Filming is finally under way on The Batman—but is the movie going to satisfy fans? The DC Extended Universe has had mixed success over recent years with the company struggling to keep up with its main rival, Disney’s MCU.
Though Wonder Woman, Shazam! and Joker were widely praised by movie-goers and critics alike, DC fans have struggled to take to films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, both of which were widely considered to be muddled.
The Batman could launch a fresh era for the DC Extended Universe—but will it all work out? The new man in the cowl is Robert Pattinson, who takes over from Ben Affleck as Batman.
Affleck was initially slated to write, star in and direct The Batman before the decision was made to replace him with Pattinson, who has been busy shaking off his teen-heartthrob reputation from Twilight. Affleck was also replaced by Matt Reeves as the writer and director of the new Batman flick.
It was clear from the start of his post-Twilight life that Pattinson—who also made his name in the Harry Potter film series—had little interest in sticking to blockbuster fare in his film choices.
The British actor has starred for directors as diverse as the Safdie Brothers, Claire Denis, David Cronenberg and Robert Eggers, for whom he recently explored horror in The Lighthouse.
Pattinson’s body of work has been highly impressive in the last few years in the indie circuit, so it was something of a surprise when it was revealed he would be the next actor to play Batman on the big screen. It will be fascinating to see the approach the London-born star takes to the role as he returns to the multiplex after a long period in which his films have mostly been seen in arthouse cinemas.
At just 33 years of age, Pattinson is quite young to be playing Batman, but the flip side is he could be a key part of the DC Extended Universe for a long time if his casting is a success.
“I’d had Batman in my mind for a while,” Pattinson said in one of the few interviews he has given about the upcoming movie. “It’s such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I’d been prodding Matt [Reeves]. He didn’t accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him.”
Pattinson got his way in the end and audiences will be eagerly awaiting his take on playing such an iconic role when the film is released It is expected to be out on June 25 in 2021, but the release date is subject to change.
Reeves replaces Affleck in the director’s seat
The Batman’s writer and director Matt Reeves has been giving little away about the new film, though he recently tweeted a picture from the first day of filming on set.
It is expected that The Batman will be the first film of a Reeves-led new trilogy, with the story not following on from Affleck’s appearances in the role in other DC Extended Universe movies. However, Reeves has said that The Batman should not be considered an origin story.
Reeves is considered one of the most exciting filmmakers in the world right now, having exploded on to the scene with the shock hit hit Cloverfield. He was also in charge of the acclaimed sci-fi sequels Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.
While Reeves has been working on the film for a number of years, it is unclear how his take on Batman is going to fit in with DC Extended Universe. Could it be possible, for example, that Pattinson’s Batman crosses paths with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker in the future?
Reeves has certainly assembled an impressive cast behind Pattinson for his first Batman film. Jeffrey Wright is set to play James Gordon, Zoe Kravitz will be Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Paul Dano and Colin Farrell will play villains Riddler and Penguin respectively. There are also going to be appearances in the movie from Andy Serkis, John Turturro and Peter Sarsgaard.
What are the early signs for The Batman?
Details of the plot for The Batman are being kept firmly under wraps, but Reeves has denied that it will be an adaptation of the comic book arc Year One.
“Year One is one of the many comic books that I love. We are definitely not doing Year One. It’s just exciting to be focused very specifically on a tale that is defining for him and very personal to him. Obviously we’re not doing an origin tale or anything like that,” Reeves said of his film.
The film’s writer and director described Batman as “the world’s greatest detective”, suggesting that Pattinson will be doing less punching bad guys and more investigating during the film.
Reeves’ picture from the set offered few details, with only an armchair in the shot. Was shooting set to start at Bruce Wayne’s mansion? It is really impossible to tell from the photograph, but Reeves has also said the film will be “noir-driven” and will explore the world of Gotham.
In the meantime, DC fans will just have to be patient as they wait for their next Batman fix.
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