It has been quite the boom year for streaming services (what with everyone staying inside and all), and the news keeps on going till the very end. Although it won’t be released until next year, The Batman has now confirmed that it will release for streaming. Fans can catch The Batman streaming on HBO Max on April 19, 2022, per Comicbook.com. This gives a 45-day window for exclusive theatrical release before The Batman goes to streaming, another shift for Warner Bros produced films release strategy after a year in which their major releases (including The Matrix Resurrections and The Suicide Squad) were dropped in cinemas and streaming at the same time.
Major studios have struggled during the pandemic to figure out exactly how to market new movies, given the reluctance of many moviegoers to sit in theaters (although that doesn’t always stop fans), and the balance between satisfying the traditional relationship between studios and theater chains has been fraught to say the least. The move to put The Batman solely in theaters before streaming, for at least a gap period, seems to be an indication that major studios like Warner Bros aren’t completely giving up on the standard protocols of release, even as relatively new platforms like streaming are disrupting revenue flow.
Of course, The Batman, streaming or not, is likely poised to be a blockbuster anyway. Coming off the heels of Ben Affleck’s polarizing turn as the legendary crimefighter in Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, fans are primed to see a new iteration of the character. Reportedly, Reeves’ film is a darker, more violent take on the Batman mythos. This is is saying something considering Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight involved a prison escape via an explosive device literally sewn into a man’s body.
Fans are going to have a difficult time waiting even those 45 days to catch The Batman on streaming, as the movie is promising big things. The plot of the new film features There Will Be Blood actor Paul Dano as longtime Batman adversary The Riddler, which in contrast to Jim Carrey’s very Jim Carrey version of the character, is apparently inspired by the notorious 1970s Zodiac Killer. As The Riddler terrorizes Gotham City, The Penguin (played by an unrecognizable Colin Farrell) attempts to solidify his power in the organized crime structure of Gotham. Colin Farrell’s character was inspired by John Cazales’ character of Fredo Corleone in The Godfather, which gives some insight into how dark the organized crime story is intended to go. And finally, Zoë Kravitz co-stars as Selina Kyle, who has been hinted to be a somewhat heroic version of the character.
It would not be a 2021 film production without there being a slew of issues, and The Batman certainly had those before even getting to a streaming announcement. Rumors of Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson having an antagonistic relationship were widely circulated, though the pair are still presumed to be planning to work together on future Batman sequel films. In another setback, Robert Pattinson reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 in September, although filming was able to return to schedule relatively quickly. Since this is our third Batman in just ten years, it’ll be pretty interesting to see what Reeves and Pattinson come up with this time.