The Batman is filling out its cast in a big way. Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, The Riddler, Catwoman, and Carmine Falcone have all joined Matt Reeves' 2021 The Batman, with rumours suggesting more could be on the way. It's an exciting time to be a fan of the Caped Crusader.
Below, we'll run you through the essentials for The Batman: release date, quotes from PatMan himself, Robert Pattinson, list of villains, and a possible leaked plot outline that shares similarities with an iconic Batman story.
The Batman fast facts
- The Batman release date: 25 June, 2021
- The Batman director: Matt Reeves
- The Batman writers: Matt Reeves, Mattson Tomlin
- The Batman cast: Robert Pattinson, Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano
The Batman release date
The Batman release date is June 25, 2021. As announced in January, The Batman will come just before James Gunn’s Suicide Squad reboot, which is due out on August 6, 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 cast
The Batman cast has (probably) changed a fair bit since you last checked.
First, the main man: Robert Pattinson will be playing Batman/Bruce Wayne. It was a long road to get there, however.
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 working on the Batman voice, having revealed a surprising inspiration for his disguised growls: Willem Dafoe.
Joining Pattinson will be 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.
Tweet! #Gordon 🦇 pic.twitter.com/O4PBX7MmuHOctober 30, 2019
Fleshing out the cast further is Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz. Signing on in October, 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.
The Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood actor is now tasked with bringing the character of Edward Nygma 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 we've no official word yet on Farrell's status.
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.
Vincent D’Onofrio has also sent the casting rumour mill into overdrive by… quote tweeting a Matt Reeves tweet regarding Zoe Kravitz’s casting. 2019 is weird. The Kingpin actor hasn’t been confirmed as joining The Batman cast for the time being (though he wouldn’t make a half-bad Bane).
Hey Matt. https://t.co/xuKujFS6PdOctober 14, 2019
The Batman villains confirmed so far include Riddler, Carmine Falcone, and Catwoman
Riddler and Catwoman (if you want to count the anti-heroine as more of a villain) have both 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.
The most prominent rumour involves Penguin facing off against Batman. Jonah Hill’s departure from the project seemingly put a stop to that – he was previously rumoured for the role – but Colin Farrell has recently been attached as Oswald Cobblepot.
Carmine Falcone will also be rocking up in Gotham's underworld. He'll be played by The Night Of actor John Turturro.
Forbes has also namechecked “Two-Face and a host of other villains” as scheduled to appear, alongside the then-unconfirmed Riddler and Catwoman. If the whispers grow louder and turn into something tangible, even Arkham Asylum could struggle to hold the heaving villainous cast.
The Batman plot - and rumours
Nothing has been confirmed when it comes to The Batman plot just yet, though director Matt Reeves has spoken briefly about the story.
“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. 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.”
Tracking down the criminals is a plot thread worth hanging on to – as it’s been mentioned explicitly in a recent rumour on Kevin Smith’s FatMan Beyond podcast. According to the Clerks star, The Batman will be taking cues from The Long Halloween, a famous Batman comic series that involved The Dark Knight tracking down a villain who causes chaos across several holidays.
The Batman director
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.
Is The Batman linked to the DC Extended Universe?
With Joker having been such a success, there’s been some question over whether future DC movies will have fewer ties to the DC Extended Universe. The Batman will apparently link in with other DCEU movies, rather than being a DC Black release. That should mean Pattinson’s Batman will face off against Jared Leto’s Joker rather than Jaoquin Phoenix’s Clown Prince of Crime, but at this stage nobody seems too sure.
Before the script was complete, Reeves commented during the 2018 TCAs: “There are ways in which all of this connects to DC, to the DC universe as well. We’re one piece of many pieces so I don’t want to comment on that except to say that I’m focused very specifically on this aspect of the DC world.” So, is it or isn’t it connected to Justice League/Aquaman/Wonder Woman/Suicide Squad? Hopefully, we’ll get a definite answer soon enough.
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.