Several big-budget film productions have seen their theatrical release dates either postponed or canceled outright due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis; a fate that even high-profile comic book adaptations can’t seem to escape. On Monday, the Matt Reeves-helmed Batman reboot The Batman — which stars Robert Pattinson as both the iconic titular hero and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne — was among a slew of films to have their releases pushed back by Warner Bros, per a report.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the theatrical release for The Batman is now slated for October 1, 2021, after originally being scheduled for a June 2021 release. Pattinson is, of course, picking up the cape and cowl from Justice League and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice actor Ben Affleck in the film and will play a younger version of the character.
Affleck told The New York Times in February that he was advised to step away from the Batman role because it would contribute in a negative way to his ongoing battle with alcoholism.
“I showed somebody The Batman script. They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went though again.”
The version of The Batman that ultimately went into production with Reeves and Pattinson features a cast that also includes Zoe Kravitz as Cat Woman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) March 4, 2020
The Batman’s postponement did not come unexpectedly. Principal photography began in London, England, in January, but production on the film was halted in March amid coronavirus concerns.
The release of The Batman isn’t the only superhero movie being changed, either. Per THR, The Flash has been moved from July 1, 2022, to June of 2022, and Shazam! 2 is being delayed from April 1, 2022, to November 4, 2022. A delay in release for Wonder Woman 1984 until August of this year was previously announced.
In addition to changing the date for The Batman and other DC Comics-inspired films, THR also reports that Warner Bros. has moved The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark from a fall 2020 release into March of 2021, while Will Smith’s King Richard will be delayed nearly a full calendar year, from November 25, 2020, to November 19, 2021.
With uncertainty looming worldwide with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and how long quarantine and shelter-in-place orders will remain in effect, this likely won’t be the last round of postponements announced in the film industry.