- Launching in theaters on March 4
- Critics are hailing it as a brilliant Dark Knight movie
- Film's runtime is just under three hours
- Sequel appears to be in the works
- New details on Penguin spin-off have emerged
The Batman is almost here. Nine months after it was supposed to launch in theaters, the Dark Knight's latest live-action interpretation is finally set for release on March 4.
And you should be excited about its arrival, with critical reception almost universally positive for this new Batman movie incarnation. In our spoiler-free review, we called The Batman a "stunningly meticulous and tension-filled DCEU movie that doesn't lose sight of the iconic vigilante's comic book roots", and "another outstanding entry in the Caped Crusader's ever-expanding movie franchise". High praise, indeed, if we don't mind saying so ourselves.
Ahead of the Batman's release, we imagine you'll want to know more about it. Below, you'll find plenty of information about the DCEU movie, including its all-star cast, spoiler-free story details, trailers, future spin-off projects, and more. That includes some exclusive quotes we obtained from Colin Farrell, too, who plays Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin in The Batman. So you'll definitely want to read on to find out what he said.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of The Batman swooping into theaters.
The Batman release date
The Batman release date: March 4, 2022
The Batman will launch exclusively in theaters on March 4, 2022. The movie has already been pushed back twice due to the ongoing pandemic, but will now arrive very soon.
Warner Bros' next superhero film will also be available to watch on HBO Max. However, unlike the studio's 2021 day and date release schedule, The Batman won't premiere on the company's streaming platform until 45 days after it lands in theaters. Don't expect its arrival before April 18 at the earliest, then.
The Batman trailer
The Batman trailer: check out the final teaser
Landing just after Christmas Day 2021, a new trailer for The Batman – titled The Bat and the Cat – gave us some fresh footage to pour over.
We see Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne slyly called out by Gotham City mayoral candidate Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson), who claims that Wayne isn't doing enough to combat Gotham's criminals despite his wealth. Somewhat amusingly, Reál's chat with Wayne is intercut with numerous Batman action sequences, proving that Wayne is ironically doing more than his fair share of trying to clean up Gotham's streets.
Later, the trailer teases more of Batman and Zoë Kravitz's Selina Kyle/Catwoman's uneasy partnership, with the duo taking on various foes (and seemingly each other) at points. There are also a few extra shots of Paul Dano's Riddler, Colin Farrell's Penguin and Gotham police officers questioning Batman's role in events surrounding The Riddler.
Two other trailers preceded The Bat and the Cat's release, and you can view them below. First up, the teaser that arrived during 2020's DC Fandome event:
And here's the film's main trailer, which was released in October 2021:
The Batman runtime
The Batman runtime: how long is it?
The Batman clocks in at two hours 55 minutes. That makes it the longest Batman movie of all time, and just six minutes shy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Avengers: Endgame.
However, The Batman's runtime pales in comparison to another DCEU movie, i.e. Zack Snyder's Justice League, which ran for four hours and two minutes. The Batman could have gotten very close to matching the Snyder Cut, however, with Warner Bros. reportedly screening a four-hour rough cut of the film to audiences last year. Anyone up for a 'Release the Reeves Cut' fan campaign?
The Batman soundtrack
The Batman soundtrack: listen to two songs from the original score
If three trailers for The Batman isn't enough content for you, why not check out the movie's main musical theme?
Composed by Michael Giacchino (Spider-Man: No Way Home, Lost, Up), the near seven-minute long track is a brilliant piece of music, rising and falling throughout before its big crescendo. You can just see how it fits into the wider film, even though we've only seen a tiny fraction of its footage.
You can listen to the track in full above, or head to the official song's weblink (opens in new tab) to find it on Spotify, Apple Music and other music streaming platforms.
Warner Bros. also released the theme for the film's main villain, aka The Riddler, on February 4, too. Check that out below:
The Batman cast
The Batman cast: who is playing who?
Here's a quick list of the impressive ensemble cast:
- Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth
- Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman
- Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler
- Colin Farrell as Oswald 'Oz' Cobblepot/The Penguin
- Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon
- John Turturro as Carmine Falcone
- Peter Sarsgaard as District Attorney Gil Colson
- Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál
- Barry Keoghan as Stanley Merkel/Unseen Prisoner
- Rupert Penry-Jones as Mayor Don Mitchell
- Alex Ferns as Police Commissioner Pete Savage
Robert Pattinson will star as Bruce Wayne/Batman, with Andy Serkis serving as his faithful butler Alfred. The movie's confirmed rogues' gallery features The Riddler (Paul Dano) and The Penguin (Colin Farrell), while crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) isn't a supervillain, but he's an antagonist nonetheless. Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) doesn't traditionally play on the side of the angels, either, so expect her allegiances to change throughout the film.
Representing the forces of law and order are Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, Peter Sarsgaard as District Attorney Gil Colson, and Alex Ferns as Police Commissioner Pete Savage. Rupert Penry-Jones has confirmed he'll be playing Don Mitchell, Gotham City's mayor, while newcomer Jayme Lawson takes on the role of mayoral candidate Bella Reál.
Gil Perez-Abraham has been cast in an as-yet undisclosed role. Meanwhile, twin actors Max and Charlie Carver (Teen Wolf) has also been brought on board in unannounced roles, and there are numerous pairs of DC characters the actors could be playing. Tweedledee and Tweedledum are the most recognizable 'twin' characters from Batman lore, but there's been no official announcement yet.
Perhaps the most intriguing name on The Batman cast list is Eternals star Barry Keoghan, whose Stanley Merkel/Unseen Prisoner character is widely rumored to be another Gotham City villain. We've seen the film so we know who he's portraying, but we won't spoil the surprise here. Go and see the movie to find out for yourself.
The Batman story
The Batman story: what's it about?
Here's the movie's official synopsis, by way of Warner Bros' UK 2022 preview listing (opens in new tab): "Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman, striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies – Alfred Pennyworth, Lt. James Gordon – amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
"When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin, Carmine Falcone, and Edward Nashton aka the Riddler. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City."
Expect this to be a rare Batman movie that features some actual detective work, then, which is entirely appropriate for his comic book roots – particularly Batman: Year One, the 1987 four-issue series run by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.
"It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films," Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter (THR). "The comics have a history of that. He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and that's not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I'd love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime. It's going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation."
Speaking to GQ (opens in new tab), Pattinson elaborated on his director's vision for The Batman. "The first shot is so jarring from any other Batman movie that it’s just kind of a totally different pace," he explained. "It was what Matt was saying from the first meeting I had with him: ‘I want to do a ’70s noir detective story, like The Conversation.’ And I kind of assumed that meant the mood board or something, the look of it. But from the first shot, it’s, Oh, this actually is a detective story."
Elaborating further in a chat with Movie Maker magazine (opens in new tab), Reeves said of the plot: “The premise is that the Riddler is kind of molded in an almost Zodiac Killer sort of mode, and is killing very prominent figures in Gotham, and they are the pillars of society. These are supposedly legitimate figures. It begins with the mayor, and then it escalates from there.
"And in the wake of the murders, he reveals the ways in which these people were not everything they said they were, and you start to realize there’s some kind of association. And so just like [Bob] Woodward and [Carl] Bernstein, you’ve got Gordon and Batman trying to follow the clues to try and make sense of this thing in a classic kind-of-detective story way."
That sounds very different to past Batman movies, and you get a real sense of the movie's noir flavor in the trailers. And, as Serkis explained to LAD Bible, Batman's dark and brooding persona will be on full display, as will the close, father-son style bond between Bruce and Alfred.
Meanwhile, Pattinson told Total Film (opens in new tab) that fans will be "shocked" by The Batman's tone and vibe, saying: "When I saw it the first time, even from the first shot, it does feel incredibly different, tonally, to the other movies. And it’s so strange, and kind of... It’s sad, and quite touching. It’s a really, really unusual Batman story."
Much like the character he plays, too, Pattinson told GQ that portraying Bruce Wayne/Batman was a pretty isolating experience. Primarily, though, that was done to the on-set bubble that the cast and crew had to endure, as the ongoing pandemic raged on around them. "The nature of the shoot was so kind of insular, always shooting at night, just really dark all the time," Pattinson said. "And I felt very much alone. Even just being in the suit all the time. You’re not really allowed out of the studio with the suit on, so I barely knew what was going on at all outside."
As for Reeves' opinion on that darker aspect, the film's director told Empire Magazine (opens in new tab) that much of the film's vibe (and Pattinson's portrayal) owes a lot to the late Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.
“When I write, I listen to music, and as I was writing the first act, I put on Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’,” Reeves said. “That’s when it came to me that, rather than make Bruce Wayne the playboy version we’ve seen before, there’s another version who had gone through a great tragedy and become a recluse. So I started making this connection to Gus Van Sant's Last Days, and the idea of this fictionalised version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor.”
In his Movie Maker interview, Reeves added that The Batman "is the most intricate narrative I have ever, ever tried to tackle", and even likened it to "being almost a horror movie", which is novel for a Batman live-action movie.
Reeves also told Movie Maker that The Batman takes its cues from 1970s-era films that the director watched during his childhood, including Klute, Chinatown, The Godfather, and All The President's Men. In a separate chat with Esquire (opens in new tab), Reeves notes The French Connection and Taxi Driver as similar influences so, if you're after an idea of what The Batman may look and feel like, you should check those movies out.
What else can we expect, though? Plenty of run-ins with iconic Batman villains and the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD), with one particular scene in The Batman seeing the character leap from a tall building to escape a SWAT team.
ANNND… finally qc’d the movie in stunning #DolbyVision with absolutely astonishing #DolbyAtmos sound. Thank you, @Dolby, for blowing my mind! Can't wait for people to see #TheBatman in #DolbyCinema! pic.twitter.com/fSr1Y0DuCAJanuary 21, 2022
Regarding Catwoman, Kravitz has confirmed that The Batman will be an origins story for Selina Kyle, telling Empire Magazine: “This is an origin story for Selina, so it’s the beginning of her figuring out who she is, beyond just someone trying to survive. I think there’s a lot of space to grow and I think we are watching her become what I’m sure will be the femme fatale.”
Does that mean a Catwoman spin-off is on the way? Or could we see Kravitz's Kyle in another Batman film down the line? Here's hoping.
We also know, per the recent announcement by the MPAA, that The Batman has been awarded a PG-13 certificate owing to its “strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language and some suggestive material."
Some fans took that decision to mean Reeves' movie will be a sanitized (read: not-so-dark) adventure through Gotham's underbelly, but there's several reasons why we're confident that won't be the case. We've outlined them all here, but the most important thing to remember is that Christopher Nolan's entire Dark Knight trilogy – which was unanimously praised for its dark and gritty tone – bore the same PG-13 certificate. Rest assured, Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader will be getting his hands dirty when the movie releases in theaters.
The Batman sequel and spin-offs
The Batman: sequel and TV spin-offs in development
It's too early to tell if The Batman will get any follow-up movies. But, speaking to Total Film (opens in new tab), Pattinson alluded to the possibility of a sequel, saying: "I mean, they always have that little bit at the end, that’s like: ‘...and coming up!’". So a sequel could be on the way. And that appears to be the case, with Reeves telling reporters at the film's premiere in LA (per the Bat_Source Twitter fan account (opens in new tab)) that talks have begun about a potential follow-up movie.
Just as Star Wars and Marvel have expanded their universes via Disney Plus TV shows, DC is bringing The Batman's universe to the small screen via HBO Max.
We know Colin Farrell will reprise his role as the Penguin in an upcoming series for the streamer, which is set delve into Penguin’s rise to power in Gotham.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar ahead of The Batman's release, Farrell opened up on some elements of the show that he's most excited about. "[I'm excited about] getting more into the character and just, as you say, maybe getting more into his origin and the Oswald that we that we meet in the film," he said. "And also the Oswald that we're going to get the chance to present over the six or eight hours that it'll be. So yeah, just get it, you get an opportunity to delve into it."
According to Variety, Warner Bros. has also lined up Giri/Haji and Encounter writer Joe Barton to serve as showrunner on a Gotham Police Department TV show that will reportedly "build on the film's examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City". Will Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon be part of this project? We'll have to wait and see.
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