Although The Twilight Saga’s sparkly, golden-eyed vampires definitely didn’t turn into bats or hang upside-down at night, we still can’t help feeling it’s a bit of a spooky coincidence that Robert Pattinson — aka Edward Cullen — is slated to play another tortured, nocturnal anti-hero in Matt Reeves’ Batman remake…
Here’s everything you need to know about The Batman, including its ridiculously amazing cast…
When is The Batman in cinemas?
The film is due for release on 25th June 2021 in both the UK and USA.
As of January 2020, filming has officially started as confirmed by director Matt Reeves on Twitter.
What’s The Batman about?
After the critical disappointments Batman v Superman and Justice League, Ben Affleck is hanging up his cape, leaving a Batmobile-sized hole for another iteration of the DC Comics icon. Affleck was originally meant to direct and star in The Batman, but, in a recent New York Times profile, he stated he decided not to go through with it after reportedly showing a friend the script.
“They [the friend] said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went though again’,” Affleck told the New York Times.
This new feature is reportedly independent from the wider DC universe, picking up with the caped crusader in the midst of his crimefighting career, rather than telling an origin story.
No specific plot details have been released yet, but rumour has it that the film could be adapting acclaimed Batman miniseries The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, which saw a young-ish Dark Knight track down a serial killer who murders his victims on holidays throughout the year.
Full of twists, turns and sideways looks at several Batman villains, it’s a favourite among fans, and would certainly fit with some of the casting announced so far.
“I mean it’s an interesting direction,” Pattinson said of the mysterious set-up.
“It’s something from the comics which hasn’t been really explored yet. You know, it’s kind of crazy shoes to film. I mean, it’s interesting what different directions you can take with it. When somebody plays a specific character, it’s actually quite a lot of leeway. When you look at the different tones of all these movies and the TV shows, I mean you can do quite a lot with it.”
The movie will be helmed by War of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves.
Who stars in The Batman?
In May 2019 Variety reported that Remember Me and Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson would play Bruce Wayne, the billionaire playboy with a dark origin story and a secret nighttime, crime-busting hobby.
Deadline had previously reported that Pattinson was up against fellow British actor Nicholas Hoult, star of X-Men and more recently Tolkien. They later reported that Pattinson had been chosen over Hoult and that a deal was to be agreed in the coming weeks.
It’s unclear if Pattinson is signed up for more than one film – he told Variety that he didn’t “know anything” about potential sequels – though it’s hard to imagine he hasn’t been pinned down for additional movies.
But we do already have one clue about his performance, with the actor suggesting his “Batman voice” will be based on the one used by Willem Dafoe in their recent film The Lighthouse.
“Willem’s voice in this is kind of inspiring for it, to be honest,” he said. “It is kind of similar, the voice I’m going to do, to his.”
He added: “I think Batman has a kind of piratey voice. I think that will really suit it.”
Paul Dano has been cast as classic antagonist The Riddler/Edward Nashton, a role which Superbad’s Jonah Hill had previously been in talks for. Dano joins Pattinson and Big Little Lies star Zoe Kravitz, who has landed the iconic role of Catwoman, both confirmed by director Reeves on Twitter.
Interestingly, Kravitz was previously turned down for the role of Batman’s feline frenemy in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, with the role going to Anne Hathaway instead, though she did end up playing the character anyway – she voices Catwoman in The Lego Movie and its spin-off The Lego Batman Movie.
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) has landed the role of Commissioner Gordon (played by Oscar-winner Gary Oldman in the Dark Knight trilogy), with director Matt Reeves confirming the long-rumoured casting in a tweet as well.
And the castings just keep on coming. Apparently, following Hill’s withdrawal the casting for rotund villain The Penguin has gone in a slightly different direction, with Colin Farrell set to bring Oswald Cobblepot to life instead.
Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney and Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis will play the key role of Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, a part popularised by Michael Caine in Nolan’s movies but more recently played by Jeremy Irons in Batman v Superman and Justice League, as well as Douglas Hodge in Joker.
This will be something of a reunion for Serkis and Reeves, who previously collaborated on Reeves’ critically-acclaimed Planet of the Apes movies.
Joining them are Peter Sarsgaard and newcomer Jayme Lawson, who had been rumoured to be playing Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent and Batgirl respectively.
However, as filming began on the picture, the rumours seemed to be cleared as it was revealed Sarsgaard would be playing Gotham DA Gil Colson, while Lawson joins as mayoral candidate Bella Real.
That doesn’t mean they couldn’t still turn out to be the villain and female caped crusader, as neither of the characters are well established in the DC Comics universe.
And if you thought that was enough Batman castings, or even Batman villains, think again! Reeves has also revealed that Transformers, Barton Fink and The Big Lebowski star John Turturro will play mobster Carmine Falcone in the Batman.
Previously, Falcone was played by Tom Wilkinson in Christopher Nolan’s Bat-movies.
In January 2020, it was reported by IMDb Pro that Chernobyl and Taboo actor Alex Ferns had joined the cast as Commissioner Pete Savage.
What does Batman’s costume look like?
Director Matt Reeves released some teaser footage in February 2020, showcasing Robert Pattinson’s costume as Batman.
Fans are already speculating that the bat insignia is made from a gun – specifically the same gun used to kill Bruce Wayne’s parents. In the comics, Batman melts down the gun and uses the metal for his chest plate, so this will be a new take on how Bruce incorporates the gun into his costume.
Is there a trailer for The Batman?
Not yet — we’ll send a bat-signal when it’s released.
Will there be any Batman sequels?
Almost certainly. According to reports, director Reeves has signed on for a full trilogy of Batman films, so assuming the first film is a success we could be seeing Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader for a while yet.
What other Batman films have there been?
Michael Keaton on the set of Batman (Getty, EH)
The Dark Knight is one of the most-depicted superheroes in cinema, with various iterations of the character played by different actors cropping up over the last few decades.
Excluding 1940s serials, the first time Batman turned up on the screen was in a spin-off from the popular 1960s TV series starring Adam West, with Batman: The Movie released in 1966 and remaining a cult classic to this day.
Following this the character was adapted by Tim Burton for 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, where he was played by Michael Keaton opposite foes like Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman and Danny DeVito’s Penguin.
After Burton and Keaton departed (though Burton remained as producer) Joel Schumacher took over for the Val Kilmer-starring Batman Forever (1995) and its sequel Batman and Robin (1997), which starred George Clooney after Kilmer had scheduling conflicts.
Following the poor critical and commercial response to the film (which is still remembered as one of the worst-ever superhero movies) Batman didn’t return to screens again until Christopher Nolan’s reboot origin story Batman Begins, which starred Christian Bale and sparked two critically-acclaimed sequels – 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Following that trilogy the character was rebooted again for Warner Bros’ connected DC universe, with Ben Affleck cast for 2016 crossover movie Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck’s Batman also appeared in villain-based spin-off Suicide Squad (also in 2016) and 2017 team-up movie Justice League, the poor performance of which ended up inspiring Affleck to hang up the cape and cowl for good.
2017 also saw the release of comedy spin-off The Lego Batman movie, which saw Will Arnett reprise his role as Lego Batman from The Lego Movie for a critically-acclaimed, fourth wall-breaking riff on the Batman franchise.