The Batman was supposed to be released in theaters today, but thanks to the pandemic, it just wasn’t meant to be. Early last year, the anticipated superhero movie started production with Matt Reeves directing and Robert Pattinson starring as the new Bruce Wayne. It was perhaps the worst possible time to start rolling cameras, as the subsequent spread of COVID-19 months later shut down nearly every major movie and television production across the globe.
In March of last year, Reeves revealed that filming on The Batman had been suspended indefinitely until it was safe to start shooting again. This prompted Warner Bros. to push the release back from June 25 to October 1. When the project finally resumed filming in September 2020, Pattinson was diagnosed with COVID-19 just days later, causing yet another delay. It all mounted up to the studio deciding to release the movie on March 4, 2022, to give Reeves and crew ample time to safely finish the project.
While it’s going to be a painful wait for next year’s release, Reeves has provided a sneak peek at what to expect by releasing a The Batman teaser trailer. The footage reveals Pattinson’s version of the Dark Knight early into his career as a crime-fighting vigilante. As shown in the teaser, he’ll be facing off against a much darker incarnation of the Riddler (Paul Dano), a serial killer in Gotham City leaving riddles for investigators to solve as the scenes of his crimes. Many fans particularly loved seeing Batman wailing on some poor henchman before spouting in his brooding voice, “I’m vengeance.”
Director Matt Reeves co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Craig. He also produced alongside Dylan Clark. Along with Pattinson and Dano, The Batman stars Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Colin Farrell as Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot. Other cast members include Barry Keoghan, Peter Sarsgaard, Jayme Lawson, Alex Ferns, Gil Perez-Abraham, Rupert Penry-Jones, and twins Charlie and Max Carver.
“He is like a chameleon,” Reeves said of the decision to cast Pattinson at DC FanDome, per AV Club. “And he is so, he’s just such a gifted actor. And he’s been working on his craft in this really incredible way. And he also happens to be a tremendous, passionate sort of fan of Batman, the way that I am. And so it was an incredible thing to be able to connect with him and to share our excitement about the character and to work with him. I mean, you know, he looks like Batman, but more than anything, he has the soul of someone, I think, that can play a Batman.”
Warner Bros. sees high potential in The Batman. The movie is set in a standalone universe, meaning it has no connections to the DCEU or any other existing movies, but there are already two sequels in early development. A spinoff prequel series is also in development at HBO Max which will further expand the world of The Batman. That doesn’t mean we won’t see other iterations of the character, as Michael Keaton will reportedly be featured in other DCEU movies in a Nick Fury-like capacity following his return in The Flash.
Today would have been a much better day if The Batman was released as it was originally intended. Instead, we’ll all have to wait until its new official premiere date of March 4, 2022.