The logo for the movie has been revealed by the director on TwitterTWITTER/MATTREEVESLA

An upcoming addition to the DC Cinematic Universe, The Batman (2022) offers an exciting new rendition of possibly the most widely renowned comic book icon. Announced at the DC FanDome Convention in August 2020, the movie itself is expected to wrap up filming in March after an array of COVID-19 related setbacks pushed its release to spring of next year. And yet, news of this delay is only heightening fans’ anticipation for what promises to be a refreshing new instalment in the Batman canon, as Matt Reeves, director of smash-hits Cloverfield (2008) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), seeks to plunge the familiar franchise into the unknown.

“We are expecting to see more blood, guts, and brutality from our fledgling detective as opposed to that of the cold, calculated, and composed protagonist of previous renditions.”

British star Robert Pattinson took up the cape and cowl after Ben Affleck stepped down from the role in May 2019. His portrayal of Bruce Wayne promises a unique perspective on the Dark Knight that is quite frankly set apart from the Batman we have come to know and love. Reeves, claiming to have taken inspiration from a breadth of cinematic genres ranging from neo-noir mystery Chinatown (1974), to psychological thriller Taxi Driver (1976), presents us with an insight into the world of the caped crusader in only his second year as Gotham’s defender. We are thus expecting to see more blood, guts, and brutality from our fledgling detective as opposed to that of the cold, calculated, and composed protagonist of previous renditions such as that of Christopher Nolan’s revolutionary The Dark Knight trilogy.

Official movie artwork produced by artist Jim Lee for the DC Fandome event TWITTER/MATTREEVESLA

In terms of antagonists, Colin Farrel will take on the role of Oswald Cobblepot, commonly known as The Penguin, a villain who has not graced our screens since Danny DeVito’s portrayal of the underground mob-boss in Batman Returns (1992). Likewise, Paul Dano’s eerily menacing depiction of The Riddler stands at odds with Jim Carey’s more light-hearted take on the character in Batman Forever (1995), ultimately serving to underscore the chaos and destruction that will test the young hero’s limits in his wider pursuit for justice. The Catwoman, Selina Kyle, is returning as a complex compatriot of the caped crusader, this time played by Zoë Kravitz, while Andy Serkis inherits the role of Bruce Wayne’s butler and aide-de-camp from veterans Michael Caine and Jeremy Irons. Such an all-star cast can only serve to ramp up the excitement as we await our immersion into Reeve’s reimagining of a Gotham rife with horror and crime.

Kravitz will be starring alongside Pattinson as Selina KyleTWITTER/DISCUSSINGFILM

Images have already surfaced of Pattinson suited and booted as the Batman, washed under a moody red light that exposes the cracks and creases underlying his polished apparel. Another post from Matt Reeves’ Twitter Account depicts a rather retro, streamlined muscle car, a Batmobile that gives off profound DeLorean vibes. A subsequent teaser has presented us with the most detailed insight into the project, displaying the outright violence, brutality, and mystery that so uniquely captivates Gotham City. In it, we witness Pattinson mercilessly tear down criminals before uttering the wickedly sinister words: “I’m vengeance.” Perhaps this nods to the relative inexperience of the movie’s version of the hero: a vicious vigilante yet to cement his reputation as the Batman.

“Rumours are circulating that this is only the first instalment in a planned trilogy, with an HBO Max spin-off series also said to be in the works.”

Rumours are circulating that this is only the first instalment in a planned trilogy, with an HBO Max spin-off series also said to be in the works. It appears that things are only really starting to kick off within this wider universe that offers us an alternative vision for the genre. Although it will have things in common with its predecessors, it nevertheless promises to depart from convention, reaching into waters previously explored by the award-winning Joker (2019).

The question remaining is whether the DC Cinematic Universe can compete with the likes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by assuming a darker spin on the comic book franchise. I certainly believe they can. With upcoming projects like The Batman (2022) and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021), the future of superhero movies looks bright, for DC have come armed and ready to contest Marvel’s massive monopoly on the silver screen.


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