Be sure to also check out everything we know about Wonder Woman 1984 and everything we know about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The Batman’s Release Date
The Batman is currently scheduled for release on June 25, 2021. Given DC’s habit of moving release dates around (with Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman 1984 both being significantly delayed), there’s no guarantee this release date won’t change in the future. However, with a director and star now officially locked in, hopefully the film will stay on course from here on out.
The Batman’s Title
With this reboot changing production dates, directors, writers and lead actors in recent years, about the only thing that’s remained constant is the title. This new Batman film will simply be titled The Batman.
It may be no coincidence that the movie shares a title with the 2004 animated series. Both projects focus on a younger Bruce Wayne early in his crime-fighting career. “The Batman” is how the people of Gotham tend to refer to their protector early on, when he’s an unfamiliar and mistrusted presence in a city plagued by crime and corruption.
The New Batman Movie’s Trailers
No trailers for The Batman have been released yet.
The Batman Cast & Crew
When word of Warner Bros.’s next solo Batman movie first surfaced in July 2015, it was believed that Ben Affleck would direct and star, with Affleck and Geoff Johns co-writing the screenplay. However, the project has undergone a major shift since then, with Affleck dropping out (first as director and then completely) and the screenplay being substantially altered.
Matt Reeves (War of the Planet of the Apes) has now been tapped to direct The Batman. Reeves is also writing the film and is serving as producer alongside fellow Apes veteran Dylan Clark.
Robert Pattinson (Cosmopolis and, yes, the Twilight movies) is starring as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The choice to cast Pattinson was apparently a simple one, with a Warners insider describing it as “quicker than normal.” Pattinson’s main source of competition was Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class), with both actors participating in a costume test in May 2019, shortly before Pattinson officially signed on.
No other cast members have been confirmed yet. Joe Manganiello was expected to play master assassin Deathstroke in the Affleck/Johns movie, and even appeared in a brief post-credits scene in Justice League as a new recruit to Lex Luthor’s supervillain team. However, it’s unknown where or even if Manganiello will reprise the role now. It’s also assumed Jeremy Irons will no longer be returning as Alfred.
The Batman’s Plot
Very little is known about the plot of The Batman. The film is reported to be set in the ’90s, early on in Bruce Wayne’s costumed career. This could indicate that Pattinson is playing a younger version of Affleck’s Batman. Batman v Superman established that the Waynes were murdered in 1981, meaning Bruce would have first suited up as Batman in the early or mid-’90s.
With DC downplaying the DCEU name and focusing less on continuity between movies post-Justice League, it’s hard to know for sure whether The Batman is meant to be a complete reboot or an extension of past DCEU movies. Reeves indicated in 2017 that the movie is set in the DCEU, but that may have changed since.
We know that the film won’t be an origin story. The Batman will take a more noir and mystery-oriented approach to the Dark Knight’s world, emphasizing his detective skills more than previous movies and drawing inspiration from the work of Alfred Hitchcock. However, Reeves is said to have recently tweaked the script to include more action and give fans a more well-rounded superhero experience.
Currently, rumors point to The Batman featuring anywhere from two to six villains. The Hollywood Reporter names Catwoman and The Penguin specifically, while Collider reports The Riddler will also appear.
Multiple reports suggest The Batman is the start of a new trilogy. Reeves revealed as far back as 2017 that he has ideas for a multi-movie Batman story. “I have ideas about an arc,” Reeves said in 2017, “but really, the important thing is just to start… you have to start with one.”
The Batman’s Development
With The Batman undergoing some major changes over the past few years, a breakdown of the film’s rocky development is probably in order.
July 2015 – Ben Affleck enters talks to co-write, direct and star in a solo Batman movie, with Geoff Johns expected to co-write.
March 2016 – Affleck’s screenplay draft is completed. Johns hints the solo Batman movie may deal with the backstory of the defaced Robin costume seen in Batman v Superman.
April 2016 – Then-Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirms the studio is moving forward on a solo Batman movie with Affleck directing and starring.
May 2016 – Jeremy Irons confirms his involvement with the film.
August 2016 – Affleck releases test footage of Manganiello’s Deathstroke.
October 2016 – Affleck reveals the film’s working title as The Batman.
December 2016 – Affleck confirms filming is expected to begin in spring 2017 for a planned 2018 release.
January 2017 – Affleck steps down as director but pledges to remain onboard as actor and producer. Chris Terrio turns in a new draft of the script.
February 2017 – After conflicting reports, Matt Reeves signs on to direct and co-produce The Batman. Production is delayed until 2018 to allow Reeves time to complete War for the Planet of the Apes.
August 2018 – After a lull period, Reeves speaks about The Batman at a TCA panel, confirming it won’t be an origin story and teasing a more noir-inspired approach.
January 2019 – After months of speculation, Warners confirms Affleck has dropped out of the project entirely.
May 2019 – Robert Pattinson is officially confirmed to star as Batman.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.