It would be fair to say that DC Comics super heroes haven’t had the smoothest transition to the silver screen as of late, but their fortunes could be about to change.
Following two critically acclaimed Planet of the Apes movies, Matt Reeves is now taking on arguably the publisher’s most popular character and with an impressive cast to boot.
There’s some time to go until The Batman’s release date on 25th June 2021, but its never too early to get acquainted with the actors taking on these iconic roles.
Robert Pattinson plays Bruce Wayne/Batman
Bruce Wayne is a character that needs no introduction, but let’s give him one anyway just for the hell of it. The millionaire businessman’s parents were gunned down in front of him as a child, instilling in him the compulsive need to wipe crime off the streets of Gotham City.
A popular socialite by day, he uses his enormous wealth to enact vigilante justice by night as Batman, kitted out with cutting-edge gadgets including the Batmobile, Batcomputer and his projectile weapons known as Batarangs. The guy might be nuts, but he knows how to stick to a theme.
What else has Robert Pattinson been in? After a breakout role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Triwizard Tournament contender Cedric Diggory, he rose to international fame as Edward Cullen in the hugely popular Twilight movies.
Since the blockbuster vampire franchise wrapped up, Pattinson has focused on smaller independent films, garnering critical acclaim for his performances in Good Time, The Rover and this year’s psychological horror movie The Lighthouse. Next year, he’ll star in Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi feature Tenet.
Zoë Kravitz plays Selina Kyle/Catwoman
A role made iconic by Michelle Pfeiffer, Catwoman is a firm favourite character among Batman’s supporting cast. Selina Kyle takes on her costumed alter ego after learning martial arts in a bid to liberate herself from a cruel pimp she was working for.
Once free, she dons a catsuit and builds a reputation as a cunningly effective cat burglar which inevitably lands her on Batman’s radar. While her early comic book appearances were in a villainous capacity, over the last two decades Catwoman has become an increasingly heroic figure, often being an ally (and occasional lover) to Batman.
What else has Zoë Kravitz been in? No stranger to franchise fare, Kravitz has had starring roles in X-Men: First Class, The Divergent Series, Mad Max: Fury Road and both Fantastic Beasts films. Coincidentally, she also provided the voice for Catwoman in 2017’s animated comedy The LEGO Batman Movie. She is the daughter of singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz.
Jeffrey Wright plays Police Commissioner Jim Gordon
As Batman’s ally at the Gotham City Police Department, Commissioner Gordon plays a pivotal role in Bruce Wayne’s one-man war on crime. The pair have a friendship built on trust and a mutual desire to rid the streets of crime.
In the comic books, Gordon has a daughter named Barbara who goes on to become Batgirl – she later takes on the codename Oracle after a horrific shooting leaves her paralysed from the waist down.
Frequently seen standing next to the Batsignal, Gordon has recently been played by Gary Oldman in the Dark Knight trilogy and (very briefly) by JK Simmons in the ill-fated Justice League movie.
What else has Jeffrey Wright been in? Wright broke out at the turn of the century with roles in Shaft, Ali and 2004’s The Manchurian Candidate. He gained mainstream exposure after appearing in big-budget blockbusters like Casino Royale and The Hunger Games series, while he currently stars on HBO’s high concept sci-fi show Westworld.
Paul Dano plays Edward Nygma/The Riddler
The Riddler is one of the most famous members of Batman’s rogues gallery, first appearing way back in 1948’s Detective Comics #140. As his name suggests, he challenges Batman with sinister puzzles and mind games, determined to prove his superior intellect.
He has been played by several actors in live-action, including Frank Gorshin in the cult favourite 1960s Batman series, Jim Carrey in 1995’s Batman Forever and most recently by Cory Michael Smith on the prequel show Gotham.
What else has Paul Dano been in? Dano made his name on critically acclaimed films like Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood, before going on to snag roles in historical drama 12 Years A Slave, kidnapping thriller Prisoners and the charming Netflix Original movie Okja.
Colin Farrell plays Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin
Another classic villain for Pattinson’s Batman to contend with will be The Penguin, also known by the delightful civilian name Oswald Cobblepot, a ruthless mobster intent on dominating Gotham’s underground crime scene.
His distinct comic book appearance often involves a short, plump stature, long nose, monocle and umbrella, opposing Batman with an array of deadly weapons and a sharp criminal mind.
What else has Colin Farrell been in? Bursting onto the scene in high profile movies like Minority Report, Daredevil and Alexander, Farrell later received acclaim for his performances in smaller productions such as In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and The Lobster. Most recently, he starred in the live-action remake of Dumbo alongside Michael Keaton and former Penguin actor Danny DeVito.
Andy Serkis plays Alfred Pennyworth
One of Batman’s closest friends and allies, Alfred Pennyworth helped to raise him as the Wayne family butler and later assists him with his crimefighting from the safety of the Batcave.
With the casting of Andy Serkis, 55, this is a younger incarnation of the character than has typically been seen on the big screen, having recently been played by Jeremy Irons at 68 and Michael Caine at 79.
What else has Andy Serkis been in? Serkis is best known for his motion capture performances, portraying Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, as well as Caesar in the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy. He can be seen in live-action as Ulysses Klaue in fellow comic book movies Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther.