Over the years, more than a few of Hollywood’s biggest names have donned the cowl. From Adam West’s lycra-clad crusader in the ’60s, to Christian Bale and his gritty, gravel-voiced modern take on Gotham’s protector – every new actor has something different to add to the role. Now, there’s a new dark knight on the prowl.
Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and starring some of Hollywood’s hottest talent, Warner Bros’ upcoming superhero drama is a whole new take on the world’s greatest detective. Similar – but not connected – to this year’s Joker origin story, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson in the lead and will be a standalone effort.
Eager to know more? Here’s everything we know so far about The Batman movie…
- Rupert Penry-Jones confirms rumours he’s portraying Gotham City mayor Don Mitchell in the film – and shares a funny story about meeting a prosthetics-wearing Colin Farrell.
When is The Batman out in cinemas?
The Batman is due in US cinemas on March 4, 2022. Its original release date of 25 June 2021 has been shifted due to delays related to the coronavirus, first to October 2021 and now to the following year.
A UK release date has yet to be confirmed – but production has been confirmed to be able to resume in September 2020, on the condition of shooting on purpose-built sets rather than on location as was the case before the global lockdown.
What’s The Batman‘s working title?
According to a recent listing on the website Production Weekly, The Batman‘s working title as it heads into production is currently Vengeance.
Who is in The Batman cast?
Robert Pattinson as the Batman
UPDATE: Robert Pattinson begins training for The Batman movie.
Robert Pattinson has officially begun preparing for Batman’s action sequences, as the first photos of him in training have been released.
The actor has been working with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu red and black belt athlete Rigan Machado, who has worked with the likes of Vin Diesel, Ashton Kutcher and Charlie Hunnam in the past.
Machado posted a series of Instagram images with the caption “Jiujitsu brother”, showing the actor in fighting mode on a training mat.
Pat-man is actually happening, folks. The former Twilight icon turned indie star was announced earlier this year, but he’s not completely sure how it happened at all. “It’s kind of insane,” Pattinson told Esquire this month. “I was so far away from ever thinking it was a realistic prospect. I literally do not understand how I’ve got it, at all.”
Pattinson previously teased an “interesting direction” for the new movie, saying it would be “something from the comics which hasn’t really been explored yet”.
“Willem’s voice in this is quite inspiring for it to be honest. It is pretty similar to the voice I’m gonna do,” he explained. “I think Batman has a sort of pirate-y kind of voice, I think that would really suit him.”
Originally, Ben Affleck was supposed to reprise the role he’d filled for 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. However, circumstances arose which meant the 47-year-old had to vacate the role as well as drop out of writing and directing the new project.
Pattinson has revealed why he decided to return to big-budget films after a recent habit of choosing independent flicks, saying: “Big movies, generally the parts aren’t as interesting — at least the stuff that was coming my way. I guess there was some fear.”
“I think I probably would have been a little bit nervous to have gone straight into [Batman] immediately after [Twilight],” he added.
Talking about putting on the iconic Batsuit for the first time, Pattinson added: “It’s maybe the craziest thing I’ve ever done in terms of movie stuff. I put it on. I remember saying to Matt [Reeves, writer/director], ‘It does feel quite transformative!’ He was like, ‘I would hope it does! You’re literally in the Batsuit. You do feel very powerful immediately. And it’s pretty astonishing, something that is incredibly difficult to get into, so the ritual of getting into it is pretty humiliating.
“You’ve got five people trying to shove you into something. Once you’ve got it on, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I feel strong, I feel tough, even though I had to have someone squeezing my butt cheeks into the legs.’”
Pattinson has admitted that he was annoyed about the rumours of his casting before it was officially announced, mainly because he hadn’t even auditioned for the role yet and felt he might lose the role as a result.
“I hadn’t even done the audition,” he told Time Out. “It’s just nerve-wracking because I was really excited about it and you think: really, is this how I’m going to lose this role? It’s the most annoying circumstances to lose something.”
Recalling being grilled about the reports at a film premiere, the actor added: “Everyone was like: ‘Is that true, is that true?’ And it wasn’t true at the time, I hadn’t got the job. It was pretty terrifying.”
When asked by GQ why Pattinson chose to do The Batman in the first place, the actor replied, “What are the reasons not to do it?”
He added: “I kind of like the fact that not only are there very, very, very well-done versions of the character which seem pretty definitive, but I was thinking that there are multiple definitive playings of the character.
“It’s fun when more and more ground has been covered. Like, where is the gap? You’ve seen this sort of lighter version, you’ve seen a kind of jaded version, a kind of more animalistic version. And the puzzle of it becomes quite satisfying, to think: Where’s my opening?”
Pattinson also added that he was attracted by the idea of a “legacy part”, explaining the attachment to such a character.”There’s so few things in life where people passionately care about it before it’s even happened,” he began.
“You can almost feel that pushback of anticipation, and so it kind of energizes you a little bit. It’s different from when you’re doing a part and there’s a possibility that no one will even see it. Right? In some ways it’s, I don’t know… It makes you a little kind of spicy.”
Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman
UPDATE: Speaking about landing the part of Catwoman, Zoe Kravitz told Variety: “I was excited when I got the role, and usually when you get a job the people who are excited about it are you, your parents, your agent, your friends and that’s kind of it.
“But when the press release came, I got more text messages and calls than I’ve gotten on my birthday, on my wedding day. All of a sudden, the reality began to sink in about what this means not only to me, but to everybody else culturally — and the fans of this universe are so dedicated and opinionated.”
She added: “Of course, I want to honor the fans and hope they like what I do with the role, but in order to do what I think I need to do with Catwoman I have to go internal and forget about the rest of the world.”
As for working with Pattinson, Kravitz revealed ahead of filming: “I’ve never worked with him before, but we’ve been together for the last few weeks, I had to camera test with him and now we’ve been training together and rehearsing together and he’s just a delightful person and such a wonderful, thoughtful actor.
“I think he’s perfect for the role and it’s going to be such an adventure. I’m excited to have him as my partner in crime and to be there to support each other, because it’s intense. It’s going to be a long shoot and there’s a lot of pressure, and I know he has my back and I have his.”
Speaking to Variety again in June, she added: “First of all, he’s just a really good actor. He started out as this kind of teen pop sensation, and then I think we all kind of saw through his work that there was a lot more going on. He’s a really interesting artist, and that is very much Batman in a way.
“We have the illusion of Bruce Wayne, and then we have Batman in the shadows that has a lot more complicated things going on. So just in that, I think he’s perfect for this role. He can relate in that way, and he looks good in the suit, man.”
For the part of Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, Reeves has turned to someone a little more experienced in the art of the comic book movie.
Following her stint voicing the same character in The Lego Batman Movie (2017), Zoe Kravitz will star as Kyle, athletic burglar and – per the comics – long-running love interest of Batman.
As detailed by The Hollywood Reporter last week (October 15), Kravitz clinched the role after reading with Pattinson and three other candidates. Director Matt Reeves seemed to confirm the casting on social media when he tweeted a short video of Kravitz answering her phone.
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) October 14, 2019
Paul Dano as The Riddler
Many fans can still remember Jim Carrey’s take on the crazed supervillain (1995’s Batman Forever), but now another of Hollywood’s zaniest stars will put their spin on Edward Nigma.
Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood) hit the headlines last week when it was revealed he was in talks to take on a role in Reeves’ The Batman. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dano was confirmed last week, after previous rumours suggested Jonah Hill would be coming on board as the project’s lead villain.
Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon
Light the Bat-signal, there’s a new police chief in town. Rumoured for most of the summer, Westworld favourite Jeffrey Wright has signed up to play Commissioner James W. Gordon in Reeves new movie.
Reluctant ally of Batman and detective for Gotham City Police Department, Gordon was previously played by Oscar-winner Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan’s critically-acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy. He is a suspicious-yet-loyal servant of justice who always has the public’s interest at heart.
John Turturro as Carmine Falcone
Director Matt Reeves confirmed the casting of Turturro via Twitter on November 22. The actor will portray the underground crime boss who was first seen in 1987’s Batman: Year One.
Carmine Falcone has previously been played by Tom Wilkinson in 2005’s Batman Begins, with John Doman also taking on the role for the Gotham TV show.
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) November 22, 2019
UPDATE: Matt Reeves confirmed that Peter Sarsgaard had joined the cast on Twitter on December 6, 2019. Insiders and fans were speculating that he will take on the role of Harvey Dent, AKA the villain Two-Face.
But on January 28, 2020 in its official announcement of The Batman beginning principal photography, Warner Bros revealed Peter Sarsgaard’s character will be Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson, according to Cinema Blend.
So despite him not playing Dent, like him, Sarsgaard’s character will work as Gotham City’s chief prosecutor.
The actor already has a personal connection to the Batman franchise as his wife, Maggie Gyllenhaal, played Rachel Dawes in 2008’s The Dark Knight.
He also has a connection to DC Comics adaptations. He portrayed the villainous Hector Hammond in 2011’s Green Lantern.
Oh… Hi, Peter… 🦇 pic.twitter.com/GsS2ktuWxE
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) December 6, 2019
Colin Farrell as The Penguin
After months of conversations, Matt Reeves seems to have confirmed that Colin Farrell will join the project after tweeting “Wait – is that you, #Oz?” alongside a GIF of the actor in In Bruges.
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) January 6, 2020
“Oz” refers to a shortened version of The Penguin’s full name, Oswald Cobblepot – so all signs point to Farrell finally jumping on board.
Rupert Penry-Jones as Gotham City mayor Don Mitchell
"The Batman” trailer did at least confirm one new casting addition not previously linked to the project – former “Spooks” and “Whitechapel” star Rupert Penry-Jones. Well his head shot is in the film at least. pic.twitter.com/ztcBl2N55f
— Garth Franklin (@darkhorizons) August 23, 2020
Spooks and The Strain actor Rupert Penry-Jones confirmed his role in February 2020 after several rumours circulated online. Penry-Jones spoke to ITV’s This Morning about his experiences on set, revealing that he had a chat with Colin Farell (The Penguin) without realising who he was.
“I arrived on set and there was this guy walking around who was being so over confident. I had no idea who he was. He was being really friendly, he was telling all these stories, I was like, ‘Who is this guy?'” Penry-Jones said [quotes transcribed by Digital Spy].
“I thought he might’ve been a supporting actor [an extra to you and me]. He kept on talking to me, just really friendly, really nice, and I started noticing things about his costume.
“He had a brace on his leg and these weird scars on his face, and I thought, ‘This is quite a lot of effort they’ve gone to for a supporting artist…’ and suddenly I realised, ‘Wait a minute this guy must be playing the Penguin, oh my God that’s Colin Farrell!’
“I was looking right up, almost nose-to-nose with his face trying to see,” the actor added. “You could not tell, it was amazing,” he said.
Who else might be in the cast of The Batman?
A trio of huge names have also been linked with roles as villains in The Batman.
According to We Got This Covered, True Detective star Matthew McConaughey is reportedly in talks to play Two-Face/Harvey Dent.
He could be joined by Gollum actor Andy Serkis, who, as The Wrap report, is in talks to take on the role of Alfred Pennyworth.
Another role also looks set to have been filled for the new film – up-and-comer Jayme Lawson is set to play a secret role in the film according to Collider.
We Got This Covered also suggested Johnny Depp might be in line to play the Joker in Reeves’ trilogy. Warner Bros have allegedly been eyeing Depp for the role for some time, and could offer a “campy” offering for the films to come.
Can we see any photos of The Batman?
On March 3, director Matt Reeves unveiled the first look at the Batmobile. The night time stills show the new, updated take on the iconic vehicle which now boasts an exposed rear engine. Batman himself is also seen lurking in the shadows in two of the images.
Check out the tweet below:
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) March 4, 2020
A Twitter user has shared photos that appear to show Pattinson on set for The Batman, riding a motorbike. It’s not completely clear whether they’re legitimate yet, and only time will tell, but see them below.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) January 6, 2020
Director Matt Reeves shared a picture of a clapperboard on January 27, alerting fans that shooting has started on the anticipated film.
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) January 27, 2020
Filming in Glasgow begun in February, 2020, and pictures from the shoot have been revealed. There is also a video clip of Batman seemingly involved in a motorbike race in a graveyard.
— Variety (@Variety) February 21, 2020
— Dizzy (@LennonKennedy5) February 21, 2020
tired of this look. where is glitter batman. where is linen jumpsuit batman. where is hawaiian shirt batman. so many unexplored batmen pic.twitter.com/X5SN2PUJx5
— tc (@chillmage) February 21, 2020
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) February 21, 2020
Update: Matt Reeves has shared a first look of the new The Batman logo together with a teaser poster to promote an upcoming panel about the film this weekend.
On Twitter, Reeves wrote (August 20): “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.”
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/ApfngNbyor
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) August 20, 2020
Is there a trailer for The Batman?
Is there any footage of The Batman?
Director Matt Reeves has shared the first footage from the set of The Batman. In the new video, dark and foreboding music is immediately heard before we eventually receive our first look at Robert Pattinson as The Caped Crusader.
Although shrouded in darkness, we can definitely see Batman’s iconic cowl. Check that out below.
What is the plot of The Batman?
Little is known of Matt Reeves upcoming solo adventure, but we have been told it will focus on Bruce Wayne’s younger, more vulnerable years. Other sources claim the film will be set during the 1990s and could show a fresher, less-grizzled version of the Caped Crusader making use of his detective skills, rather than brute strength.
Similarly to Batman Forever, The Batman will see Bats face off against an assortment of baddies from throughout his career. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, director Reeves revealed his film will feature “a rogues gallery” of villains getting up to no good.
Colin Farrell, who will play The Penguin in the film, has spoken about the script, calling it “gorgeous” while giving little away as to specifics.
“I’m in the process of talking to Matt Reeves, who’s the director, who wrote the script, and wrote a really beautiful, dark, moving script, really gorgeous,” Farrell told Jimmy Fallon. “It’s all very hush hush,” he added, “but it’s a really beautiful script that he wrote and he has a real love for it, Matt. So, we’re in the process of finishing designing the aesthetic of the character.”
Reeves has also spoken about his idea to give The Batman a “humanist” bent.
Talking with Nerdist, he explained his plan as: “I’m going to pitch the version of Batman that I would do, which is going to have a humanist bent. And who knows if they’ll have any interest? If they don’t, then I won’t do it. And that’ll be okay… I was really lucky that they said yes.”
He added that he doesn’t plan for the film to be an origin tale (presumably that means we won’t have to see Wayne’s parents die again). “I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is. Like this guy, he’s majorly struggling, and this is how he’s trying to rise above that struggle,” Reeves said.
“But that doesn’t mean that he even fully understands, you know. It’s that whole idea of the shadow self and what’s driving you, and how much of that you can incorporate, and how much of it you’re doing that you’re unaware of.”
He also added that he wants his version of this Batman character to not be “fully formed” yet. He said: “I just felt like well, what I’d love to do is to get a version of this Batman character where he’s not yet fully formed.
“Where there’s something to do in this context with who that guy would be in this world today, and to ground him in all of these broken ways. Because at the end of the day, this guy is doing all of this to deal with trauma in his past.”
Additionally, Jeffrey Wright, who was Reeves’ choice as Commissioner Gordon, has spoken to Collider about Reeves’ vision for the movie and how he’s approaching his role. “What I do is going to be very specific to Matt Reeves’ vision of Gotham, and it’s going to be reflective of what Robert Pattinson’s Batman is going to be. To pluck one character out of the whole, is a forced idea.
“All of us are working together to create a tone and a language and an energy and a vibe that is specific to our film.”
Reeves also recently told The Daily Beast that his ambition was to make a “Batman movie that could be different.”
“There have been some great Batman movies, and I didn’t want to just do a Batman movie. I wanted to do a Batman movie that could be different,” the filmmaker explained.
“I pitched [Warner Bros] what I would do, and I said, look, I appreciate that you want me to do a Batman movie, but I don’t want to just do a Batman movie; I want to do a Batman movie that has a chance to be something different, and humanist, and can use the metaphors of the genre.”
Talking further about the new film in an interview with SiriusXM (via The Hollywood Reporter), Wright called the film the “next evolution” of Gotham.
“Like with any film, we’re working together to create a mood, to create an idea, a setting, a tone,” Wright said. “This is the next evolution since 1939 when these stories began.”
“This is the next evolution of Gotham,” Wright added. “So I am working off the stage [director] Matt [Reeves] is providing and also working off what [star] Robert [Pattinson] is doing. We are trying to create something together that is our own, but is also Batman.”
Wright also called the film’s Batmobile the “most badass muscle car you could imagine. It’s grounded in Gotham. It’s grounded in Americana.”
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) March 4, 2020
Co-writer Mattson Tomlin said in August 2020 that the film will dig deep into Batman’s trauma. He discussed Reeves as a filmmaker during an interview with Den Of Geek, saying that Reeves is “always coming from a point of emotion” rather than focusing purely on action.
“I think that really looking at Batman as somebody who has gone through this trauma, and then everything that he’s doing is then a reaction to that, rather than shy away from that, I think this film leans into that in some very fun and surprising ways,” Tomlin said.
The recent trailer suggests that The Court of Owls could play a major part in the film, as explained in a theory from ScreenRant. The Court are “a secret society of wealthy politicians” who Bruce believed to be responsible for the murder of his parents as a child.
The key clue in the trailer is a card left by The Riddler, which as well as containing a riddle inside, has an image on the front which is an owl, teasing that the Court of Owls could in fact be an antagonist to look out for in the film.
“Since The Riddler seems to be directly addressing Batman at each of his crime scenes, he might also be trying to tip Batman off to the existence to the Court, since he knows that Batman has positioned himself as a figure of justice within Gotham City,” ScreenRant explained.
Where will The Batman be set?
It’s fair to say that The Batman will be likely mostly be set in Gotham, but where specifically? According to Variety, “a handful of scenes” will be filmed in Arkham Asylum, the high-security prison known to comic book fans for housing super-criminals. The film won’t be fully set in Arkham bu the hospital will be featured in some capacity. This comes after it was theorised by fans that writer/director Matt Reeves may be partially drawing inspiration from Rocksteady’s popular Batman: Arkham Asylum video game that saw Batman locked in the psychotic psychiatric institution along with many of his greatest foes.
Is The Batman a sequel to Joker?
In short, no. Speaking at a recent promotional event for horror thriller The Lighthouse, Pattinson described Reeves’ movie as “kind of a different world”. That being said, Warner Bros. appears to be trying to craft a scarier, more gritty extended universe for its DC Comics characters, with one-off origin stories forming the focus of their new direction.
In addition, we saw Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck meet Bruce Wayne for the first time in Joker. Just a young schoolboy, Wayne looked more than a bit perturbed by his future nemesis. Could this fresh-faced upstart grow into Pattinson’s Batman? We’ll have to wait and see.