The newest Batman film, directed by Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and starring Robert Pattinson in his first go-around at Bruce Wayne, will be witnessing changes to its production that will make it unlike any of the recent Batman films. Per CinemaBlend and writer Kris Tapley, every location for the film has been “scrapped,” and production will resume in September entirely in on-set studio recreations, as opposed to shooting in real places. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Batman’s, like most other movies being made at the time, had to immediately stop its production in the U.K. It is even rumored that a crew member had passed away from the virus.
While Batman films have greatly benefitted from shooting on-location (The Dark Knight and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice both filmed outdoors in Chicago, among other places), as it offers the gritty, realistic look of Gotham City, this move seems to be the best one necessary in ensuring the future safety of the cast and crew. It could also represent a trend towards more insulated, in-studio based productions of the past as we continue to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The Batman represents an exciting yet uncertain step forward for the franchise, as it is unknown if Pattinson will simply reprise Ben Affleck’s rendition of Bruce Wayne, if the film will be a part of the DC Extended Universe, if Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will appear, and more. It also stars Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle’s Catwoman, Paul Dano as Edward Nasthon’s Riddler, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, and was written by Reeves and Mattson Tomlin. It is set to be released by Warner Bros. on October 1, 2021, after being pushed back from June 2021 due to the pandemic.