In 2021, the Bat-signal will be illuminated again – because The Caped Crusader returns to the big screen in The Batman. The iconic DC character was last seen in 2017’s superhero team-up Justice League, as played by Ben Affleck, but now actor Robert Pattinson is taking on the role.
To get you up to speed, here is everything we know The Batman...
1. Director Matt Reeves is at the helm
Sitting in the director’s chair is Matt Reeves, a man whose name should be very familiar to blockbuster fans. Reeves exploded onto the scene in 2008 with the found-footage monster movie Cloverfield, proving his affinity for crowd-pleasing, city-destroying action.
He then moved away from the blockbuster arena with 2010’s vampire horror remake Let Me In, and successfully applied his eye to something much more intimate and character-focused. Reeves then combined these principles when taking over the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, helming both Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014 and series finale War for the Planet of the Apes in 2017.
With these, Reeves crafted two of the most emotionally resonant blockbusters in recent history – the perfect blend of special effects, intelligent writing and high-octane action. Of course, the films really resonate because they’re centred around a captivatingly complex central character: Andy Serkis’s intelligent simian Caesar, brought to life via astonishingly life-like motion-capture effects.
A focus on character, combined with epic scale and a sleek visual design, would appear to be the ideal set-up for The Batman…
2. Robert Pattinson is The Batman
The internet went into uproar when Twilight alum Robert Pattinson was announced as the man who would don the Batsuit. The one-time sparkly vampire seemed a very odd choice to play the Dark Knight, but looking beyond his role in the vampire romance series, the casting is in fact inspired.
Pattinson has emerged as a very talented actor in his own right, with roles in critically acclaimed indie dramas including crime thriller Good Time and the meditative sci-fi High Life.
Pattinson’s starring role in the upcoming black and white horror The Lighthouse, directed by The Witch’s Robert Eggers and co-starring Willem Dafoe, has received significant praise, and suggests many more powerhouse performances to come. (The film is released in the UK on 31st January 2020.)
Plus, he certainly has the jawline.
3. The supporting cast
Fantastic Beasts actor Zoe Kravitz was recently confirmed as Catwoman aka Selina Kyle. And There Will Be Blood actor Paul Dano has signed on as The Riddler.
Rumoured to be appearing: Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright, said to be playing Batman’s law enforcement ally Commissioner Gordon. There are also rumours that two-time Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill will be featuring – many believe he will be playing feared criminal The Penguin.
It has also been long-rumoured that Reeves’s regular collaborator Andy Serkis could be joining the cast. Having starred in Reeves’s Apes films, Serkis could well be bringing his affinity for motion-capture to proceedings, a perfect fit for one of Batman’s more monstrous villains such as Killer Croc or Clayface.
4. The story is cloaked in mystery
Much like the secrecy that shrouds the central character, the details of The Batman’s plot are being kept very much under wraps.
Reeves has stated that the film will be noir-ish in nature, fashioning Batman as a detective figure who plunges into Gotham City’s underworld. Previous Batman movies have ignored this aspect of the character, despite the fact that one of his nicknames is 'The World’s Greatest Detective'.
The Batman has been described as a standalone adventure and not an origin story, so whether it’ll be tied to the wider DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is still unclear.
Additional rumours have surfaced that The Batman will be based on Jeph Loeb’s definitive comic book The Long Halloween, which takes place during the titular character’s early crime-fighting years and features an all-star line-up of classic villains. This would certainly match up with Reeves’s description of the movie.
5. Michael Giacchino is composing the score
Director Matt Reeves and composer Michael Giacchino have worked together several times before. The latter wrote the thunderous 'Roar!' suite from Cloverfield, the eerie Let Me In and the atmospheric scores for Dawn of and War for the Planet of the Apes.
They clearly make excellent collaborators, so good news: they're set to reunite for The Batman. It was made official during the Giacchino vs David Arnold Royal Albert Hall concert on Friday 22nd October, during which Reeves got down on one knee to make the proposal.
Giacchino has shown a flair for dark, brooding tones in his Apes scores and elsewhere, so fingers crossed he can get beneath the skin (cape?) of Robert Pattinson's portrayal.
6. It’s released in summer 2021
The Batman is not due for release until 25th June 2021. Still, at least that gives Robert Pattinson plenty of time to bulk up.
Are you excited about Robert Pattinson becoming The Batman? Let us know @Cineworld.
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.