The Batman is coming to HBO Max earlier than we thought

Robert Pattinson's Dark Knight looks off to the side in the Riddler's hideout in The Batman
The Batman will sneak his way onto HBO Max a day earlier than anticipated. (Image credit: Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.)

The Batman has received its official HBO Max release date – and, surprisingly, it's coming to the streaming service earlier than anticipated.

In a press release, WarnerMedia confirmed that The Batman will launch on its streaming platform on Monday, April 18. That's a day earlier than the superhero film's supposedly leaked release date, which was said to be April 19.

Film aficionados who aren't subscribed to HBO Max will also be able to watch the Dark Knight's latest movie adaptation in April, too. The Batman will be broadcast on HBO as well, but those wishing to catch the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) flick will have to wait a few days to do so. The Batman won't air on HBO until Saturday, April 23 at 8pm EST / 5pm PST so, if you don't want to wait, you may have to sign up to HBO Max to see it earlier.

After numerous pandemic-induced delays, The Batman finally launched in theaters worldwide on March 4, 2022. The Caped Crusader's most recent film adaptation was met with critical acclaim from fans and journalists alike, with many praising its vibe and tone, cast performances, plot, and its leaning into the detective side of the character's make-up.

In our spoiler-free review, we said The Batman was "a stunningly meticulous and tension-filled DCEU movie that doesn't lose sight of the iconic vigilante's comic book roots [...] Its unique blend of detective noir, horror, psychological thriller, action, and drama delivers a sumptuous tale that's full of gritty style, while its all-star cast, cinematography, and pulsating score enhance the spectacle."

For more content concerning The Batman, check out our exclusive chats with director Matt Reeves and star Colin Farrell about the film's horror-esque influences and Penguin spin-off, respectively. And, once you've finished watching The Batman (or if you missed them the first time around), read our ending and post-credits scene explainer, as well as which "really cool" scene Reeves left out of the final cut.

Analysis: why was The Batman's HBO Max release date changed?

Batman grabs Selina Kyle's arm during a tense confrontation in The Batman movie

"Listen, Selina, The Batman's HBO Max launch date has been changed." (Image credit: Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.)

Well, there's no guarantee that it was. As we mentioned earlier, WarnerMedia was believed to have accidentally leaked The Batman's HBO Max release, with a technical hiccup on the official HBO website seemingly confirming as much.

It's possible, though, that The Batman's HBO Max webpage was simply a placeholder, and that WarnerMedia was still debating when to bring the critically-acclaimed movie to its streaming platform. We've seen plenty of online stores use placeholder dates for specific products in the past before they settle on a confirmed launch date. Maybe WarnerMedia was taking a page out of that strategy book, then.

It's that or, with a number of big HBO Max hitters – including The Flight Attendant season 2 and Barry season 3 – returning later this month, WarnerMedia decided to release The Batman earlier so its susbcriber base wasn't spoiled for choice over what to watch. Add in the prospect that one particular HBO Max show has been a major hit for the streamer over the past fortnight, and Max users are sure to be hit with a bout of 'choice paralysis' as April progresses.

Still, it's good that we've received official confirmation of The Batman's HBO Max release. At the time of writing, it's only one week from appearing on our screens at home, which makes a pleasing change from having to wait ages for newly released films to make their way to streaming services the world over.

We're sure that it'll make its way onto our best HBO Max movies list relatively soon, and it'll take a monumental effort from any potential sequels to overthrow it in our best Batman movies ranked article, too. Right now, there's only one Batman movie we consider to be superior to it, but you'll have to read that article to find out which one it is.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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