Early this year, Ben Affleck announced he wouldn’t return as Batman in the DC Extended Universe. That opened a door for someone new to don the cape and cowl in the next Batman movie, titled simply The Batman. Due out June 25, 2021, The Batman will be directed by Matt Reeves (Planet of the Apes sequels) and he’s said the film will be “an almost-noir driven, detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way, that will hopefully connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart.”
Reeves has also said The Batman will only slightly connect to the larger DC Universe so don’t expect to see Jason Momoa swimming around in this one. You can expect, however, to see new versions of not only Batman, but Catwoman, the Riddler, and the Penguin, among others. Here’s how the cast is shaping up:
1. Robert Pattinson
Pattinson was confirmed for the role of Bruce Wayne in The Batman, replacing Affleck, back in May. He’ll be the second British actor to play the Bat, following Christian Bale. And he has big boots to fill. No one will miss Affleck, who was solid if unspectacular in the role. Batman has a beloved legacy in movies and Pattinson is in for a long decade if he doesn’t rise to the challenge.
Here’s an early vote for him. Since the forgettable Twilight Saga which launched his career, Pattinson has risen to become one of the sharpest and most interesting young actors in the industry. Watch Cosmopolis get a sense of how he may walk and talk as Bruce Wayne. As for what he’ll do with Batman, well, it’s all about the voice.
2. Zoë Kravitz
Role: Selina Kyle/Catwoman
The last time we saw Catwoman, she was saving Batman’s life in The Dark Knight Rises. Anne Hathaway had the role and she does an OK job in Christopher Nolan’s movie. The more famous Catwoman, however, is Michelle Pfeiffer’s version from Batman Returns which is basically an update of Eartha Kitt’s original. (Sorry, Halle Berry.)
The new Catwoman will be played by Zoë Kravitz, who beat out Ana de Armas, Ella Balinska, and Eiza González for the role. (Kravitz has actually played the villain before, her voice at least, in The Batman Lego Movie.) It remains to be seen if she’ll give the character more feline instincts than Hathaway did. Pfeiffer was licking stuff and prowling around in full-on cat mode, which is how the comic book character is. It’s also goofy so it all depends on what kind of movie Reeves will make. Will it be campy fun like the old Tim Burton Batman movies or more realistic like Nolan’s?
3. Paul Dano
Role: Edward Nashton/The Riddler
The Riddler is another bad guy and part of Reeves’s plan to include a rogues gallery in The Batman. At least three villains are confirmed, including Catwoman, who’s historically only on her own team. Batman will have his hands full, but at least there won’t be another Joker to deal with (we don’t think).
Paul Dano has been cast as The Riddler in The Batman, the first version of the character since Jim Carrey took on the role in 1995’s Batman Forever. He’ll go by Edward Nashton, not Edward Nygma — the original comic name. The Riddler is known for his psychological assaults on Batman. He’s not a fighter. And Dano is perfect for the character. Watch him in There Will Be Blood or 12 Years a Slave to see him screaming and being evil. Dano would’ve made a great Joker, but we’ll take him as the Riddler.
4. Colin Farrell
Role: Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (rumored)
The Penguin completes The Batman‘s rogues gallery and it appears Colin Farrell will play the part. Another classic Batman villain, the Penguin was last played by Danny DeVito in Batman Returns. Don’t expect to see anything like that again. DeVito was essentially a monster. Look for the new Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot to be more in line with the old Batman TV series version played by Burgess Meredith — a well-dressed mobster with a sharp nose. We can’t imagine they’ll put Farrell in a fat suit, but who knows?
5. Jeffrey Wright
The supporting role of Commissioner Gordon is a tradition in every version of Bat Man since the beginning. Gary Oldman had the most high-profile Gordon role, in the Dark Knight Trilogy. Usually, the Commish is a background character and the keeper of the Bat-signal. Casting Jeffrey Wright as Gordon in the new movie might suggest he’ll be more than mere background. We doubt we’ll catch Gordon hanging off trucks like Oldman did but look for the character to be a big part of protecting Gotham in The Batman.