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The Batman release date, cast, villains, and everything else you need to know

The Batman
(Image credit: Getty)

The Batman could be fighting some more famous faces if recent reports ring true. Although we're two years out from the release date, Robert Pattinson's debut in the cape and cowl is suddenly bursting at the seams with news, casting announcements, and even interviews from The Dark Knight himself about the upcoming DC reboot.

As there’s no sign of a teaser (let alone a trailer) at this early stage, we’ve had to mirror The World’s Greatest Detective and find out everything you need to know about The Batman from sources far and wide. That includes more on the villains that could face off against The Dark Knight, as well as possible plot rumours and potential leaks – read on for more about The Batman.

The Batman fast facts

  • The Batman release date: 25 June, 2021
  • The Batman director: Matt Reeves
  • The Batman writers: Matt Reeves, Mattson Tomlin
  • The Batman cast: Robert Pattinson, Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano

The Batman release date

The Batman release date is June 25, 2021. As announced in January, The Batman will come just before James Gunn’s Suicide Squad reboot, which is due out on August 6, 2021.

If you discount Batman v Superman, this is the first solo Batman movie in nine years (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 cast

First, the big one: Robert Pattinson is playing Batman/Bruce Wayne.

The process of casting the former Twilight actor wasn’t without its ups and downs, however. Back in May 2019, Deadline reported that Matt Reeves had whittled his wish-list of Batman actors down to two: Robert Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult, who had previously played Beast in the X-Men franchise. Just two weeks later, Pattinson got the nod after a screen test.

Speaking about his upcoming role, Pattinson told The New York Times: “His morality is a little bit off. He’s not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic-book character. There is a simplicity to his worldview, but where it sits is strange, which allows you to have more scope with the character."

He's also working on the Batman voice, having revealed a surprising inspiration for his disguised growls: Willem Dafoe.

Batman’s fellow crimefighter (on the right side of the law, depending on how you’re looking) is traditionally Commissioner Gordon. It’s the same again here, with Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright playing Gordon – as revealed back in September by The Hollywood Reporter and finally confirmed in late October by director Matt Reeves via his preferred medium: a GIF on Twitter.

Fleshing out the cast further is Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz. Signing on in October, 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.

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.

The Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood actor is now tasked with bringing the character of Edward Nygma 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.

Two as-yet-unconfirmed actors circling roles are Colin Farrell and Andy Serkis, tapped to play The Penguin and Alfred Pennyworth respectively. 

Vincent D’Onofrio has also sent the casting rumour mill into overdrive by… quote tweeting a Matt Reeves tweet regarding Zoe Kravitz’s casting. 2019 is weird. The Kingpin actor hasn’t been confirmed as joining The Batman cast for the time being (though he wouldn’t make a half-bad Bane).

The Batman villains confirmed so far include Riddler and Catwoman

Riddler and Catwoman (if you want to count the anti-heroine as more of a villain) have both been confirmed for The Batman, meaning the Caped Crusader will have his hands full with those looking to terrorise Gotham. But there could be more on the way.

The most prominent rumour involves Penguin facing off against Batman. Jonah Hill’s departure from the project seemingly put a stop to that – he was previously rumoured for the role – but Colin Farrell has recently been attached to the role.

Forbes has  alsonamechecked “Two-Face and a host of other villains” as scheduled to appear, alongside the then-unconfirmed Riddler and Catwoman. If the whispers grow louder and turn into something tangible, even Arkham Asylum could struggle to hold the heaving villainous cast.

The Batman plot - and rumours

Nothing has been confirmed when it comes to The Batman plot just yet, though director Matt Reeves has spoken briefly about the story.

“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”

Tracking down the criminals is a plot thread worth hanging on to – as it’s been mentioned explicitly in a recent rumour on Kevin Smith’s FatMan Beyond podcast. According to the Clerks star, The Batman will be taking cues from The Long Halloween, a famous Batman comic series that involved The Dark Knight tracking down a villain who causes chaos across several holidays.

The Batman director

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.

Is The Batman linked to the DC Extended Universe?

With Joker having been such a success, there’s been some question over whether future DC movies will have fewer ties to the DC Extended Universe. The Batman will apparently link in with other DCEU movies, rather than being a DC Black release. That should mean Pattinson’s Batman will face off against Jared Leto’s Joker rather than Jaoquin Phoenix’s Clown Prince of Crime, but at this stage nobody seems too sure. 

Before the script was complete, Reeves commented during the 2018 TCAs: “There are ways in which all of this connects to DC, to the DC universe as well. We’re one piece of many pieces so I don’t want to comment on that except to say that I’m focused very specifically on this aspect of the DC world.” So, is it or isn’t it connected to Justice League/Aquaman/Wonder Woman/Suicide Squad? Hopefully, we’ll get a definite answer soon enough. 

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.

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).