Director Matt Reeves could ignite the Bat signal for filming on The Batman in late 2019 or 2020, reports Variety, who note studio Warner Bros. has yet to set an official start date. Pre-production is expected to launch this summer.
Variety on Thursday reported former Twilight star Robert Pattinson was “top choice” for the role of a younger Bruce Wayne and that the deal is expected to close shortly.
Deadline noted Dark Phoenix star Nicholas Hoult, reportedly a favorite of Reeves and the studio, was still in the running for the coveted role alongside frontrunner Pattinson. Both stars top a shortlist that reportedly includes Call Me by Your Name star Armie Hammer, who has long denied he’s been approached for the next Batman, and Avengers: Age of Ultron star Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
The eventual winner will play a less fully formed caped crusader just starting out as a costumed crime-fighter.
Story details are closely guarded, but Reeves aims to tell a “very point of view noir-driven definitive Batman story in which he is investigating a particular case and that takes us out into the world of Gotham.”
“I went on a deep dive again revisiting all my favorite comics. Those all inform by osmosis,” Reeves said last summer during the Television Critics Association press tour. “There’s no continuation of the [Christopher] Nolan films. It’s very much trying to find a way to do this as something that for me is going to be definitively Batman and new and cool.”
Reeves also said he is “definitely not doing Year One,” an origin story that in part inspired Nolan’s 2005 reboot Batman Begins.
“It’s just exciting to be focused very specifically on a tale that is defining for him and very personal to him. Obviously we’re not doing an origin tale or anything like that,” Reeves said.
“We’re doing a story that is definitively Batman though, and trying to tell a story that’s emotional and yet is really about him being the world’s greatest detective and all the things that for me, since I was a kid, made me love Batman.”
When naming his favorite Batman stories, Reeves pointed to the early works of Batman co-creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, as well as Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, Batman: Ego, Year One, the works of Neal Adams and “many others.”
Warner Bros. releases The Batman June 25, 2021.