The Batman (2022) – A Protracted Production Timeline

Everyone’s favourite caped crusader, Batman, has been with us since his debut in the 27th issue of the comic book Detective Comics on March 30, 1939. Created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, Batman is perhaps the most popular “superhero” of them all. Maybe it is due to his humanity and lack of “superpowers”. Maybe it is because of its gallery of great villains. Whatever the case, his popularity has driven the Caped Crusader to the big screen on many occasions, resulting in great appreciation from its audience and fantastic box office returns.

Batman – The Early Years

Batman (1943)
Batman (1943)

The first onscreen outing goes all the way back to 1943, with a 15-part black and white just called Batman, starring Lewis Wilson as Batman (1943) and Douglas Croft as Robin. The film was notable for introducing the Bat Cave and changing the way Alfred looked, which influenced the comics going forward.

Batman & Robin (1949)
Batman & Robin (1949)

Batman returned in 1949 with another 15 part serial called Batman and Robin (1949), this time starring Robert Lowery and Johnny Duncan as the Dynamic Duo. However, these early forays were serials shown before major films and were easily forgotten.

Batman – The 60s

Batman: The Movie (1966)
Batman: The Movie (1966)

The Batman’s first real big-screen adventure was in 1966, during the height of the popularity of the Batman TV series. We saw the release of Batman: The Movie (1966), starring Adam West as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson / Robin, as well as Lee Meriwether as Catwoman, Cesar Romero as the Joker, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Frank Gorshin as the Riddler. Remembered mostly as a camp affair, it is still a tremendous and beloved film that brought the character to a whole generation of impressionable youngsters.

Batman – The Tim Burton Years

Batman (1989)
Batman (1989)

After waning popularity in the 70s, there was a renaissance in the Batman character through new graphic novels in the 1980s and in 1986, Warner Brothers hired Tim Burton to produce a new film. The result was Batman (1989), a dark gothic tale inspired by the vision first created in 1939. With Michael Keaton as The Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker, the film was a critical and box office success, grossing over $400 million and setting the standard from what was to be expected from the superhero film genre.

Batman Returns (1992)
Batman Returns (1992)

In 1992, Burton returned with the fantastic Batman Returns (1992), taking the franchise in an even darker direction, with Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as The Penguin. However, it did make less than the original and Warner were concerned with how dark this “kids” film was. This led to Tim Burton walking away from Warner Brothers who hired Joel Schumacher for the next film.

Batman – The Joel Schumacher Years

Batman Forever (1995)
Batman Forever (1995)

Batman Forever (1995) was the next film to be released, starring Val Kilmer as Batman, as Keaton left due to disagreements about the script. In addition, Chris O’Donnell was introduced as Robin, Jim Carrey starred as The Riddler, while Tommy Lee Jones starred as Two-Face. The film made its money at the box office but came in for criticism surrounding the CGI, design, script and tone.

Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman & Robin (1997)

Following this was Batman & Robin (1997). Because of scheduling conflicts with The Saint (1997), Val Kilmer did not return and was replaced by George Clooney whilst Chris O’Donnell reprised his role as Robin. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined as Mr Freeze, while Uma Thurman played Poison Ivy, Alicia Silverstone played Batgirl, and Robert Swenson played Bane.

This film was a turkey and is considered one of the worst movies ever made. It disappointed at the box office, was critically panned and caused Warner Brothers to cancel the next film that was planned, Batman Unchained. Batman & Robin is also the lowest-grossing live-action Batman film to date.

Batman – The Christopher Nolan Years

After all of the disappointment, Warner Brothers wanted to reboot the franchise and take it in a new direction. So, in 2003, they hired filmmaker Christopher Nolan. It was a left-field choice as Nolan had only directed two major films up to this point, Memento (2000) and Insomnia (2002), that, despite being a brilliant director, were smaller projects and the opposite of the big budget movies that the Batman films were known for.

Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins (2005)

The gamble paid off, however. In 2005, Batman Begins (2005) was released, with Christian Bale picking up the ‘Bat’-on, playing Bruce Wayne and his crime fighting alter-ego. He was joined by Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, and Morgan Freeman in supporting roles.

This film rebooted the franchise, telling the origin story of Bruce Wayne, from his childhood and the death of his parents to his journey to becoming Batman and his subsequent fight to stop Ra’s al Ghul and the Scarecrow from plunging Gotham City into chaos. The film focussed more on the characters than the previous efforts which provided a new way of looking at a familiar story. It was a box office success grossing $411 million worldwide and was lauded critically. It had not hit the same financial highs as the first Burton film, but it turned the corner and gave the fans more gripping Batman content.

The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)

What followed was the biggest surprise and not just one of the greatest comic book films of all time, but arguably one of the greatest films of all time. The Dark Knight (2008) was released to tremendous excitement and praise. The story of the Batman vs The Joker, teased at the end of the first film, was brought to the screen in cinematic glory, with the amazing, award-winning performance from Heath Ledger as the Joker. Be sure to check out our analysis of the chase sequence from the film here.

The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)
The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)

The film is considered one of the best films of that decade and received critical acclaim for its screenplay, visual style, musical score, stunts, mature themes, performances, cinematography, action sequences and direction. During its theatrical run, the film also set numerous records with over $1 billion in revenue worldwide. It became the fourth-highest-grossing film at the time and the highest-grossing film of 2008. It also set the record for highest-grossing domestic opening with $158 million, a record it held for three years.

In 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, becoming only the second superhero film after Superman (1978) to earn the honour.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Nolan trilogy was completed in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises (2012), the closing chapter of Bale’s story as the Dark Knight Detective as he battles with Bane, played by Tom Hardy, for the future of Gotham City. Although it was not as critically praised as The Dark Knight, the film was still highly regarded as a fitting end to the trilogy and again grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

In the space of 7 years, Batman had become a cinematic and cultural phenomenon for the 21st century. But the Dark Knight trilogy was over, and knowing that studios love to make money from their big characters, the question on everyone’s mind was, what next for Batman. Well, that is where our timeline begins….

A timeline to the release of Batman (2022)

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck was cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), with plans to play the role in at least three films.
August 2013
<a href=

Warner Bros, accounce The Batman

Warner Bros. revealed plans for a standalone Batman film starring Ben Affleck, alongside a host of other DC universe movies.
October 15, 2014
<a href=

Negotiations for Affleck to Write and Direct Batman Movie

Affleck was in negotiations with Warner Bros. to direct and co-write the screenplay with Geoff Johns.
July 9, 2015
Affleck and Geoff Johns were expected to turn in a draft by October 2015

Affleck and Geoff Johns were expected to turn in a draft by October 2015

It was announced production would begin after Affleck finished work on Live by Night. The plot of the film was to be set after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017); Affleck stated that the film would feature a “mostly original” story that used elements of comic books for inspiration, like what director Zack Snyder did with Batman v Superman.
July 9, 2015
The first draft of Affleck's standalone Batman movie was complete.

The first draft of Affleck’s standalone Batman movie was complete.

Geoff Johns implied that the film would explore the death of Robin, which was hinted at in Batman v Superman.
March 1, 2016
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Affleck made his onscreen debut as Batman in the Batman v Superman movie.
March 25, 2016
<a href=

Warner Bros. confirm The Batman movie is going ahead.

At CinemaCon in April, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed the film was moving forward, with Affleck directing.
April 12, 2016
<a href=

Irons, Manganiello and Leto all line up for the movie

In the following months, Jeremy Irons and Joe Manganiello were confirmed to appear—with Manganiello playing Deathstroke. Jared Leto expressed interest in reprising his role as the Joker from Suicide Squad (2016).
May 2016
<a href=

Suicide Squad (2016)

Batman, played by Affleck, made an appearance in the Suicide Squad movie.
August 5, 2016
<a href=

New movie is called – ‘The Batman’

Affleck revealed the title of the film was ‘The Batman’.
October 3, 2016
<a href=

Filming dates first announced

Affleck announced filming was on track to begin in mid-2017 for a release date in 2018. That month, a planned Justice League sequel was delayed to accommodate ‘The Batman.’
December 9, 2016
No script, no director?

No script, no director?

In an about turn, Affleck said the film had no script and that he may end up not directing it, although he was commited to doing so.
January 10, 2017
<a href=

Ben Affleck steps down as director

Affleck announced he had decided to step down; as director. He, however, clarified that he would still star and produce. By this point, Chris Terrio had turned in a rewrite of the script.
January 30, 2017
<a href="">Matt Reeves hired as director</a>

Matt Reeves hired as director

After intense but short negotiations with Warner Brothers and guarantees that he would get creative control, Matt Reeves was hired as director for the new Batman film.
February 23, 2017
<a href="">Justice League premieres</a>

Justice League premieres

Justice League (2017) premiered in Los Angeles, starring Ben Affleck as Batman. Originally production started with Zack Snyder as the director, but the film ended up with Joss Whedon at the helm with numerous reshoots.

Check out our extensive article on Zack Snyder’s Justice league here.
November 13, 2017

<a href=

Warner brothers set release date, Affleck steps down

Warner Brothers set a June 25, 2021 release date for The Batman, and Ben Affleck confirmed that he was no longer starring in the film. Affleck explained that he stepped down due to a combination of factors, including the tumultuous production of Justice League.
January 30, 2019
<a href="">Robert Pattinson is Batman</a>

Robert Pattinson is Batman

After many stages of auditions, Robert Pattinson beat out Nicholas Hoult, Armie Hammer, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson to become the new Batman/Bruce Wayne, with a salary of $3 million.
February 23, 2019
<a href="">Jeffrey Wright cast as James Gordon</a>

Jeffrey Wright cast as James Gordon

He became the first actor of colour to portray Gordon. Wright said that he felt his casting reflected how diverse America has become since Batman’s introduction in 1939 and said none of Gordon’s qualities “require that he be white”.
September 23, 2019
<a href="">Zoe Kravitz cast as Catwoman</a>

Zoe Kravitz cast as Catwoman

She was cast following a great screen test with Pattinson. She had previously voiced the character in The Lego Batman Movie (2017).
October 14, 2019
<a href="">Paul Dano cast as the Riddler</a>

Paul Dano cast as the Riddler

To prepare, Dano researched serial killers and chose to read this material in public places since he found it disturbing and did not want to read it alone. He used the Beach Boys’ founder Brian Wilson, whom he had portrayed in the 2014 biopic Love & Mercy (2015), as the basis of his performance.
October 17, 2019
<a href="">Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, and John Turturro all join the film</a>

Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, and John Turturro all join the film

Respectively cast as Alfred Pennyworth, the Penguin, and Carmine Falcone.
November 5, 2019
<a href="">Filming begins on The Batman</a>

Filming begins on The Batman

In a tweet posted by director Matt Reeves, it is confirmed that filming has begun and pretty much confirms the title of the film as “The Batman.”
January 13, 2020
Robert Pattinson in the bat suit is revealed

Robert Pattinson in the bat suit is revealed

A camera test is released by Matt Reeves as a little sneak peek and filming and gives us a first glance at Pattinson as Batman.
January 1, 2021
<a href=

Liverpool becomes a stand in for Gotham city

The production team headed over to the UK, to Liverpool, to shoot scenes using the British city as Gotham. Excitedly, Reeves tweeted more images of the shoot.
March 13, 2020
<a href="">Production was halted due to Coronavirus Concerns</a>

Production was halted due to Coronavirus Concerns

The filming of the Batman was suspended for at least 2 weeks due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. This was further extended until at least mid-May,
March 15, 2020
<a href="">Warner Brothers. pushed the release date back</a>

Warner Brothers. pushed the release date back

Due to the ongoing production problems related to the coronavirus crisis, Warner Brothers decided to push the release date back to October 1, 2021,
April 20 2020
<a href="">Official logo revealed</a>

Official logo revealed

Director Matt Reeves reveals the official logo for The Batman on Twitter as some artwork by Jim Lee for DC Fandome.
August 20, 2020
<a href="">Teaser Trailer released</a>

Teaser Trailer released

During a panel for The Batman hosted by director Matt Reeves at DC FanDome 2020, the first teaser trailer for the film was released.
August 23, 2020

<a href="">Filming resumes on The Batman</a>

Filming resumes on The Batman

Filming resumes on The Batman, mainly using closed sets, with new COVID-19 protocols in place.
September 3, 2020
<a href="">Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19</a>

Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19

And within days, filming is halted again on the production after Robert Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19.
September 7, 2020
<a href="">Filming resumes after COVID case</a>

Filming resumes after COVID case

After the whole team was quarantined and everyone returned negative tests, production resumed under strict controls.
September 17, 2020
<a href="">Release of the film pushed back once more</a>

Release of the film pushed back once more

Due to the ongoing production problems related to COVID-19 and significant delays to the schedule, Warner Brothers pushed the release date for The Batman again to March 4, 2022.
October 5, 2020
<a href="">Exterior shots and stunt scenes filmed</a>

Exterior shots and stunt scenes filmed

The final shooting of exterior shots and stunt scenes for Gotham City was filmed in Chicago throughout October with only the required crew.
October 2020
<a href="">Production Wraps</a>

Production Wraps

The final shots are done, and Matt Reeves announces on Twitter that production has wrapped.
March 13, 2021
<a href="">The Batman will be exclusive to theatres</a>

The Batman will be exclusive to theatres

During the pandemic, we were used to changes to film releases, including Warner Brothers day and date releases in both cinemas and HBO Max. However, it was announced that The Batman was a tentpole film for Warner by CERO Jason Kilar and that it will debut exclusively in cinemas for 45 days before digital release.
January 1, 2021
<a href="">New Footage From The Batman Screened At CinemaCon</a>

New Footage From The Batman Screened At CinemaCon

For a very lucky and exclusive audience at CinemaCon 2021, a short sizzle reel with some exclusive shots of The Batman was played before a repeat of the previous teaser. It was announced shortly after there was a new teaser coming.
August 25, 2021
<a href="">The signal is tweeted</a>

The signal is tweeted

Days before its release, a tweet was released teasing the new trailer for Batman to be shown at DC Fandome 2021.
October 14, 2021
<a href="">Trailer released</a>

Trailer released

At the DC Fandome 2021, Warner Brothers dropped the first full trailer for The Batman.
October 16, 2021
<a href="">More Movies react to the trailer</a>

More Movies react to the trailer

A day after it dropped, Greg and Dave reacted to the brand new trailer for The Batman movie right here on More Movies!
October 17, 2021
<a href="">Viral Campaign For THE BATMAN begins</a>

Viral Campaign For THE BATMAN begins

A viral campaign begins focused on The Riddler. A website appears called
December 10, 2021
<a href="">The Batman not part of the DCEU</a>

The Batman not part of the DCEU

Producer Dylan Clark confirms in an interview with Empire magazine that the new Batman character is not part of the DCEU.

Warner Bros. has a multiverse where they’re exploring different ways to use the character…We don’t get involved in that. Matt is interested in pushing this character to his emotional depths and shaking him to his core.
December 21, 2021
<a href="">The Batman gets a release date for HBO Max</a>

The Batman gets a release date for HBO Max

In line with an updated strategy for Warner Brothers, it is announced by Jason Killar that The Batman will be released digitally on HBO Max 45 days after its theatrical release on April 19, 2022.
December 27, 2021
<a href="">Bat and the Cat trailer released</a>

Bat and the Cat trailer released

A brand new trailer dropped online for The Batman, this time focusing around the relationship between Batman and Catwoman.
December 27, 2021
<a href="">The Batman Publicity Images released</a>

The Batman Publicity Images released

Warner Brothers released the publicity images for the film onto their Media Pass website, as can be looked at in the gallery below.
January 9, 2022
<a href="">The Batman Officially Rated PG-13</a>

The Batman Officially Rated PG-13

Despite speculation that the film may head in the direction being Rated R, the film is officially classified by the MPA as PG-13 (12A for BBFC).

The rating is for “strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material.”
January 12, 2022
<a href="">Bat and the Cat official poster revealed</a>

Bat and the Cat official poster revealed

Along with The Batman poster, the official Bat and the Cat poster is revealed on Twitter.
January 20, 2022
<a href="">The Batman official poster revealed</a>

The Batman official poster revealed

Along with Bat and the Cat poster, the official The Batman poster is revealed on Twitter.
January 20, 2022
<a href="">The Batman Has a Nearly 3 Hour Runtime<br></a>

The Batman Has a Nearly 3 Hour Runtime

From multiple sources, including IMDB, it was released/leaked that the film was nearly 3 hours long, clocking in at 2 hrs 55 mins including credits, the longest for any Batman film.
January 20, 2022
<a href="">The Batman theme released</a>

The Batman theme released

The full main theme for The Batman, composed by Michael Giacchino, was released for the first time.
January 21, 2022
<a href="">Batman TV spots begin to be released</a>

Batman TV spots begin to be released

TV spots begin to be released online and on TV. These continue to be released over the next few months, so in the interest of brevity, below is a compilation of all these TV spots.
January 22, 2022
<a href="">New Cast Poster Released</a>

New Cast Poster Released

A new cast poster for The Batman is released on Twitter, showcasing all the principal cast.
January 26, 2022
<a href="">The Funeral Scene released</a>

The Funeral Scene released

Matt Reeves Posts “The Funeral Scene” on Twitter, giving us a sneak peek at the final film.
January 30, 2022
<a href="">Riddler Takeover begins</a>

Riddler Takeover begins

As part of the viral marketing for The Batman based around the riddler, four posters that have been defaced by the villain were released on Twitter.
February 2, 2022
<a href="">The Riddler theme released</a>

The Riddler theme released

Water Tower Records released the theme for The Riddler, composed by Michael Giacchino, on Twitter.
February 4, 2022
<a href="">Box office predictions are made</a>

Box office predictions are made

Box Office Pro released their projections for The Batman, estimating the film to have a 3-day opening weekend take between $135-185 million domestically.  In terms of Batman on film history, $135 million would rank fourth all-time while $185 million would make it #1.
February 5, 2022
<a href="">Tickets go on sale</a>

Tickets go on sale

As announced on Twitter, and during NFL playoff games just over a week ago, tickets officially go on sale for The Batman.
February 10, 2022
Jeffery Wright on The Late Show

Jeffery Wright on The Late Show

Jeffery Wright, who plays Lt. James Gordon in The Batman — was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and talked about the film and playing Gordon.
February 15, 2022
<a href="">Robert Pattinson Talks The Batman On Jimmy Kimmel</a>

Robert Pattinson Talks The Batman On Jimmy Kimmel

Pattinson appeared on Late Night TV on the Jimmy Kimmel show to talk about the new Batman film and brought along a new clip from the film with him.
February 17, 2022
<a href="">Colin Farrell talks The Batman and the new Penguin HBO Max Series</a>

Colin Farrell talks The Batman and the new Penguin HBO Max Series

In an article with, Colin Farrell discussed his new role as The Penguin in The Batman and the upcoming Penguin TV show coming to HBO Max.

We have to get into what made him the man he is. And also, it will pick up where [THE BATMAN] finished off I think. I think it’ll pick up a little short time after the last frame of this film.  We’ll get to go on a little kind of left turn off to the world of Oz and how he’s beginning to kind of dream of filling a potential power vacuum that may exist.
February 23, 2022

<a href="">The Batman full score released</a>

The Batman full score released

Just ahead of the release of the film, the full soundtrack to The Batman has been released, with the full score on Youtube.
February 26, 2022
<a href="">World premiere of The Batman</a>

World premiere of The Batman

Following special screenings in Paris on Feb 21 and London on Feb 23, the world premiere for The Batman was held on March 1 at the Lincoln Center in New York City, alongside 350 advance IMAX screenings.
March 1, 2022

<a href="">The Batman is finally released</a>

The Batman is finally released

After all the setbacks, changes of directors and actors, global pandemics, release date changes and huge anticipation, The Batman (2022) gets its full wide release into cinemas.
March 4, 2022
Big box office takings for The Batman

Big box office takings for The Batman

The Batman grossed $134 million in its opening weekend, becoming the second pandemic-era film to gross over $100 million domestically in its opening weekend. It also became Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing pandemic-era film domestically in just three days.

As of March 15th 2022, the film had grossed $479.2 million worldwide.
March 7, 2022
Greg and Dave go to see The Batman

Greg and Dave go to see The Batman

Just a week after its release, Greg and Dave headed to the Odeon to finally experience The Batman for MoreMovies.
March 11, 2022
Deleted Joker Scene Released

Deleted Joker Scene Released

A new deleted scene was released online giving us a glimpse of Barry Keoghan as the Joker, perhaps an insight into what is to come next.
March 24, 2022

Be sure to check out our thoughts on The Batman this Friday in More Movies Weekly 42.

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David Roberts
Dave is a digital content creator, web and software developer and keen filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @drobertsdigital.