When it was announced that DC and Warner Brothers were once again rebooting its most popular character, Batman, speculation went wild with who would be portraying him. Would Ben Affleck be back as the caped crusader? He had recently tied Christian Bale for the most performances as Batman and had been in talks to write and direct a stand-alone movie. Speculation went even crazier when Affleck said he would not be taking on the role of writer/director for the movie being titled The Batman.
When Warner Brothers brought in Matt Reeves (War For The Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield) the idea of Affleck returning to the character for the fourth time was quickly squashed. Reeves’ vision on the reboot is to bring in a younger Batman. And he did. So let’s take a look at this new movie, its cast and what direction Reeves’ The Batman may go.
The Batman In Production
The Batman is currently shooting in London. A lot of that shooting is happening out in the open, which means fans are often on hand to snap shots of what we’re doing.
One fan caught a motorcycle race sequence in action, and during the course of the action, one of the stuntmen had an accident and fell off the Batcycle. Watch it happen…
THE NEW BATMAN
Robert Pattinson was Reeve’s choice. Yes, that Robert Pattinson of the Twilight series. Pattinson’s résumé is eclectic and other than Twilight, his films have leaned more toward small, independent movies. When he was formally considered for the part his competition boiled down to one other person: Nicholas Hoult (X-Men movies). Reeves ultimately chose Pattinson as he had a certain look Reeves wanted. With Reeves satisfied, it will remain to be seen how the public responds to the new Caped Crusader.
One lucky fan happened to catch the production out filming and delivered these crystal clear photos of Pattinson in his Batsuit and on the new Batcycle…
Here’s your first official look at Robert Pattinson wearing the Batman’s cape and cowl, released officially by director Matt Reeves…
The video is dark and that makes it a little hard to see what’s going on, so here’s a brightened up look at The Dark Knight’s new suit…
Let’s go back before we move forward. Bob Kane’s Batman has seen many forms over the years since his creation. It had been a serial in the ‘40s, an Adam West-led TV series in the ‘60s, and then marvelously brought to the big screen in the ‘80s by Tim Burton, with Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne.
Since Keaton’s version, many actors have worn the cowl. Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and most recently Ben Affleck, have received their fair share of good and bad reviews under the mask. So when Reeves announced his new Batman, it was understandably met with skepticism.
Perfect Casting According To Science
Science certainly seems to support Reeves Batman casting decision. Robert Pattinson has been named the most handsome man in the world, according to science.
His relative handsomeness was determined using the Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi. If you are unfamiliar as to what the Golden Ratio is, it is a system measuring beauty developed by ancient Greeks way back during the European Renaissance. Scientists have adapted this system by creating a formula and using it to measure eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, chin, jaw and the facial shapes of many celebrities to determine which one, according to the ancient Greeks, was the most handsome. Robert Pattinson is that man.
Dr. Julian De Silva, who spearheaded the study, says: “Robert Pattinson was the clear winner when all elements of the face were measured for physical perfection.” He added, “[Pattinson] was in the top five for nearly all the categories because he has such classically shaped features and a wonderful chiseled jaw.”
De Silva should know what he is talking about since he runs the Centre For Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery center based in London. De Silva also noted that Pattinson’s features were considered to be 92.15% perfect.
THE MAN IN CHARGE OF BRUCE
USC alum and childhood pal to J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves, was tapped to bring Batman into the new decade after Ben Affleck ultimately walked away from the project. Known for his directorial work on Cloverfield and two Planet of the Apes movies, Reeves is said to be bringing a different take on Batman than we have seen in the past.
Also known as a writer, Reeves will be handling those duties as well for The Batman, which is said to focus more on Batman’s detective skills than we’ve seen in the past.
THE BATMAN’S STORY
A lot of what we’re used to about Batman may end up looking different, and more detective oriented. For instance, we’re getting a new Batsignal. We got our first look at the new way to signal for the Bat from actor Jeffrey Wright, who plays Commissioner Gordon in The Batman. He tweeted this…
Once Affleck walked away from The Batman, it opened up everything for Reeves in terms of story telling and where he wanted Batman to be. This was one of the reasons Reeves went younger in casting Bruce Wayne. So the story Affleck had offered was scrapped and Reeves took it in a completely different direction.
Reeves seems bent on telling Bruce Wayne’s tale from a detective point of view, rather than a superhero point of view, something fans have not seen before. Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter (THR), “It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”
How much detecting will ultimately be in the final product? With the recent cast announcement, Reeves seems to be living up to another statement he made when he also told THR, “There will be a Rogues Gallery.” Thankfully, though, it doesn’t appear that The Batman will be an origin story.
We’ve seen a lot of different iterations of the Batmobile on film, from the convertible from the old TV show, to sleek version in Tim Burton’s movies, to the more tank-like tumbler in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. But The Batman is going in a direction we’ve never seen before. Here’s your first look at the new Batmobile…
Early reports indicated that this Batmobile would be more of a muscle car repurposed by Bruce Wayne into a Batmobile, and they were right. Word is the car will still be totally “decked out” with cool gadgets and Batman customizations.
We all know that Pattinson will be wearing the cowl, but who will follow? Who is the “Rogues Gallery” Reeves has been talking about? Slowly but surely names and who they will portray have been released. Reeves seems to be living up to his word.
Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman
ZoOne of the first names to come out, Kravitz has been chosen by Reeves to portray Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, a character she voiced in the Lego Batman Movie.
Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon
Andy Serkis as Alfred
Andy Serkis – This hiring may come as no surprise. Andy Serkis has previously worked with Reeves on his Planet of the Apes movies as Serkis was the main ape, Caesar. This time around, Serkis will be seen without his Ape makeup since he is on board as Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Paul Dano as Riddler
It will be interesting to see how Dano (There Will Be Blood, Swiss Army Man) tackles the role of Edward Nashton/The Riddler. A few actors have taken on the role in the past, most notably Jim Carrey. Chances are Dano won’t be as over-the-top as Carrey. Jonah Hill (Moneyball, Superbad) was first approached for this role but for unknown reasons decided to pass on it.
Colin Farrell as Penguin
Farrell (Dumbo, Total Recall) steps into the role of Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin. This role is notable in the fact that Josh Gad (Frozen, 1600 Penn) was lobbying hard for the part that eventually Farrell was chosen for. This is not Farrell’s first foray into the comic book realm as he played the villain Bullseye in the 2003 movie Daredevil, which happened to star former Batman Ben Affleck as the lead character.
Farrell has apparently packed on the pounds to play the portly Penguin. Photos snapped by fans show him looking uncharacteristically large…
The white hair is also likely part of his Penguin look.
Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson
Reeves brought on Sarsgaard (The Looming Tower, Jackie) to play Gotham’s District Attorney. No he’s not THAT District Attorney. You’re thinking of Harvey Dent who infamously eventually transforms into the villain Two-Face. This District Attorney is named Gil Colson and he’s an original creation for this film and not one a character from the Batman comics.
Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál
Reeves brought on little known actress Jayme Lawson to play Bella Reál. The oddly named character is a Gotham Mayoral candidate. She’s an original creation from the film, not someone known from the comics.
John Turturro as Carmine Falcone
Rounding out an impressive cast, John Turturro (Big Lebowski, Brain Donors) has been cast as Gotham City’s crime lord Carmine Falcone.
THE OLD BATMAN
Ben Affleck played Bruce Wayne in Batman vs Superman and Justice League. While response to those movies was mixed, response to his turn as The Dark Knight was largely positive. When it came time to make The Batman, Warner Bros. wanted Affleck back under the cape at cowl.
So in 2014 it was officially announced that The Batman was moving forward with Ben Affleck playing Bruce Wayne and also working on the writing the script. Then in 2017 Affleck suddenly left the project under mysterious circumstances citing only that he “couldn’t crack it”. It’s only recently that Affleck finally opened up about the real reason he’s not Batman anymore.
Affleck told the New York Times, “I showed somebody The Batman script. They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again.“
Ben Affleck has had a long and public struggle with addiction. His concern that this could trigger him into it again was probably legitimate, given how much work and stress it takes to make a movie like this. Over the course of the interview Affleck admits that all the infamous production problems on Justice League “sapped his interest” in the character.
ZOE KRAVITZ STRUGGLING TO STAY IN CATWOMAN SHAPE
The Coronavirus pandemic has left most people stuck in their homes without a way to go out. For people who want to stay in shape, that has presented a special challenge with their usual gyms closed and in some cases parks where it might be a good place to run closed as well.
The Batman’s Catwoman Zoe Kravitz still has work to do on the movie, so she’s trying to stay in shape anyway. And it hasn’t been easy. Kravitz says…
“So I mean, it’s not like the studio called and said, ‘Don’t get fat, bitch.’ But I had been training now for maybe four or five months and the first couple weeks that I self-quarantined, I remember texting the director, I texted Matt and I was like, We might have to make the cat suit a few sizes bigger when this is over.
So I quickly decided to get my shit together and I’ve been working out virtually with my trainer David Higgins five days a week. And it’s actually been really great because it’s been giving me some kind of structure because I do it at the same time and it also makes the weekends feel like a weekend because I don’t workout on the weekends and it gives me just, oh, it’s a different kind of a day.
So it’s actually been really great just for my mental health. And kind of foods, kind of the only thing that I have, food and wine bringing me joy right now. So I’m definitely eating whatever the fuck I want. But yeah, try to stay in decent shape so I don’t have to start from scratch.“
THE NEXT BATMAN’S RELEASE DATE
The Batman officially began filming on January 27, 2020. Director Matt Reeves confirmed the start of principle photography with this image tweeted from the set…
Warner Brothers has penciled in The Batman (not the official title as of yet) for a June 25, 2021 release. Of course, things can change between now and then but look toward that summer as the new Batman makes his way to the big screen.
With its impressive cast, this new Batman is shaping up quite nicely. Interesting will be the take Reeves has spoken about. Leaning on Batman as the World’s Greatest Detective, it remains to be seen what kind of balance Reeves will strike when it comes to the action that fans have come to expect from the Caped Crusader.
Connecting The Batman To The DCEU
We’re not entirely sure what Warner Bros. plan is for The Justice League moving forward. One of the ideas they’re considering is erasing the previous Justice League entirely and pretending it never happened. They would then form a new one, using their current and upcoming versions of their staple characters. That would mean a Justice League comprised of Pattinson’s Batman, Captain Marvel, Black Adam, Aquaman, The Flash and maybe Wonder Woman.
Whether that will come to fruition remains to be seen, but now we know what it will look like if it does, thanks to this incredible fan art…
Not sure you can have a Justice League without Superman, but it does look pretty good on a poster.
Matt Reeves, director of The Batman, has an entire new Batman trilogy planned out. Whether he gets to make the other two movies will likely depend on how well The Batman does, but he’s laying the groundwork in this first movie anyway.
With three movies planned it seems likely that Matt Reeves Batman series will get to the Joker at some point. When they do, it looks like Warner Bros has plans to recast the character… yet again.
In Suicide Squad Joker was played by Jared Leto. In Joker he was played by Joaquin Phoenix and the part won him awards. For the next incarnation they want someone else.
One of the candidates they’re looking at for The Batman’s new Joker is reportedly Johnny Depp. Depp has been persona non-grata in Hollywood since his legal troubles with Amber Heard started. But lately, thanks in part to the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign he’s been getting consideration for high-profile roles again.
Here’s one artist’s rendering of how Johnny Depp would look as The Batman’s Joker…
Johnny Depp has been a rumored candidate to play the Joker throughout his career. Now that he’s getting older you might think that would put an end to it, but in this case his current age might be an asset. If they want to keep things chronological with the Joker movie, the character would need to be a lot older than Joaquin Phoenix by the time he shows up in the Batman universe.
Meanwhile rumor has it actor Ben Barnes has also been in talks to play Joker. Barnes is best known for his work as the villain Billy Russo in the Punisher Netflix series.
What we don’t know is whether the Barnes version of Joker will show up in one of The Batman sequel movies, or whether it might be something they’re considering for the sequel to Joker. If Joker 2 happens, there have been hints that Joaquin Phoenix’s character isn’t actually the real Joker, and they’ll eventually introduce someone else to become the nemesis Batman knows.
Whether The Batman gets to Joker or not, we do know that as part of his plan for the next stage of The Batman, word is that Reeves wants to introduce Harley Quinn. But wait… she won’t be played by Margot Robbie.
Reportedly WB execs want to introduce a different version of Harley that’s separate from Margot’s Harley. Similar to the way the WB has had two different people playing the Joker in different movies (Jared Leto followed shortly by Joaquin Phoenix) with different tones. They now want to do the same with Harley Quinn, and that will likely kick off with Harley’s planned appearance in The Batman’s sequel.
It’s not easy being in a Batman movie and the stars of The Batman’s new phase in the franchise will have to be ready. It gets especially tough for the actors if your Batman movie ends up being bad.
Akiva Goldsman, who is now the showrunner of the new Star Trek: Strange New Worlds series, wrote Batman & Robin. The film is still almost universally regarded as the worst Batman movie ever made. And Akiva Goldsman is sorry.
He tendered his apology for the movie in a recent interview with Collider where he says, “As for Batman & Robin, that one just confused me. I mean, we didn’t mean for it to be bad. I swear, nobody was like, ‘This will be bad’. I mean, here’s the irony: There was a reel that was put together halfway through [filming] where it actually looked dark in an interesting way. It just is what it is and I’m sorry. I think we’re all sorry.”
Alicia Silverstone starred as Batgirl in Batman & Robin. She recently opened up about her experience with that movie and, to put it mildly, it was not good at all.
“That definitely wasn’t my favourite film-making experience,” she tells The Guardian of the film. She won a Razzie for her efforts as Batgirl and ended up spending years afterward dealing with people calling her fat.
Silverstone says of the name calling directed her way, “They would make fun of my body when I was younger… It was hurtful but I knew they were wrong. I wasn’t confused. I knew that it was not right to make fun of someone’s body shape, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to be doing to a human.”
It sounds like the whole thing was a big mess and Alicia says “I stopped loving acting for a very long time.” Her career was on the rise before Batman & Robin while afterward she sort of faded away. Silverstone says, “There were working circumstances that were less than favourable in terms of how things went down… And no, I didn’t say ‘fuck you’ and come out like a warrior but I would just walk away and go, OK I know what that is and I’m done, I’m not going near that again.”