The Batman earned $771 million at the box office and score 86% on Rotten Tomatoes with critics.
When it was announced that DC and Warner Brothers were once again rebooting its most popular character, Batman, speculation went wild about 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.
But as speculation went crazy with the “who,” it went even crazier when it was announced that Robert Pattison would be the new Batman. It was undoubtedly a bold move to bring in a sixth new Batman (following Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck).
Warner Brothers brought in Matt Reeves (War For The Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield) to helm the new film. Reeves’ vision for the reboot was to bring in a younger Batman and forego the telling of an origin story. Instead, he wanted to show a Batman who was in his early days of crimefighting and lean more toward the “detective” aspect of the caped crusader.
Did his vision pay off? Well, let’s see what the box office numbers show and where critics and fans stand in response to Reeves’ new vision. Then, let’s take a look at the process Warner Bros. took in getting the film made.
THE BATMAN EARNED $771 MILLION AT THE BOX OFFICE AND 85% ON ROTTEN TOMATOES
Superhero movies are costing so much more to make these days, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Matt Reeves’ The Batman carried an estimated $185 million price tag to bring to the local cineplex. That figure has been said to have reached $200 million, but again, not a surprise.
The real surprise came after the film was released. There was some early buzz about how Robert Pattinson was filling the caped crusader’s boots and it all came to the forefront when the film was released on March 4, 2022.
The reviews were in and they were not only good, but they were great. Critics and audiences loved Reeves’ take on Batman with critics giving a major thumbs up on Rotten Tomatoes with an 85% approval rating. Fans loved the film even more, to the tune of an 87% audience score.
These ratings were especially noticeable at the box office. Fans took to the film in droves and from that $185-200 million budget, the film has brought in almost $771 million at the box office. As far as solo Batman films go, this one sits right behind Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises ($1.081 billion) and Nolan’s The Dark Knight ($1.060 billion). It should be noted that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice brought in nearly $837 million at the box office.
Reeves rolled the dice and it came out seven for him. The movie was well received, it brought butts to the seats, and Warner Bros. was a happy camper. Let’s see how they got to the finish line.
THE BATMAN EARLY TRAILERS FEATURED THE NEW BATMOBILE
Warner Bros. didn’t wait long to start building excitement for The Batman. They dropped promotional posters, which can be seen below.
They then eventually flowed that up with the very first trailer of The Batman, allowing you the first full look at Robert Pattinson in action. This gives you much more to see than Pattinson’s camera test which was released well before the trailer came out. More on that in a bit.
The first trailer for The Batman starring Robert Pattinson was an incredible watch.
In the course of the trailer, the Riddler gives Batman a riddle to solve. So of course fans immediately went to work trying to solve it themselves, and they have. The Riddler asks: What does a liar do when he’s dead? And the answer is: “He lies still.”
Next came “The Bat and the Cat” trailer that showed just how the relationship between Batman and Catwoman (played exquisitely by Zoe Kravitz) would go down.
THE BATMAN AND CATWOMAN TRAILER RELEASED
In December 2021, Warner Bros. dropped the most epic trailer yet for The Batman, calling it “The Bat and The Cat” trailer. Fittingly, the trailer gave us the most expansive yet look at the complex relationship between Pattinson’s Batman and Kravitz’s Catwoman. We see the pair flirt, fight each other, and battle villains together.
That isn’t all we got to see. Paul Dano’s Riddler taunts the Dark Knight, including revealing that he knows Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same. There are hints that the Riddler’s motivations are tied to Wayne family secrets, including ones held by Bruce’s late father.
THE BATMAN’S RELEASE DATE WAS FINALLY SET FOR MARCH 4, 2022
Warner Brothers had penciled in The Batman for a June 25, 2021 release. Thanks to COVID-19, that date was scrapped. Next, the movie was going to be released on October 1, 2021. That too was eventually passed on. Finally, Warner Bros. settled on March 4, 2022, and that is where it stayed.
THE NEW BATMAN WAS ROBERT PATTINSON
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. We now know it was a great choice.
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 the first official look we ever got 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…
So, 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.
ACCORDING TO SCIENCE, ROBERT PATTINSON WAS THE PERFECT CASTING CHOICE
Science certainly seems to support Reeves’s 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 with 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 the eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, chin, jaw, and 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 wonderfully 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.
MATT REEVES DIRECTED THE BATMAN
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 brought a different take on Batman than we have seen in the past.
Also known as a writer, Reeves penned the script, along with scribe Peter Craig for The Batman, which gave more focus on Batman’s detective skills than we’ve seen in the past.
THE BATMAN IS A DETECTIVE STORY
A lot of what we’re used to about Batman ended up having a different look on top of being more detective oriented. For instance, we got a new Batsignal. We can thank Jeffrey Wright, who plays Lt. James Gordon, for the tweet.
Once Affleck walked away from The Batman, it opened up everything for Reeves in terms of storytelling 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 was 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 ended up in the final product? A lot. When the cast was announced, Reeves lived up to another statement he made when he also told THR, “There will be a Rogues Gallery.” And thankfully we didn’t get another origin story.
THE BATMOBILE WAS MORE OF A MUSCLE CAR
We’ve seen a lot of different iterations of the Batmobile on film, from the convertible from the old TV show to the 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. This was the first look at the new Batmobile.
It was reported early on that this Batmobile would be more of a muscle car repurposed by Bruce Wayne into a Batmobile, and they were right. It was still “decked out” with cool Batman gadgets and Batman customizations.
THE BATMAN CAST INCLUDED ZOE KRAVITZ AND COLIN FARRELL AMONG MANY OTHERS
Once we found out that Pattinson was going to be wearing the cowl, we wanted to know who was coming along for the Batride. Who would be the “Rogues Gallery” Reeves has been talking about? Slowly but surely names and who they will portray began to filter. Reeves was living up to his word.
Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman
One 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 Lt. James Gordon
Andy Serkis as Alfred
This hiring may have been a bit of a surprise to some, but understandable to others. 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 wasn’t wearing his Ape makeup since he is on board as Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Paul Dano as Riddler
Dano (There Will Be Blood, Swiss Army Man) rocked this one in tackling the role of Edward Nashton/The Riddler. A few actors have taken on the role in the past, most notably Jim Carrey. Thankfully Dano didn’t go 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) stepped into the role of Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin and if you were told it was Colin Farrell, there is no way you’d know for he is unrecognizable. This role was notable in the fact that Josh Gad (Frozen, 1600 Penn) was lobbying hard for the part that eventually Farrell was chosen for. This was 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 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) was cast as Gotham City’s crime lord Carmine Falcone.
BEN AFFLECK DOESN’T APPEAR
Ben Affleck played Bruce Wayne in Batman vs Superman and Justice League. While the response to those movies was mixed, the 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 and cowl.
So in 2014, it was officially announced that The Batman was moving forward with Ben Affleck playing Bruce Wayne and also working on writing the script. Then in 2017, Affleck suddenly left the project under mysterious circumstances citing only that he “couldn’t crack it”. It was only recently that Affleck finally opened up about the real reason he wasn’t going to play 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 admitted that all the infamous production problems on Justice League “sapped his interest” in the character.
ZOE KRAVITZ STRUGGLED TO STAY IN CATWOMAN SHAPE
The Coronavirus pandemic had left most people stuck in their homes without a way to go out. For people who wanted to stay in shape, it presented a special challenge as their usual gyms were closed and, in some cases, parks, where it might be a good place to run, were closed as well.
The Batman’s Catwoman Zoe Kravitz still had work to do on the movie, so she was trying to stay in shape. It ended up being a little more difficult than she wanted. Kravitz said…
“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 BATMAN DOESN’T CONNECT 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. No Superman?
THE BATMAN WILL BE THE FIRST OF A TRILOGY
Matt Reeves, director of The Batman, has an entirely 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. Knowing now that the returns on The Batman have been fantastic, he may get that chance after all.
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 was reportedly Johnny Depp. Depp has been persona non-grata in Hollywood since his legal troubles with Amber Heard started. So it might be some time before Depp could play the Clown Prince of Crime.
Johnny Depp had 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 that 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, and we now know it will and be called, Joker: Folie à Deux, 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. UPDATED: Barry Keoghan has been cast as Joker after appearing in the film.
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.
THE WASN’T THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT REBOOTING A BATMAN MOVIE
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 said, “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 favorite 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 favorable 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.”