You can now buy your Cinema City tickets for The Batman. The feverishly anticipated DC Comics reboot is one of 2022's biggest propositions, so let's discover why you need to secure your seat right away.
1. Director Matt Reeves promises to reinvent the Batman legend
Deriving influence from the classic comic books Batman: Year One and Batman: The Long Halloween, The Batman sends Bruce Wayne back to his detective roots in Gotham City. The film begins with Wayne in his second year as Batman, and his methodical approach is juxtaposed with the rage and fighting skill of a much younger man (to paraphrase Tom Hardy's Bane in The Dark Knight Rises).
“This idea of a place that is corrupt, and you try to swim against the tide in order to fight against it and make a difference, is quintessential Batman,” says director Matt Reeves. “At the center of those noir stories is almost always the detective, right? And that’s why he is the world’s greatest detective. So this story is, in addition to being almost a horror movie, and a thriller, and an action movie, at its core, it’s also very much a detective story. It’s very narrative."
Reeves' skill with darkly turbulent and engrossing atmosphere has been evident in the found-footage thriller Cloverfield, plus Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes. Both of those movies leavened their set-pieces with a fair amount of memorable character development, particularly with Andy Serkis' Caesar in the Apes films, so the omens are good that The Batman will blow us away.
2. Robert Pattinson makes his Dark Knight debut
Forget Twilight – Robert Pattinson has stunned us in recent years with a host of diverse and transformative performances. From his scuzzy street rat in Good Time to his paranoid lighthouse keeper in The Lighthouse and his creepy preacher in The Devil All The Time, Pattinson has more than demonstrated his mettle. He also provided wry comic relief as a vaguely dissolute espionage agent in Christopher Nolan's mind-melting Tenet, another impressive entry on an increasingly varied resume.
He's, therefore, an enormously exciting choice to portray this toiling iteration of Bruce Wayne. Pattinson tells Rolling Stone: "It’s a sad movie. It’s kind of about [Wayne] trying to find some element of hope, in himself, and not just the city. Normally, Bruce never questions his own ability; he questions the city’s ability to change. But I mean, it’s kind of such an insane thing to do: ‘The only way I can live is to dress up as a bat.’
Just check out the clip below to get a sense of how much Pattinson is able to communicate without uttering a single word.
3. Paul Dano promises to be a terrifying and memorable Riddler
Every comic book movie needs a great antagonist to juice the plot and create tension at every turn. If we're talking Batman, then the late Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning portrayal of The Joker bestrides the franchise like a mighty colossus. But might Ledger's portrayal be facing competition in the form of Paul Dano's Riddler? The star of Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood and Prisoners reinvents Batman's inscrutable nemesis (here renamed Edward Nashton from Edward Nygma) as a DIY psycho, one styled after the notorious, real-life Zodiac killer.
“I liked how both grounded and big this film is at the same time,” Dano tells Empire. “So there are some grounding forces like the Zodiac Killer, right? But it’s still The Batman, and for me it’s much bigger, so it was important to let my imagination react to the script, rather than strictly basing it on a serial killer.” He adds: "The costume was very intense. I think the potential DIY element you’re talking about was actually scarier to me than the more sophisticated or composed designs we might have played with. I found working with the costume to be very powerful. When you put on something like that, there’s a way to let it speak to you, and tell your body something. There’s a way to let it have a life of its own.”
Don't just watch The Batman. Experience the first comic book blockbuster of 2022 in IMAX, one day in advance no less, and be engulfed by its arrestingly cavernous aesthetic. Reeves' iteration of Gotham was largely shot in the UK, and the screen curvature of IMAX promises to do justice to the moody architecture and angles of this corrupt, morally decadent city.
And, of course, the visuals are only half the story. The dynamic sound of IMAX brings to life every little audio nuance, including the rumbling, low-end piano arrangements of Michael Giacchino's new Batman theme. Once you hear that in IMAX, you understand one thing absolute: this Batman means business.
5. It's the first-ever 16-rated Batman movie, so you can expect a full-throttle experience
Both of the Tim Burton Batman films were rated 12 on their initial theatrical release, even the deeply twisted Batman Returns. There was never a chance that Joel Schumacher's camp, buffoonish Batman Forever and Batman and Robin would go any further than a PG rating on their theatrical runs (Forever was subsequently upgraded to a 12). And each of the movies in Christopher Nolan's acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy was rated 12 including, controversially, the gritty and thematically complex The Dark Knight.
So, if The Dark Knight got away with that certificate from the BBFC, what can we expect from the news that The Batman is rated 16? The answer: a full-on Batgasm, populated by darkly tortured heroes, deeply twisted villains and some hard-hitting set-pieces. With a supporting cast including Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon and Andy Serkis as Alfred, this promises to be a blockbuster experience stacked with memorable actors and characters.