The Batman is an American superhero film released in 2022 based on Batman’s DC Comics character. It is a reboot of the Batman film franchise, produced by DC Films, 6th & Idaho, and Dylan Clark Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Matt Reeves directed the film, and he co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Craig. It stars Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell as Bruce Wayne / Batman, and Robert Pattinson.
The film follows Batman, who has been fighting crime in Gotham City for two years, as he uncovers corruption while on the trail of the Riddler (Dano), a serial killer who targets Gotham’s elite.
Development began after Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) in 2013. Affleck agreed to direct, produce, co-write, and star in The Batman but later dropped out due to concerns about the project.
Reeves took over and reworked the story, removing all references to the DCEU. He wanted to explore Batman’s detective side more than in previous films, drawing inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock, the New Hollywood era, and comics like “Year One” (1987), The Long Halloween (1996–97), and Ego (1999). (2000).
Pattinson was cast in May 2019, with additional casting in late 2019. Between January 2020 and March 2021, principal photography took place in the United Kingdom and Chicago.
The Batman premiered on March 1, 2022, at Lincoln Center in New York and was released theatrically worldwide on March 4, 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was delayed twice from its original June 2021 release date.
The film grossed over $463 million against a $185–200 million budget, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 2022. Though some criticized its length, it received praise for its performances, cinematography, Reeves’ direction, action sequences, and story.
It is intended to kick off a shared universe for Batman, with two sequels planned and two spin-off television series in the works for HBO Max.
The Batman Storyline
On Halloween, Gotham City mayor Don Mitchell, Jr. is assassinated by the Riddler, a serial killer. Bruce Wayne, the reclusive billionaire who has been operating as the vigilante Batman for two years, investigates alongside the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD).
Lieutenant James Gordon discovers a message left for Batman by the Riddler. Still, commissioner Pete Savage chastises him for allowing a vigilante into the crime scene and orders Batman to go. The Riddler then murders Savage and leaves another message for Batman.
The Riddler left a thumb drive in Mitchell’s car containing images of Mitchell with a woman, Annika Koslov, at the Iceberg Lounge—a nightclub run by the Penguin, mobster Carmine Falcone’s lieutenant.
While the Penguin claims ignorance, Batman notices Annika’s roommate, Selina Kyle, working as a waitress at the club. Batman follows Selina home to question Annika, but she quickly vanishes, so he sends Selina back to the Iceberg Lounge to look for answers.
Batman learns from Selina that Savage is on Falcone’s payroll, as is district attorney Gil Colson. When Batman questions Selina about her relationship with Falcone, she cuts off communication.
Colson is kidnapped by the Riddler, who straps a timed collar bomb around his neck and sends him to disrupt Mitchell’s funeral. When Batman arrives, the Riddler calls him on Colson’s phone and threatens to detonate the bomb if Colson does not answer three riddles correctly.
Batman assists Colson in answering the first two questions. Still, Colson dies after refusing to answer the third—the informant’s name who provided the GCPD with information that led to a historic drug bust that brought mobster Salvatore Maroni’s operation to an end.
Batman and Gordon suspect the Penguin informant and track him down to a drug deal. They learn that Maroni’s operation has been transferred to Falcone, and many GCPD officers are involved. When Selina arrives to steal money, she inadvertently exposes them.
Selina discovers Annika’s body in a car trunk as the Penguin flees. Batman apprehends the Penguin but discovers that he is not the informant.
Batman and Gordon follow the Riddler’s trail to the ruins of an orphanage founded by Bruce’s murdered parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, where they discover that the Riddler harbors a grudge against the Waynes.
Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce’s butler and caretaker, is hospitalized after opening a letter bomb addressed to Bruce. The Riddler then leaks evidence that Thomas, who was running for mayor at the time of his murder, hired Falcone to assassinate a journalist for threatening to reveal embarrassing details about Martha’s mental illness history.
Bruce confronts Alfred, who confirms the allegations but maintains that Thomas only asked Falcone to intimidate the journalist into silence and planned to turn Falcone over to the police once he found out the journalist was murdered. Alfred believes Falcone assassinated Thomas and Martha to prevent this.
Selina informs Batman that Falcone is her father, though Falcone is unaware. She discovers that Falcone strangled Annika after Mitchell tells her that Falcone is the informant. Selina decides to assassinate him to exact her vengeance. Batman and Gordon arrive in time to stop her at the Iceberg Lounge.
However, the Riddler assassinates Falcone as Batman arrests him. The Riddler is apprehended and identified as Edward Nashton, a forensic accountant. He is incarcerated in Arkham State Hospital, where he laments his failure to murder Bruce.
He is unaware that Bruce is Batman, whom he idolizes and draws inspiration from when going after the corrupt. Nashton proposes a collaboration, but Batman rejects him and declares Nashton insane.
When Batman searches Nashton’s apartment, he discovers that he has planted car bombs throughout Gotham and has amassed an online following to assassinate mayor-elect Bella Reál.
The bombs destroy the breakwaters around Gotham, causing the city to flood. Nashton’s followers set up a shelter in an indoor arena, shooting but failing to kill Reál. Batman and Selina intervene and stop them.
Nashton befriends another inmate[a] in the aftermath, while Selina declares Gotham unsalvageable and departs. Batman contributes to recovery efforts and vows to instill hope in Gotham.