There have been some great years for Batman on film over the years with 1989 and 2008 being the two best.
BATMAN — directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton in the title role — hit theaters in the Summer of 1989 along with a tidal wave of Batmania and was a worldwide cultural phenomenon.
In 2008, director Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT with Christian Bale in the cape and cowl also brought about a round of Bat-Hysteria…which was certainly helped by the “Why So Serious?” viral campaign, the late Heath Ledger’s fantastic performance as The Joker, and the fact that the film is brilliant.
While I’m not predicting a fourth or fifth round of Batmania in 2022, but I will say the year looks like it could end up being the best year for Batman on film in, well, ever.
Right off the bat (pun 100% intended) in March, we’re getting the first solo Batman movie in a decade in director Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN starring Robert Pattinson. Then at the tail-end of 2022, we’re getting two Batmans in THE FLASH come November as both Ben Affleck and Micheal Keaton show up as their respective versions of The Dark Knight. Never before have we gotten two live-action, big-screen Batman movies released during the same year. And yes, I’m counting THE FLASH as a Batman film since Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne is essentially the co-lead.
In a nutshell, Batman on film in 2020 will bring us…
THE BATMAN — A dark, gritty, street-level, noir, and grounded Batman film in which Batman will be featured as a great detective. It’s also the start of a new cinematic Bat-Trilogy that will also include spinoff series on HBO Max.
THE FLASH — The return of Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne for the first time in 30 years, as well as Ben Affleck getting his “cool way to segue out of the role” that he’s long wanted.
And that’s not all…maybe.
BATGIRL will not only star Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, but Michael Keaton is in the dadgum thing as her mentor, Bruce Wayne! To note, BATGIRL is tentatively penciled in as a 2022 release on HBO Max, so if it does drop — and that would obviously be after THE FLASH in November — that’ll be gravy. (For the record, I think BATGIRL will end up debuting in 2023 and might end up with a theatrical release.)
Again, I’m not predicting that THE BATMAN or THE FLASH will bring about the sort of Batmania we experienced in 2008 and 1989 (and lest we forget, 1966), but getting to experience two Batman movies and three Batmans in one year is going to be a blast for all Batman fans…well, those of us that are going to allow themselves to enjoy it instead of hashtagging 24/7. – Bill “Jett” Ramey
THE BATMAN hits theaters on March 4, 2022. Follow BOF’s Everything About THE BATMAN Page. Make plans to attend BOF’s THE BATMAN Watch Party.