There have been many portrayals of the caped crusader. Michael Keaton in Batman Returns. Val Kilmer in Batman Forever. George Clooney in Batman & Robin. Christian Bale in The Dark Knight trilogy. Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Right off the bat, I’ll say the best version was Christopher Nolan’s by virtue of his cinematography and casting. He scored the right balance of characters with Bale as Batman, Heath Ledger as Joker, Tom Hardy as Bane, and Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face.

That’s not to say the latest iteration of the night vigilante doesn’t stand the flash signal of a chance at the Oscars. With a release date of June 2021, details are still piling up about The Batman (the rumoured title of the film). Here’s what we’ve got so far.

bruce wayne/batman — robert pattinson

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Since director Zack Synder and actor Ben Affleck left the DC Universe, Matt Reeves, whose directing credits include Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has come on board. He has picked Robert Pattinson to don the carbon-fibred suit and black mask next. Pattinson, whose rose to fame with the Twilight series, comes fresh from his role as Ephraim Winslow in the latest psychological horror The Lighthouse.

In preparation for The Batman, Pattinson is rumoured to have started on a fitness regime to attain a superhero body. As well, he is said to be considering the voice of Willem Dafoe, his supporting actor in The Lighthouse, for the vocals of his vigilante persona. We’ll see.

selina kyle/catwoman — zoe kravitz

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Like Batman and the Joker, Catwoman has had her share of iterations. From the Eartha Kitt in the ’60s to Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway. We’ll now get to see what Zoe Kravitz brings to the table when she dons the catsuit to play both Batman’s love interest and “partner” in crime. Kravitz previously appeared in X-Men: First Class in 2011 and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016. Interestingly, Kravitz provided the voice to Catwoman in the animation film The Lego Batman Movie in 2017. Perhaps it’s been her calling to play the character.

edward nygma/The Riddler — paul dano

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One of the confirmed villains in the new movie is The Riddler and it will be played by actor Paul Dano after talks with fellow actor Jonah Hill broke down. Fans would recall how veteran actor Jim Carrey brought the character alive in Batman Forever in 1995. Since then, the last time we had a glimpse of The Riddler, or even Edward Nygma himself, was through actor Cory Michael Smith’s version in the TV series Gotham. So it will be interesting to see how the 35-year-old, known for his award-winning performance in the film Little Miss Sunshine and in limited series Escape at Dannemora, expresses the eccentric scientist and villain to pit against Pattinson’s Batman.

missing characters

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Perhaps in an alternative timeline, director Todd Philips’ and actor Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will meet this version of The Batman. But for now, as confirmed by Pattinson, both will be DC’s standalone films. As much as I would like a crossover, I guess this will make sense for Reeves’ film since the age-gap between Bruce Wayne and Arthur Fleck in Joker is far too huge. And that would give his film a sense of realism too. Who knows, it may even open up the narrative for another Joker (I’m sure singer-songwriter and actor Jared Leto would love that)? Other than that, the film has yet to confirm subtle details like Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, and if there will be other villains going up against Batman. Since Hill can’t play The Riddler, I feel he might be a good fit for Penguin.

a detective trilogy
Close-up image of a Batman figurine
Close-up image of a Batman figurine | @umanoide, Unsplash

Last we heard, The Batman will be a trilogy like Nolan’s The Dark Knight. But if you’re expecting explosions or fight choreography like Nolan’s, you’ll be disappointed because Matt Reeves’ take on the caped crusader is to solve crimes rather than fighting them. During one of his interviews, Reeves called it, “noir Batman”. Hence, this might just be  the freshest take on we’ve seen yet since Batman came to life from the comic books.

written by.
Lester Tan
Lester is into films, food and basically anything culture related under the sun.

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