Matt Reeves’ The Batman has been a blockbuster plagued by obstacles. Some of them have been COVID related… ok, fine. All of them have been COVID related, as the production has seen delays, and the movie’s release date has shifted more often than the studio likely would prefer. But the additional time afforded to the blockbuster means that the creative team has been able to pour more manpower into the design of the Gotham City that we will see in this standalone film, and we now know that a portion of the film will take place in the winter. The Long Halloween vibes, DC fans?
Set photos for The Batman have made their way online thanks to what appears to be a flyover by The Daily Mail in the UK, and they show the extensive work being done by the film’s set designers to bring Gotham to life on screen. (Click here to view them.) There isn’t a trace of green or blue screen at all on the sets that are being built, which include what appears to be the entrance to the Batcave, and an ice skating rink that clearly shows it to be wintertime, as the surface of the rink is covered in snow.
Yikes, I get a flashback to this nonsense, even though I know in my heart that Matt Reeves isn’t going to be anywhere near this:
The set photos in question also show off what appear to be the entrance to the Batcave that will be present in The Batman, showing it off from the outside this time. You can see a body of water, and sections of a forest that hide the entrance to the cave in a rock wall. In the trailer that Matt Reeves brought to DC FanDome, we saw snippets of the inside of the cave. But this is our first real look at the outside of it. No sign of that rumored portal that might open up and allow a Bat Helicopter to surface. Do you think that’s still a possibility?
I mentioned The Long Halloween above, and that has been a reference point for a couple of key Batman stories. The graphic novel, penned by Jeph Loeb, has Batman spending a year tracking down the full array of Gotham’s most evil criminals, but the emphasis is on a villain named Holiday. That story leaned on several characters who will be prevalent in Matt Reeves’ The Batman -- from Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz) to Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) -- but Reeves isn’t adapting that particular story. Maybe he’s just taking in the aesthetic of it.
I joke that “winter” and a skating rink call to mind the ice puns of Batman & Robin, but it’s worth noting that Tim Burton’s excellent sequel Batman Returns also works as a Christmas movie that showed Gotham bathed in the frigid season, so maybe there’s just something about the Caped Crusader in the cold that speaks to filmmakers. We have to wait until 2022 to see what Reeves and Robert Pattinson have in store. So, I guess… chill?