The Batman reportedly had an alternate cut – with a shorter runtime.
Deadline reports that a version under the two hour and 55-minute mark was shown to test audiences. Though the exact runtime – and what would have been cut – is unclear, it seemingly didn’t "test as well."
The extended runtime made The Batman the longest standalone Batman movie to date, beating out The Dark Knight Rises and the theatrical release of Batman v Superman. It falls just a few minutes short of being the longest comic book movie ever, with Avengers: Endgame’s 181 minutes still ruling the roost in that regard.
The Batman not sacrificing quantity or quality speaks to Warner Bros.’ new approach to DC storytelling. Warner Bros. Pictures chairman Toby Emmerich explained to Deadline that the studio is opting for filmmaker-driven movies and prioritizing quality over interconnected universes.
"The secret of the movie business is quality. It’s the best business strategy for both theatrical motion pictures and superhero movies," Emmerich said. "The movies don’t have to all have the same tone, or interlock with other DC movies, or have an Easter egg that sets up another film. Quality is the most important factor for a studio, and the biggest thing you can do to influence quality is the filmmaker that you hire."
A whole lot was packed into three hours. So much so, that director Matt Reeves had to leave a little something on the cutting room floor. Here’s what he had to say to GamesRadar+ about the deleted scene featuring the movie’s big cameo. Plus, for more on the movie’s big mysteries and major moments, here are our guides on The Batman.
- The Batman Easter eggs and DC references
- The Batman ending, explained
- The best Batman movies
- How to watch the DC movies in order