8 Quick Things We Know About The Batman

Robert Pattinson's Batman next to Batmobile

If there’s one constant we can count on in the film industry, it’s this: eventually Batman will return to the big screen. Granted, it’s been eight years since DC Comics’ Caped Crusader led his last live-action solo movie, The Dark Knight Rises, but since Ben Affleck donned the cape and cowl for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League, it hasn’t been that long since we last saw him in a theatrical setting. Now Bruce Wayne finally gets to take center stage again for The Batman, with Robert Pattinson being cast as the lead.

We’re still a ways off from The Batman hitting theaters, and plenty of information about the project are being kept under lock and key. Fortunately though, there are a handful of details that have been revealed to the public which paint a broad picture of what we can expect from the next adventure starring Gotham City’s shadowy protector.

Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League

Ben Affleck Isn’t Returning For The Batman

Once upon a time, the plan was for Ben Affleck to not only star in The Batman, but also direct and produce it. He’d already worked on the script with DC heavyweight Geoff Johns, and the story would have seen Affleck’s Batman battling Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke and exploring Arkham Asylum. However, Affleck vacated the director’s chair in early 2017, and two years later, he officially retired from his Batman duties, saying later on that he decided not to move forward with The Batman because he couldn’t crack the story and his struggles with alcoholism also playing a role.

Robert Pattinson as Batman

Robert Pattinson Is Wearing The Cape And Cowl For The Batman

As already mentioned, with Ben Affleck’s time as Batman done, Robert Pattinson has been tapped as his successor, officially scoring the role at the end of May 2019. Obviously a lot of people know Pattinson best for playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies, but in the years since that film series concluded, he’s spruced up his resume with movies like Life, The Lost City of Z, Good Time, The Lighthouse, The King and the upcoming Tenet. It’s also worth clarifying that Pattinson will not be playing a younger version of Affleck’s Batman, but rather an entirely new incarnation.

Robert Pattinson's Batman symbol

The Batman Comes Out In October 2021

Originally the plan was for The Batman to come out on June 25, 2021, which would have made it the first Dark Knight-centric movie to be released in June since 2005’s Batman Begins. However, due to current events throwing the film industry (and so many other businesses) into disarray, The Batman was forced to stop filming in mid-March, a little over two months after cameras began rolling. As of this writing, it’s unclear when production will resume again, but Warner Bros has already planned accordingly by delaying The Batman to October 1, 2021, meaning it will now be released after James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad rather than before.

Cloverfield poster

Matt Reeves Is Directing The Batman And Co-Wrote The Script

After Ben Affleck decided to step away from directing and writing The Batman, Matt Reeves was hired to take over those jobs. Reeves made his first big splash in the entertainment industry creating the TV series Felicity with J.J. Abrams, and in 2008, he earned widespread attention for directing the found footage monster movie Cloverfield, which Abrams produced. Reeves’ notable credits since then including directing Let Me In and the latter two Planet of the Apes reboot movies, as well as executive producing the TV shows The Passage and Tales from the Loop. Reeves co-wrote The Batman’s script with Little Fish’s Mattson Tomlin.

Batman from Scott Snyder run

The Batman Will Be A Noir-Influenced Detective Story

Matt Reeves revealed a few years back that he plans to take a noir-influenced approach with the movie’s story, which is rather fitting with the character’s darker roots. The Batman will also highlight Bruce Wayne’s detective skills (remember, he’s known as the World’s Greatest Detective in the comics), something that hasn’t been done that often in past Batman movies. As for the specific crime he’ll be investigating, that hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s been rumored/strongly indicated that The Batman will adapt, or at least be partially inspired by the Long Halloween story arc, so perhaps that means Bruce will be tracking a serial killer.

Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin and Carmine Falcone

The Batman Will Feature At Least Four Villains

The Batman reportedly takes place during the eponymous protagonist’s second year of crimefighting, so although it’s not an origin story, Bruce Wayne is still getting the hang of keeping Gotham City safe. Well, he’s about to be thrown into the deep end of the pool, as he’ll be facing off against at least four faces from his rogues gallery. Okay, considering Catwoman is more of an anti-hero/ally in the comics in the modern era, so perhaps that means Zoë Kravitz’s iteration will be more of a minor obstacle than an actual antagonist. However, that still leaves Paul Dano’s Riddler, Colin Farrell’s Penguin and John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone in the mix, all of whom have given the Dark Knight plenty of trouble over the years.

Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther

Matt Reeves Is Reuniting With An Apes Alum

After Rupert Wyatt directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Matt Reeves was brought in to helm the latter two movies of the Apes reboot trilogy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes. As such, he spent a lot of time working with Andy Serkis, who performed the trilogy’s main protagonist, Caesar. Well, now Reeves and Serkis are teaming back up for The Batman, as the latter is playing Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s trusty butler, father figure, mentor, the list goes on. Serkis is one of the younger actors to play Alfred, so maybe that means he’ll be more involved in the action.

Robert Pattinson's Batman next to Batmobile

The New Batmobile Is More Streamlined

The Batmobiles from the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher era of Batman movies were heavily stylized, while the Batmobiles that Christian Bale and Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusaders operated felt more like tanks than automobiles. The Batmobile Robert Pattinson will be riding around in is smaller and much sleeker, resembling a spruced-up Dodge Challenger and sharing some visual similarities with Batman’s Golden Age Batmobile and the Batmobile he drove in the 1960s TV series. Should The Batman get a sequel or two (and let’s be honest, the chances of that happening are strong), it’s possible the Batmobile will be upgraded and grow bigger, but for now, this Batmobile is a good fit for a crimefighter who’s still relatively new to the crimefighting game.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how The Batman is coming along. In the meantime, you can learn what other DC Comics movies are in development with our handy guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.