Everything we know about Batman 2022: Storyline, Cast, Release, Date and More

Movie Basics: Ben Affleck’s Batman will live on in the multiverse-twisting “Flash” movie – but Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” is doing something new in a world all its own. Here’s everything you need to know about Robert Pattinson and “The Batman.” “The Batman” has been in development for so long that the Bat was originally supposed to be a totally different man.

Originally, “The Batman” was imagined as an entry in the DC Extended Universe, working in the same world as “Man of Steel” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” At the time, it was a given that Ben Affleck would be reprising the role of Bruce Wayne, while also serving as the movie’s writer and director. Once Affleck stepped down as director and his script was shelved, new director Matt Reeves came on board with his own pitch for a Batman film that would call for a younger actor in the role.

Robert Pattinson was Reeves’ first choice for Bruce Wayne, with the filmmaker saying he wrote the part specifically for him. Pattinson is best known to the public for his lead role in the “Twilight” films, but in the years since those movies came and went, he’s also become a critical darling for his work in smaller films like “Good Time” and “The Lighthouse.” Pattinson’s casting was something of a surprise. For years, he’s avoided major franchise projects, reportedly having a less-than-stellar experience with “Twilight.”

But it turns out that he, like a lot of people, is a lifelong Batman fan, and jumped at the chance to portray his own version of the character. Pattinson’s casting in 2019 was met with a predictable amount of fan backlash, and Pattinson also stirred up a bit of controversy when he jokingly claimed he wouldn’t be hitting the gym to beef up for the role. This kind of criticism is nothing new, and it’s hard to take too seriously; remember that originally people had doubts about Heath Ledger as the Joker.

Other criticisms around his interpretation haven’t made a lot of sense, like mocking the so-called “emo” black makeup around Pattinson’s eyes when he removes his cowl. Those critics are apparently unaware that every live-action Batman since Michael Keaton has filled in the space between their eyes and their cowl with black make-up … at least when the cowl is on.

Unlike the Caped Crusader in “Batman Returns” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” this Batman still has the make-up on when he removes his cowl, which just makes sense. One thing’s for certain: Pattinson’s take will certainly be different from what we’ve seen on screen before – less charming, more broken. The actor told MovieMaker, “I want to play a dirty, dirty, slimy Batman.” Soon after Ben Affleck walked away from the “Batman” directing gig, news broke that Matt Reeves would be taking on the task of shepherding “The Batman” from concept to completion.

While “The Batman” will be Reeves’ first foray into the world of superheroes, he is no stranger to films featuring high concepts and larger-than-life characters, as evidenced by his directorial work on “Cloverfield” and the rebooted “Planet of the Apes” films.

At first, the intent was for Reeves to use Ben Affleck’s script, directing Affleck in the role. But a few months after he was brought on board as director, Reeves announced that he was tossing out Affleck’s screenplay and starting from scratch. While Reeves’ script features a younger protagonist than Affleck’s would have, the director told Variety that he still hopes to deliver a mature, ambitious film that doesn’t talk down to its audience and offers a quote, “epic and emotional new take” on the character.

Release Date of Batman 2022: 4 March 2022 in all theaters across the World.

No “Batfleck” connections: When “The Batman” was first announced, it was intended as another chapter in the DC Extended Universe, pitting Ben Affleck’s veteran Dark Knight against the assassin Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, to be played by Joe Manganiello.

Manganiello’s role in the film was teased in Zack Snyder’s version of “Justice League,” which showed Lex Luthor revealing Batman’s secret identity to Deathstroke. “His name is Bruce Wayne.” According to Manganiello, Deathstroke would have used this information to exact his cruel vengeance on those close to Bruce Wayne, and to do battle with both Batman and his teammate Batgirl. This one of the many plot threads from “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” that are now left dangling indefinitely as DC Films retools its cinematic universe.

After discarding the original script for “The Batman,” Matt Reeves set out to write a new story that would stand more on its own. He said in a 2022 interview with Esquire, “I respect that the DC Universe has become an extended universe and all the movies were kind of connected. But another ‘Batman’ film, it shouldn’t have to carry the weight of connecting the characters from all those other movies. I didn’t want them in there.” Instead, “The Batman” would be set in its own continuity, divorced from the DCEU.

But fans itching for more for more Batfleck will still get at least one final film featuring his take on the character, when “The Flash” hits theaters in November 2022. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter in 2019, Reeves said that his screenplay for “The Batman” would be a, quote, “point of view-driven, noir Batman tale.” He also said it would lean into the notion of Bruce Wayne as the world’s greatest detective. Reeves also promised an emotional, transformative arc for the character. Reeves told Digital Spy that he sees Batman as a, quote, “tortured soul who is struggling to find a way to do the right thing in a very imperfect world.”

As Christian Bale’s Batman famously said in “Batman Begins,” “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” Based on Reeves’ comments, we expect his take on the character to be more introspective and intellectual than what we’ve seen in previous films. While it’s probably a safe bet that “The Batman” will feature its fair share of fistfights, explosions, and mind-blowing Bat-gadgets — after all, this is still a DC superhero movie.

A familiar Catwoman: Don’t be surprised if Reeves’ Batman turns out to be defined by who he is underneath after all. It was revealed early on that key villain roles in “The Batman” would be filled by the Penguin and Catwoman. After several rounds of lively casting rumors that included Vanessa Hudgens, Aubrey Plaza, Lupita Nyong’o, Tessa Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alexandra Shipp, and Logan Browning, speculation about who will be portraying Selina Kyle in “The Batman” finally came to an end. “Big Little Lies” star Zoë Kravitz will be portraying the Caped Crusader’s iconic femme fatale in Matt Reeves’ film. Selina has a rich and complex history with Bruce Wayne in the comics, and her role in the film could go any number of directions.

“The Batman” won’t be Kravitz’s first or even second foray into comic book fare, although it’ll be her first starring role in a superhero film. She previously played the mutant Angel Salvadore, a.k.a. Tempest, in 2011’s “X-Men: First Class,” and also provided the voice for Mary Jane in 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” The most purr-fectly relevant gig on her resume? She’s already played Catwoman once before, having lent her voice to “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

How and when to watch: The path “The Batman” took from announcement to release spanned nearly eight years. It was among the slate of 10 DC Comics-inspired films that Warner Bros. announced way back in October 2014, before cameras had even stopped rolling on “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

The Matt Reeves “Batman” was initially supposed to be released on June 25, 2021, but this announcement was made before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted production about a quarter of the way through shooting. This pushed the release to October 1, 2021, but an outbreak of the virus on set in September 2020 paused production for an additional two weeks.

This may have contributed to the release date being moved yet again, though it’s more likely that Warner Bros. simply wanted a few more months for cases of the disease to decline … and, perhaps, to not have to release the film day-and-date on HBO Max with the rest of their 2021 slate. Shortly after the second COVID delay, “The Batman” received its third and final release date of March 4, 2022. The film will play exclusively in theaters for 45 days, and then stream on HBO Max beginning April 19.

A damaged hero: “The Batman” finds Bruce Wayne in less than ideal condition, and we’re not just talking about those scars on his back. A year into his crimefighting career as Batman, Wayne is still struggling with some deep psychological scars and allowing his life outside the cape and cowl to crumble. Writer-director Matt Reeves has stated in an interview with Empire that this version of Bruce Wayne is “not really a socialite at all” and is letting his family home and legacy decay.

Reeves’ inspiration for the depressed, rage-fueled Bruce Wayne? Tragic ’90s rock icon Kurt Cobain. According to his feature in Esquire, Reeves became fixated on the Nirvana song “Something in the Way” while writing the first act of the script, leading him to imagine Bruce Wayne as a total recluse struggling with addiction — in his case, to violence.

He cites the song, which was remixed for film’s first theatrical trailer, and the Gus Van Sant film “Last Days,” which centered around a Kurt Cobain-type character, as inspiring this take on Bruce.According to Pattinson, his Batman is constantly battling against his own urge to kill, displacing the rage he feels towards his parents’ killer onto the other criminals of Gotham. Being Batman is an outlet for his anger, but not necessarily a salve. In short, he’s not getting better.

Comic inspirations: Any time a filmmaker comes on board to “reboot” the Batman character for the silver screen, you’ll hear the same familiar refrain — they want to take the character back to his gritty, pulpy roots. Usually, this means looking back at one of two essential graphic novels of the mid-1980s, “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Batman: Year One,” both written by Frank Miller, which helped codify a more grounded take that had been evolving for decades in the pages of the monthly comics. Matt Reeves is certainly not an exception to this — “Year One” is indeed one of his favorites.

He’s also cited Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s 1997 mini-series “The Long Halloween” as an inspiration. In fact, at one point Warner Bros. Animation was told to put their own adaptation of the “Long Halloween” story on hold because it was being considered as the direct source material for “The Batman.” It wouldn’t be the first time the comic served as inspiration for a Batman film, either; “The Long Halloween” is one of the clearest comics influences on 2008’s “The Dark Knight.”

More exciting, however, is Reeves’ professed love of not only pre-Miller Batman creators like Bill Finger and Neal Adams, but the 2000 graphic novel “Batman: Ego” by cartoonist Darwyn Cooke. “Ego” is a deep and visually stunning psychological study of the Dark Knight, perfect inspiration for a Batman film that’s intended to be richly emotional and focused on the title character. The trailers also hint that certain aspects of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s run on the character may make an appearance as well.

The Batman’s suit reveal: On February 13, 2020, Matt Reeves gave us all an early Valentine’s Day gift in the form of a red-tinted first look at Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader. The 55-second camera test features Pattinson in the full Batsuit and cowl, emerging from the darkness into a sharp, crimson close-up. Even this partial glimpse let fans know that Pattinson’s Batman would have a very different look than the Dark Knights that have come before.

But what really sells the look isn’t any particular alchemy of materials or cut, but Pattinson’s distinctive face, which becomes the ultimate focus of the short video. Like Ben Affleck and Christian Bale before him, Pattinson is gifted with an authentic Bruce Wayne jawline, cutting a silhouette so recognizable that it makes you really wonder why he thinks he can get away with only covering up half his face.

New Batman, new Batmobile: On March 4, 2020, Matt Reeves tweeted out the first look at the new Batmobile. Gone is the bulky tank-like Tumbler of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, as well as the almost comically tricked-out stealth-bomber-meets-“Fury-Road” version of Batman’s ride that Ben Affleck drove in “Justice League.” For “The Batman,” Robert Pattinson will be driving a reimagined Batmobile that looks like it could’ve been driven straight out of a high-end garage, as opposed to a high-tech research facility, a la Batman Begins.

This new take on Bruce Wayne’s iconic transport leans much more toward a classic muscle car than its more military-inspired predecessors, calling to mind well-known models like the 1970 Dodge Challenger and the Pontiac GTO. Since “The Batman” is supposed to take place early on in Bruce’s tenure as the Caped Crusader, it’s easy to believe that this version of the Batmobile represents one of the billionaire vigilante’s first attempts at a superhero car, in which he modified something he already owned rather than building something new. The latest version of the Batmobile comes with a before-its-time in-dash video display, a sleek black custom design, and an absolute monster of an engine.

Sequels to come?: “The Batman” is deliberately isolated from the DC Extended Universe where most of DC’s films take place, and is intended to stand alone. It neither relies on context from previous film incarnations of Batman, nor does it prioritize setting up sequels and spinoffs.

Star Robert Pattinson seemed to imply to Total Film after seeing the finished cut that he had a hard time imagining the movie leading to a full film series – even though he admits it probably will. As he put it, “It’s a really, really unusual Batman story, and it almost seems harder for me to imagine it being a series afterwards. I mean, they always have that little bit at the end, that’s like: ‘and coming up!’ But other than that, it feels strangely personal.

I think people will be quite shocked at how different it is.” At the same time, it’s been reported that Warner Bros. is champing at the bit to spin “The Batman” into a shared universe of films and television shows, having already put two HBO Max series into development ahead of the film’s release. One would center around the Gotham City Police Department, while another would focus on Colin Farrell’s Penguin. This cross-platform Batman universe would have to coexist alongside a few other live-action projects set in their own continuities, but this is nothing new.

The HBO Max series “Titans” and The CW’s “Batwoman” both feature a number of Batman characters, take place on different Earths in the DC Multiverse. Each show even has its own Bruce Wayne, played by Iain Glen and Warren Christie respectively, though both series avoid showing Batman in costume. And then, of course, there’s the DC Extended Universe of films, which in 2022 alone will feature both the Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton incarnations of Batman. But even though Batman as a character is going multiversal, on the big screen, it looks like “The Batman” is set to stand alone.

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