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The Batman: release date, cast, plot, and more explained

the batman release date
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Batman is Warner Bros' latest cinematic reboot of the iconic DC superhero, and the countdown to its release is finally on. Robert Pattinson turn as the Dark Knight is less than a year from launch, and there is plenty of information around to whet your appetite before then.

We're here to bring all of the latest news surrounding The Batman, including the fact that filming has finally finished and post-production is in full flow. We've also detailed other noteworthy bits about the movie, such as its all-star cast, plot details, actual release date and more.

You don't want to keep someone like the Caped Crusader waiting around, so get a move on and dive straight into everything worth knowing about The Batman.

The Batman release date: March 2022

The Batman will release on March 4, 2022, which is the second instance where the movie's launch has been delayed. Like many films trying to come out in the past 12 months, this wasn't its first delay. The original launch date was set for June 25, 2021, with the first delay coming as a result of filming being postponed amid the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. The writing was on the wall for The Batman when Dune's release date was pushed back to October 1 as part of a wider Warner Bros. reshuffle. 

There's no indication that its release will be shunted again, so we're crossing our fingers and toes over this launch date staying put on the calendar. We do know that principal photography on the movie has ended, though, with Reeves confirming as much on Twitter. You can view his tweet below, which shows the final clapboard used during its production:

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The Batman trailer: check the first look at Pattinson's Dark Knight

The Batman trailer gives us a dark, moody look at Matt Reeves' take on the Caped Crusader. Debuting at the virtual DC FanDome event in August 2020, we see Pattinson as a decidedly emo Bat, James Gordon visiting a crime scene, and our first glimpses at The Riddler, Penguin (a rather different-looking Colin Farrell), and Catwoman in action. Sound-tracked by the mournful vocals of Nirvana, tonally The Batman recalls the Nolan films, but it looks surprisingly good all things considered. 

A fun, interactive part of the trailer told non-comics fans everything they needed to know about The Riddler too. The crime genius left a cryptic message on a card for Batman with the written head-scratcher: "What does a liar do when he's dead?" With it came a series of symbols that match the solution of the riddle, and it was quickly solved on Twitter. It was still a nice touch, and one that chimes with Reeves' desire to get Bats back to more detective work. Lies and lying seem to be an important theme, too, as we see one of Riddler's victims strapped in duct tape with 'No More Lies' written on it.

The Batman cast: Robert Pattinson stars as Bruce Wayne

As we mentioned, Robert Pattinson will star as Bruce Wayne/Batman, with Andy Serkis serving as his faithful butler Alfred. The movie's villains are The Riddler (Paul Dano) and The Penguin (Colin Farrell) – while crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) could be categorized as such, too. 

Here's a quick list of the ensemble cast that's been confirmed so far:

  • Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth
  • Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman
  • Paul Dano as the Riddler/Edward Nashton
  • Colin Farrell as Oswald 'Oz' Cobblepot/The Penguin
  • Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, a mayoral candidate
  • Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon
  • Peter Sarsgaard as DA Gil Colson
  • John Turturro as Carmine Falcone
  • Barry Keoghan as Stanley Merkel
  • Alex Ferns as Police Commissioner Pete Savage

Twin actors Max and Charlie Carver have been cast in the movie, too, in unknown roles. 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 no official announcement on this front yet.

Rupert Penry-Jones and Gil Perez-Abraham have also been cast in undisclosed roles, and we're awaiting confirmation - if any is forthcoming - on their roles in the flick.

The Batman's Batmobile has been revealed

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The Batman's Batmobile has been revealed by Reeves, both to create buzz for the movie and likely to stop paparazzi photos of the car from leaking as filming continues. It looks like a sports car that's been fitted with a rocket engine – it's a wild contrast to recent Batmobiles, which were more tank-like in the Nolan and Snyder movies. See it in action in the trailer further up this page.

The Batman's Batsuit features a gun welded into the Bat symbol

The Batsuit was revealed by Reeves through a brief bit of moody test footage, with noir-ish music provided by the movie's composer, Michael Giacchino. The main detail to take away from this video is the Bat symbol on Pattinson's chest – it's a handgun that's been sliced in half and turned into the famous logo. 

Speculation – and common sense – points to this gun being the one used by Joe Chill to kill the Waynes. If that's true, it's pretty goth – and very Batman. 

The Batman story: here's what we know

the batman story

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Batman is set during the second year of the Caped Crusader's career, according to a story on The Wrap. That should bypass the need to see another Batman origin movie, which Christopher Nolan's films covered definitively in Batman Begins.

Indeed, the presence of Catwoman, Penguin and the Riddler in this film suggests we're fairly deep into DC Comics lore. Expect this to be a Batman movie that features some actual detective work, too. "It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale," Reeves told THR, explaining that he's going for a 'thrilling' but 'emotional' movie. 

"It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films. 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."

That does sound very different to past Batman movies, and you get a real sense of the movie's noir flavor in the Batsuit test footage. 

The Batman: what happened to Ben Affleck's version?

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This Batman film has had a long road to production. Back in summer 2015, Ben Affleck was slated to co-write and direct a movie with that title, reprising his role as the Caped Crusader from Batman Vs Superman. The movie was to feature Deathstroke as the villain, with Affleck even releasing the test footage above on Twitter.  

Deathstroke briefly pops up in the post-credits sequence of the Justice League movie, played by Joe Manganiello as he is in the footage above. Affleck dropped out of directing The Batman in January 2017, and finally ended his involvement with the movie officially in early 2019. 

Affleck ultimately left the movie due to his struggles with alcohol. "I showed somebody 'The Batman' script," Affleck told the NY Times. "They said, 'I think the script is good. I also think you'll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again.'" The piece also mentions that the troubled Justice League shoot had "sapped his interest" in the Batman role, which is fair enough.

While Affleck isn't getting a standalone Batman film, he will reprise his role in Warner's upcoming Flash movie, according to Deadline. That may be the last time we see Affleck in the famous cape and cowl too, with Warner confirming that they won't be moving forward with Zack Snyder's planned Justice League sequels, as Variety reports, despite the Snyder Cut's relative success since its March 18 release.

Does the world need another Batman movie?

the batman trailer

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

This new version focuses on Batman as a detective in his younger days, which is a big shift from Affleck's older version of the character. The choice of villains immediately conjures up thoughts of 1992's Batman Returns, but expect The Batman to have its own specific tone. 

With so many versions of Batman on-screen over the past three decades, it makes sense that Reeves would want to differentiate his adaptation from past efforts. The world probably doesn't need another Batman movie – but a noir-infused film with a cast this good will firmly draw a line under the Justice League version of the character, which can't hurt. 

The Batman: will there be a sequel?

It's too early to tell if The Batman will get any follow-up movies. Given the popularity of the character, however, we certainly think it will. There will be other stories for Reeves to tell - should he wish to return, that is - and there's every chance that the director has laid the groundwork for future instalments in this movie.

Jeffrey Wright has given the biggest hint about potential sequels though. After filming wrapped on March 13, the actor tweeted that he was done with Jim Gordon... for now. That could be taken to mean that there may be possible reshoots in the future, depending on how the film is edited, but it could also hint at a sequel or two down the line.

You can check out Wright's tweet below:

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