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The Batman: new release date, first trailer, full cast list, and set photos

the batman
(Image credit: DC/Warner Bros.)

The Batman has had to deal with a few delays thanks to the pandemic, but it's finally on its way to the big screen. Robert Pattinson is playing the Caped Crusader and Matt Reeves is in the director's chair – this movie has nothing to do with the DCEU and the Justice League, so cast all thoughts of Batfleck from your mind. This means we can expect to see fresh interpretations of classic characters like Catwoman, the Riddler, and the Penguin in Reeves' new iteration of Gotham. 

Although the movie doesn't arrive in theaters until next year, we've put together everything you need to know to see you through until 2022. We've got a full list of cast names, a breakdown of the newest trailer, and even some info on the upcoming spin-off series on HBO Max. So, without further ado, read on to find out everything we know so far about The Batman.

The Batman release date: delays push it back to 2022

The Batman

(Image credit: Warner Bros./Jim Lee)

The Batman release date has shifted around a lot. Recently, it was set for October 1, 2021 but a wave of Warner Bros. delays has moved that back: The Batman release date is now 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.

And what of filming? Well, director Matt Reeves confirmed that the movie finally wrapped in March 2021.

The Batman cast

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

(Image credit: DC/Warner Bros)

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.

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.

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 touches 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.

Remarkably, someone has even made The Batman trailer in LEGO. Jeremy Borchers and a dozen other animators worked on the project, which you can see below.

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The Batman plot: how long has Batman been on the job?

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

We now know a lot more about The Batman’s story, judging by the latest trailer. In it, Riddler prods and pokes at both Batman and Jim Gordon, leading them to investigate a murder or possibly a series of murders. Gotham normally racks up the body count, so don't be surprised if it's the latter. The film is also 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," the director said at FanDome. "[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.

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?

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

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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.

The Batmobile and Batsuit: official previews

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Alongside a new piece of promo art (eclipsing both the trailer's obscured look and an earlier Batsuit-themed teaser) featuring a cleaner take on the Batsuit comes a look at the Batmobile.

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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.

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The Batman logo has been revealed

the batman logo

(Image credit: DC/Warner Bros.)
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This Batman certainly likes black and red. 

Director Matt Reeves has 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

The Batman villain Penguin (Colin Farrell)

(Image credit: DC/Warner Bros.)

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.

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.

The Batman is getting a spin-off prequel

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

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 – and he might have given away the title, too. 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.