Warner Bros. still plans to light the Bat-Signal on March 4. Sony's Morbius may have moved out of January into April, but the other bat movie is staying the course: WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar says the studio has an eye on Omicron but doesn't expect to delay The Batman amid the latest coronavirus surge. After Sony shifted its Spider-Man Universe spin-off out of winter to spring 2022, it sparked concern of a domino effect of the delays that plagued the theatrical landscape in 2020 and 2021. In a new interview with Puck News, Kilar confirms The Batman remains dated for March:
"We're certainly paying attention to everything going on with Omicron," Kilar answered when asked if Warner Bros. has discussed pushing The Batman after the first superhero movie of the year vacated January for April. "We feel good about the date right now. We're gonna watch it day by day."
Sony Pictures reportedly delayed Morbius not because of the Omicron variant but because of the blockbuster success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the Marvel Studios co-production that has hauled in $1.5 billion globally since December 17 despite the virus. Other studios, including Paramount and Disney, are sticking to theatrical-only releases for Scream (January 14), Jackass Forever (February 4), and Death on the Nile (February 11).
Whenever it opens, Kilar confirmed the Matt Reeves reboot would be available to stream on HBO Max after a 45-day exclusive theatrical window. Should The Batman remain on its March 4 date, that puts the DC movie in living rooms as soon as April 19.
Warners committed to the 45-day window for 2022 after Kilar's experimental and sometimes controversial hybrid release model made 17 movies available on HBO Max on the same day they opened in theaters, including Godzilla vs. Kong, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Dune, The Matrix Resurrections, and DC's own Wonder Woman 1984 and The Suicide Squad. While that strategy won't carry over into 2022, Kilar pointed out in a previous interview that new movies will be on the streaming service much faster — just six weeks.
"I feel really, really good knowing that The Batman, and Black Adam, and The Flash, and Elvis, and a whole host of other movies, are literally going to be showing up on day 46 on HBO Max in a variety of territories all over the world," Kilar told Vox's Recode last month. "That is a very, very big change that I don't think people appreciate, and I feel really good about it."
Kilar added, "Think about when movies would show up on HBO, which is eight to nine months after theatrical premiere. The Batman is going to show up on day 46 on HBO Max. That is a huge change from where things were in 2018, 2017, 2016."
Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell, The Batman opens exclusively in theaters on March 4. If you haven't signed up for HBO Max yet, you can try it out here.