With "The Batman", Warner Bros. managed to release a big hit in 2022, wowing both viewers and critics. Robert Pattinson in particular was impressive in the lead role as the Dark Knight. Therefore, everyone is eagerly awaiting the announced sequel "The Batman - Part II". Well, there is already some information about the sequel - so it's high time to have a closer look at the project!
Is "The Batman" Part of the DCU?
Despite the change of management at DC and the entire reorientation in the film and series business, the plans for "The Batman 2" have not been altered. Although this Batman will not be part of the new DCU, he will belong to the so-called Elseworlds. These are alternate stories that have no impact on the events of the DCU. For example, the "Joker" movies with Joaquin Phoenix also belong to the group of Elseworlds. So, we can expect that the creators will be able to fully dedicate themselves to the continuation of their idea from the prequel, without having to worry about the other movies in the franchise.
"The Batman 2" Cast
When it comes to the familiar cast of "The Batman 2", there are few surprises to begin with: Of course, Robert Pattinson returns as Bruce Wayne. Many fans and critics were skeptical before Part 1 as to whether the former "Twilight" star could live up to the demands of a Batman. However, he eventually won everyone over. Batman's ally in the police, James Gordon, will again be played by Jeffrey Wright, and Andy Serkis will also be seen again as butler Alfred Pennyworth. Many would like to see Zoë Kravitz return as Catwoman - but there is still no word on whether she will be reprising her role.
The bad guy remains an exciting subject: The Joker made his first appearance in the finale of the first part - where he was portrayed by Barry Keoghan. Afterwards, a 5-minute scene was released in which the Joker and Batman have a conversation. Whether he will finally get his big appearance in the second part, remains unknown, though: director and screenwriter Matt Reeves keeps emphasizing that he doesn't want to make the same mistakes like those made in other Batman movies, where the villain is more important than the main character. Bruce Wayne is to stay at the core of the story, so it might still be too early for a colorful character like the Joker.
Instead, a different major character could come into Batman's life: Matt Reeves has long had the wish to reintegrate Robin into the Batman universe. The director has already stated this in the past: If Robin were to play a role, his story would also be very emotional.
Which villain we can expect in "The Batman 2" and whether Robin will be involved naturally depends on the story. Part 1 was based on the comics "Year One", "Ego" and "The Long Halloween". Whether there are plans to build the sequel on specific comic strips is sadly still unknown. As you could tell from the style of the first film, Matt Reeves is trying to make the Dark Knight and his antagonists seem much more realistic, unlike in the DCEU, for example. At the same time, he is also a self-professed fan of offbeat villains. In an interview with Collider, he once commented:
"In my view, I just feel drawn to finding the grounded version of everything. So to me it would be a challenge in an interesting way to try and figure out how that could happen, even the idea of something like Mr. Freeze, that is such a great story, right? I think there's actually a grounded version of that story, which could be really powerful and could be really great."
There are still a lot of questions regarding the exact plot. Robert Pattinson himself would like the Court of Owls or the Calendar Man as the bad guys. The Court would actually not be that unlikely: It's a secret society that controls Gotham from the underground - very fitting for the crime and thriller feel of the prequel film. Calendar Man would be pretty similar to the Riddler: Instead of riddles, he uses special holidays or other important dates as the foundation for his crimes.
In March, rumors started circulating that the new villain would be Clayface. This is a DC villain who appears in two versions in the comics. Version 1: Matthew Hagen is a treasure hunter who gains the ability to manipulate his physical features after being exposed to a radioactive pool. Version 2: Basil "Baz" Karlo is an actor who once played a villain named Clayface and now seeks revenge on those involved in a movie remake.
However, the rumors came to nothing - to this day, there is no official statement as to which antagonist or antagonists we can actually expect. Of course, the Joker is still an option. After all, he is the only one who was already teased in the first film.
Like the first movie, Matt Reeves is in charge of directing and writing the screenplay. However, he is not alone in writing the script and is actively supported by Peter Craig and Mattson Tomlin, both of whom also contributed to the first part. Sadly, the start of shooting has been postponed due to the writers' and actors' strike in Hollywood. Originally it was supposed to kick off on November 23, 2023, but now March 2024 has been targeted. So we will probably see the first trailer at the end of next year at the earliest.
The actual movie is then still a long time coming: The current date for the theatrical release of "The Batman 2" is October 3, 2025. If you cannot wait until then, you can at least look forward to "The Penguin" series with Colin Farrell. The series, produced by HBO, is scheduled for release as early as next year and will of course be set in the same Gotham as "The Batman".