The Batman has come a long way since Adam West threw an oversized bomb into Gotham’s river. Now, it’s Robert Pattinson’s turn to play Caped Crusader – and we’ve seen a surprising amount of the DC film considering director Matt Reeves admitted to having filmed around a quarter of The Batman before it shut down production earlier this year.
So, roll call: We’ve got the full cast for The Batman (including all the villains going up against Pattinson’s Dark Knight), a look at the Batmobile, crisper artwork of the Batsuit, The Batman logo and, of course, the world-first trailer from DC FanDome.
Instead of looking all over the place for it, we’ve done the hard yards and compiled all the latest news into one place for our guide to The Batman.
The Batman release date: delays push it back to October 2021
Sorry, folks. The Batman is the latest victim of all the coronavirus-related delays striking the industry. The series of Warner Bros. delays announced on April 20 has pushed the Caped Crusader's reboot back to October 1, 2021.
If you discount Batman v Superman, this is the first solo Batman movie in nine years (The Dark Knight Rises released in 2012), making it the longest gap between Bat-Flicks since Tim Burton’s Batman arrived onto the scene.
The Batman trailer features Batman vs. The Riddler
The first official trailer for The Batman is everything one would hope; brutal, action-packed, chills-inciting, and revealing. We know now exactly what Robert Pattinson looks like as the Caped Crusader, both with and without the mask. We also know the primary antagonist to be Paul Dano's Riddler, and thanks to Reeves, we know not to expect anything similar to Jim Carrey's Riddler.
"Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no one has ever seen before... what he is doing is going to blow people's minds," said Reeves following the reveal. The director also touches on the interactions between so many different Batman characters coming together for the latest flick. "How all these characters connect was one of the really interesting things about writing this movie," Reeves said. With Commissioner Gordon, Selina Kyle, and The Penguin all set to play some role in The Batman, expect nothing short of a high-octane thrill ride from start to finish.
The Batman logo has been revealed
Excited to share the very first look at our official #TheBatman logo, and some very cool additional #DCFanDome artwork by the amazing @jimlee — see more of #TheBatman at the #DCFanDome global event in the Hall of Heroes this Saturday, 8/22! #TheBatman #DCFanDome #ForTheFans pic.twitter.com/ApfngNbyorAugust 20, 2020
This Batman certainly likes black and red.
Director Matt Reeves has revealed The Batman logo alongside a poster for the movie's then-upcoming FanDome panel in August 2020.
The Batman cast
First, the main man: Robert Pattinson will be playing Batman/Bruce Wayne. However, it was a long road to get there.
In May 2019, Deadline reported that director Matt Reeves had two people on his Batman wishlist: Robert Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult, who had previous superhero experience as Beast in X-Men. After much debate on social media, Pattinson was eventually cast as Batman a few weeks later.
Speaking about his upcoming role, Pattinson told The New York Times: “His morality is a little bit off. He’s not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic-book character. There is a simplicity to his worldview, but where it sits is strange, which allows you to have more scope with the character."
He's also worked on his Batman voice, having revealed a surprising inspiration for his disguised growls: Willem Dafoe. His "I am vengeance" line in the trailer is perfect, so full marks for that.
Joining Pattinson is Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright, who is playing Commissioner Gordon. He was previously linked to the role via The Hollywood Reporter. Reeves confirmed it on Twitter in September 2019.
Tweet! #Gordon 🦇 pic.twitter.com/O4PBX7MmuHOctober 30, 2019
Fleshing out the cast further is Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz. Signing on in October 2019, Kravitz may have beaten several others to the role. Hobbs and Shaw’s Vanessa Kirby was at one time mooted as a frontrunner for the role of Selina Kyle, yet Kravitz won out in the end.
Also jumping onboard board The Batman is Paul Dano, who will be playing The Riddler. The news broke just a day after Jonah Hill decided to walk away from talks about playing an unnamed Batman villain, believed to be The Penguin. More on him in just a minute.
The Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood actor is now tasked with bringing the character of Edward Nygma (renamed Edward Nashton for The Batman) to life. It’ll be the first time The Riddler has appeared in a live-action Batman movie since Jim Carrey took on the role in Batman Forever.
Colin Farrell and Andy Serkis were tapped to play The Penguin and Alfred Pennyworth respectively. Serkis has been confirmed by Matt Reeves, though Farrell wasn't officially brought in as The Penguin until January 2020. We still can't believe it's him under all this makeup!
But all of these stars can't get equal screen time, right? During an interview with the GMA Network, Farrell teased that he only has a bit-part to play: I haven’t got that much to do. I have a certain amount in the film. I am not all over it by any means. But there are a couple of some tasty scenes I have in it," he said.
Meanwhile, yet another villainous figure is entering the fray: John Turturro will be playing mob boss Carmine Falcone. The character also appeared in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, portrayed by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins.
Peter Sarsgaard is joining The Batman as Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson, though a duality-themed Instagram post has fans wondering whether he'll be playing Two-Face. Rounding out the cast is Jayme Lawson as Gotham mayoral candidate Bella Real and Alex Ferns in an unnamed role.
Finally, in what appears to be the last set of casting announcements, Max and Charlie Carver will play mystery roles.
The Batmobile and Batsuit: official previews
Alongside a new piece of promo art featuring a cleaner take on the Batsuit comes a look at the Batmobile.
New promo art #TheBatman #DCFanDome pic.twitter.com/nj5ERV9To7September 12, 2020
🦇🏎 #TheBatman pic.twitter.com/qJFNprk1utMarch 4, 2020
As you can probably tell, Matt Reeves' version of Bats' vehicle does away with the high-tech gadgetry of previous iterations in favour of a lean American muscle-style V10 car.
What appears to be new shots of The Batmobile have been revealed in a now-removed post on concept artist Jeff Frost's website.
Frost, who has worked with Warner Bros. before on Batman v Superman, has shown off a mini model of Bats' souped-up ride, including the backend. Take this with a pinch of Bat-Salt, however, as it's far from official as of writing.
Concept Model Maker Jeff Frost posted some pictures of a model of #TheBatman's Batmobile on his website! pic.twitter.com/xHNkj6WYtvMay 31, 2020
The Batman villains include Riddler, Penguin, Carmine Falcone, and Catwoman
Riddler, The Penguin, and Catwoman (if you want to count the anti-heroine as more of a villain) have been confirmed for The Batman, meaning the Caped Crusader will have his hands full with those looking to terrorise Gotham. But there could be more on the way.
"Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no one has ever seen before... what he is doing is going to blow people's minds," says Reeves at DC's FanDome event.
Carmine Falcone will also be rocking up in Gotham's underworld. He'll be played by The Night Of actor John Turturro.
Forbes had also namechecked "Two-Face and a host of other villains" as being scheduled to appear, alongside the then-unconfirmed Riddler and Catwoman. That hasn't materialised... yet. Peter Sarsgaard joining the cast as D.A. Gil Colson, however, fills a very Harvey Dent-shaped role. If the whispers grow louder and turn into something tangible, even Arkham Asylum could struggle to hold the heaving villainous cast.
The Batman plot: how long has Batman been on the job?
We now know a lot more about The Batman’s story, judging by the latest trailer. In it, Riddler prods and pokes at both Batman and Jim Gordon, leading them to investigate a murder or possibly a series of murders. Gotham normally racks up the body count, so don't be surprised if it's the latter. The film is also set during the Caped Crusader’s second year on the job – so don’t expect everything to be rosy for the crime-fighting vigilante.
"It's early and Batman's still a vigilante," the directed said at FanDome. "[Gotham's people] wonder, 'That guy sounds a little dangerous.' He's not yet the symbol of hope... He's still a growing legend. People wonder whether he exists. It's one of the things he will confront in the story."
Interestingly, The Batman is confirmed to exist in its own Earth in the multiverse, so don't expect crossovers with Joaquin Phoenix's Joker or any of the mainline DCEU characters, such as Henry Cavill's Superman.
The Batman, though, isn't going to be a re-telling of the origin story we all know so well.
Director Matt Reeves said in an interview with Nerdist: "I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is."
What evidence is there of that approach? It can perhaps best be seen in the teaser for the Batsuit, featuring what appears to be a Batman logo made out of gun parts. Could this be the weapon that gunned down Bruce's parents in Crime Alley?
We can also expect an "emotional connection between Alfred and Bruce,” Alredy actor Andy Serkis told LADBible. “That's really at the centre of it."
The Batman is getting a spin-off prequel
Hell to the yes. The Batman is getting a spin-off centred around Gotham City's boys in blue. It'll be coming to HBO Max at an unannounced date.
According to Variety, The Batman's director, Matt Reeves, and its producer, Dylan Clark, are both signed on as executive producers. Boardwalk Empire creator and The Sopranos writer Terence Winter will write the series.
Reeves even teased how The Batman and the series connect during the movie's FanDome panel including where it fits on the timeline.
"The idea is we go back to Year One," Reeves explained. "Year One is the beginning, it's the first appearance of this masked vigilante [Batman] that states to unsettle the city."
The idea for this story was Gotham [having] this depth of corruption and have a story... that goes into the inner workings of the city," Reeves said.
The Batman director: who is Matt Reeves?
Matt Reeves signed on to direct The Batman back in 2017 – after Ben Affleck stepped down as director. Affleck eventually left the cape and cowl behind, but Reeves stayed and has been helming the project ever since.
His most famous work to date is Cloverfield, with his work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes also widely acclaimed.
Find out about the best iterations of Batman's arch nemesis with our best Joker rankings. Plus, see how Bats has fared previously in our newly-updated list of the best superhero movies, in this multiverse or the next.