it's the first appearance of this masked vigilante [Batman] that states to unsettle the city."
The idea for this story was Gotham [having] this depth of corruption and have a story... that goes into the inner workings of the city," Reeves said.
The Batman director: who is Matt Reeves?
Matt Reeves signed on to direct The Batman back in 2017 – after Ben Affleck stepped down as director. Affleck eventually left the cape and cowl behind, but Reeves stayed and has been helming the project ever since.
His most famous work to date is Cloverfield, with his work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes also widely acclaimed.
Find out about the best iterations of Batman's arch-nemesis with our best Joker rankings. Plus, see how Bats has fared previously in our newly-updated list of the best superhero movies, in this multiverse or the next.