Our Top 10 need-to-know facts about the new Batman movie – from gangsters and big cats to rock stars and pimped rides

ROBERT PATTINSON as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

You’ve watched The Batman trailer but how much do you really know about the DC hero’s next run-out?

From the new Batmobile to the bathroom advice that Christian Bale gave Robert Pattinson, you won’t believe these ten factoids behind the new Batman movie.

The Batman release date: March 4th

#1. The Batman is not an origin story – and it isn’t part of DC’s Extended Universe

Don’t come to The Batman for more sepia-tinted flashbacks of poor orphaned Bruce Wayne in short trousers. “We definitely aren’t doing Year One,” director Matt Reeves told the Television Critics Association, referencing Frank Miller’s seminal comic series that updated Batman’s origin story. Instead, we’re introduced to a thirty-something Dark Knight (Robert Pattinson is 35) in his second year as a vigilante.

A lot of the Batman stories we’ve seen on film, you see his parents killed, then you see him perfecting himself into becoming Batman,” Reeves told Esquire. “I wanted the main character in the story to be a Batman who was a year in and still trying to figure out how to do this.

We’ve heard a lot lately about DC’s extended universe – but Reeves found operating within that framework too restrictive and has created a standalone world for The Batman, known in DC circles as ‘Earth 2’. “So on one Earth, you have Gal Gadot [Wonder Woman], Jason Momoa [Aquaman] and Ezra Miller [The Flash] as this Justice League and you can continue telling these stories,” Walter Hamada, president of DC Films, told the DC FanDome. “While on another Earth, you can have a more grounded, real, Year Two Batman.

ROBERT PATTINSON as Bruce Wayne in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

#2. The Batman of 2022 isn’t exactly a ‘hero’

Spider-Man already has the ‘friendly neighbourhood vigilante’ angle covered. From the start, the Dark Knight has always been, er, darker, but Reeves and Pattinson have plumbed new depths with their new Batman movie, often making you wonder whether you should be rooting for him.

At the DC FanDome, Pattinson talked about the character as an insomniac and “odd creature”, who is “working out his rage” and “a little bit out of control”. In an interview with The New York Times, meanwhile, he questioned whether his Batman was actually a hero at all. “He’s a complicated character. Batman’s morality is a little bit off. He’s not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic-book character.

Pattinson’s stormier interpretation looks highly convincing in The Batman trailer, and has been welcomed by the movie press. “This Batman is going to be seriously messed up,” wrote Ben Child in The Guardian, “and I like it.

#3. The new Batman movie was influenced by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain

We’ve already revealed in our recent Bat-blog how Reeves took inspiration from movies like The French Connection (1971), Chinatown (1974) and Taxi Driver (1976). What you might not know is that the director was also influenced by Kurt Cobain, the doomed singer for alt-rock legends Nirvana.

When I write, I listen to music,” he told Empire, “and as I was writing the first act of The Batman, I put on Nirvana’s Something In The Way. That’s when it came to me that, rather than make Bruce Wayne the playboy version we’ve seen before, there’s another version who had gone through a great tragedy and become a recluse.

#4. The new Batman trailer showcases the coolest Batmobile yet

Released in December, the Bat And The Cat trailer opened with the roaring blue fuselage of the Pattinson-era Batmobile, while the ensuing chase scene suggests the most iconic ride in superhero cinema has been heavily pimped.

The Nolan films established the Batmobile as a tank,” Reeves told interviewer Johnny Davis. “But I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if this guy is a loner and a gearhead and fashioning these things by himself, taking parts of other cars and kit cars?’ So, it’s recognisable as a car this time. But it’s like a muscle car. One that he’s made himself.

PAUL DANO as Edward Nashton/the Riddler in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

#5. Paul Dano’s chilling new Riddler is based on a real-life killer

Remember Jim Carrey’s hooting goon from Batman Forever? Now forget all about him and cower in your cinema seat as There Will Be Blood’s Paul Dano debuts a spine-chilling new Riddler. This guy is hell-bent on breaking into Gotham’s high-society mansions and butchering the city’s elite with brutal instruments.

In fact, Reeves’ take on the Riddler was inspired by the real-life case of the Zodiac Killer, who terrorised 1960s California in a black hood and trademark costume. As for Dano, the New York actor found it so bleak reading about the crimes of historical killers that he chose to do his research in the bright and breezy surroundings of a coffee shop.

COLIN FARRELL as Oswald Cobblepot/the Penguin in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

#6. Colin Farrell’s Penguin was inspired by a classic movie mobster

Everyone loved Danny DeVito’s monstrous Penguin from Batman Returns, but the Irish actor’s take for The Batman is less hammy, more human. Reeves has described the villain (real name Oswald Cobblepot) to Empire as a “mid-level mobster guy, but you can see that he wants more”.

As such, Farrell channelled the spirit of Fredo Corleone: the runt of the litter in the classic Godfather movies, left bitter and twisted from living in the shadow of his alpha-mobster brothers. Seems it worked too: there’s already a spin-off Penguin series in the pipe.

ROBERT PATTINSON as Batman and ZOË KRAVITZ as Selina Kyle in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release

©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

#7. Zoë Kravitz’s combat style comes from watching real catfights

If you’re wowed by the incoming Catwoman’s feline fight sequences in The Batman trailer, that’s because she learnt by studying wildlife footage. “We watched lions and how they fight,” the actress told Empire, “and talked about what’s actually possible when you’re my size, and Batman is so much stronger than me. What is my skill? It’s being fast and tricky.

#8. Robert Pattinson wore Val Kilmer’s batsuit for his Batman 2022 audition

The former Twilight star’s debut in the cape and cowl from Batman Forever convinced Reeves he had his man. But in the end, the sheer physicality of the new Batman movie – for which Pattinson trained with Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Rigan Machado – demanded a more flexible batsuit.

Reeves told the DC Fandome that no expense was spared to make the costume authentic (“Every night, he goes out looking for trouble, so you look at his cowl and actually see there are gashes on it”). He also shared some practical advice given to Pattinson by another former Batman: “Rob actually talked to Christian Bale and he was like, ‘Just make sure you’re gonna be able to relieve yourself…!’

#9. It all started with The Batman soundtrack

Music has always been vital in the Batman movies – who can forget the charging Danny Elfman score that propelled the classic Tim Burton flicks? Now Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino picks up the gauntlet, writing the atmospheric new theme that sets the tone of The Batman.

My brilliant friend @m_giacchino wrote this theme before I ever shot a frame of @TheBatman,” tweeted the director. “I can still remember listening to it in my car with #DylanClark before we went onto the stage to do #RobertPattinson's screen test. We both had chills…

#10. This is the longest Batman movie ever made

With a massive story to tell, the official runtime of The Batman is 175 minutes, and you won’t want to miss a single beat. So go easy on the drinks, settle into your seat at the ODEON, and immerse yourself in a new Batman movie that tears down everything you thought you knew about one of our best-loved heroes.

Batman is an amazing myth that has endured for over 80 years,” Reeves told MovieMaker. “And it’s because of that crazy mix. There’s a part of him that is just simply cool, right? But there’s also something very relatable to the pain that he’s gone through. Those aspects are [both] part of the story…

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