Whenever a new Batman film is announced there’s a lot of excitement and scrutiny that follows. Batman is one of the most iconic and recognisable superheroes, and people are invested in how the latest instalment will be delivered.
The Batman (2022) is no exception. From changes to the casting, plotline and director (Ben Affleck was originally planned to write, direct and star as Batman), to delays due to COVID, then the excitement of the teaser-trailer in August 2020 (before filming was even finished!), there’s been plenty to talk about.
The timing of this film’s release is pretty perfect, with audiences ready to get out of the house and wanting to see big action movies on the largest screen possible. Spider-Man: No Way Home has proved this, recently becoming the all-time 4th highest-grossing film in Australian cinemas.
The Batman, however, seems a lot darker than Spider-Man. That’s in keeping with the mood of most Batman films and tv shows, although this often causes a dilemma for parents of young kids. It seems to be the reason that Batman is kept to the shadows and background in shows like Teen Titans and the Arrowverse shows, but there are still young kids who love Batman
So, what else do we know about The Batman?
The film tells of a young and inexperienced Batman, and focuses on him as a detective, which is quite fitting seeing as Batman’s first appearance was in 1939 in the Detective Comics series (later to become DC Comics)! While he clearly still has the resources that come with being the heir to the Wayne fortune, he has not yet cultivated the slick playboy reputation of older depictions of Batman, with him being described as an insomniac who struggles to tell the difference between the Batman persona and his "recluse rockstar" public identity as Bruce Wayne.
The casting of Robert Pattinson caused a fair bit of backlash, including an online petition calling for the role to be recast. Pattinson has the backing of a previous Batman, with Christian Bane encouraging him to embrace the role and make it his own. The trailers suggest that he’s done just that. It also pays to remember that many on the internet were against Heath Ledger’s casting as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008) and he went on to win an Academy Award for the role.
Pattinson has said that his Batman is more flawed than most superheroes and that the film will question the nature of heroism. By setting the film in a more real-world location, and delving into questions about Batman’s mental health, this film digs deeper than much of the available superhero fare.
Other casting includes Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler and Colin Farrell (nearly unrecognisable) as the Penguin. While the film is shying away from the origin story of Batman, it is said to be exploring the origins of these iconic villains.
Through the Riddler, The Batman appears to be making an interesting statement about justice vs vengeance. Batman states in the trailer that he is vengeance, while The Riddler seems to be seeking justice. Traditionally vengeance is bad, and justice is good, but this film flips that on its head.
Now the fun stuff:
The Batsuit, Batcave and Batmobile have all been designed anew, with features to make them practical designs that fit well together. Deadline Hollywood has reported the Batmobile has a “James Bond-meets-Fast and Furious energy” which we are so looking forward to!
The other impressive thing to note is that the film reportedly uses no CGI effects, meaning that every explosion, jump and stunt has been done in real life. With that in mind, it’s worth giving the trailer another watch!