Filmmaker Matt Reeves’ The Batman is shaping up to be quite an interesting take on the Caped Crusader mythos. We’ll be seeing some members of Batman’s rogues gallery that haven’t appeared in a live-action film since before Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and the casting is all certainly making a buzz.
Read on to discover all the characters, and their actors, that have been confirmed for The Batman, as well what we can likely expect from the performances.
Bruce Wayne/Batman – Robert Pattinson
There was definitely a spark of fan outrage when news broke that the Twilight star would be playing the Dark Knight, but the British actor has starred in enough high-quality arthouse releases in the last few years (i.e. Good Time, High Life, The Lighthouse) to shed most of his teen heartthrob image. He’s proven to be an actor of great range and formidable gravity and has delivered some of the most emotional scenes in recent mainstream cinema. Also of note, he’s set to appear in next summer’s Tenet, directed by former Batman helmer Christopher Nolan.
That said, he sounds like a safe bet to us.
Of course, it will be interesting to see how Pattinson's performance compares to that of Christian Bale, the last Brit to play Bruce Wayne. Twilight viewers might be thinking that we’ll get a more sullen Batman based on Pattinson as Edward Cullen, but giving his evident range, we could just as easily expect a more brash and domineering take on the famous superhero.
Commissioner Gordon – Jeffrey Wright
Batman’s best ally on the Gotham Police Force will be portrayed as an African American for the first time in the franchise’s 80-year history. A renowned actor, Wright is known for his no-nonsense approach to his material, and for his reserved and humanistic delivery. This definitely sounds a good pick for Gotham City’s senior police officer.
Carmine Falcon – John Turturro
The high-ranking Gotham mobster (who has appeared in pivotal Batman comics such as Batman: Year One, as well as The Dark Knight film trilogy) will be played by character actor John Turturro. A man who has had no shortage of engaging roles throughout his career (the least of which not being his role as pederast bowler Jesus in The Big Lebowski), it’ll be interesting to see how he interprets this well-worn foe of the Caped Crusader. Perhaps this will prove an opportunity for Turturro to show a more menacing side.
Selena Kyle/Catwoman – Zoe Kravitz
The Big Little Lies star will be playing the iconic villain/anti-hero Catwoman. She’s certainly no stranger to comic book films, having been featured in both X-Men: First Class and Enter the Spider-Verse, as well as high-octane thrillers like Mad Max: Fury Road. In fact, she even voiced Catwoman already in The LEGO Batman Movie. Plus, we’ve seen her give truly sobering performances in her more dramatic fare. In a similar vein to Jeffrey Wright’s casting as Commissioner Gordon, this is one of the few times that Selena Kyle has been portrayed as an African American, although it’s not the first movie to do so (that honor goes to the dismal Halle Berry-starring Catwoman from 2004).
Alfred Pennyworth – Andy Serkis
The British actor best known for his motion-capture roles (most notably Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films and Ceasar in the Planet of the Apes films) will be portraying Bruce Wayne’s trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth in The Batman. Reeves previously directed him in two of the aforementioned Planet of the Apes installments and it stands to reason that this take on the character will be seen in some action sequences. Anyone who's read enough Batman comics is aware that Alfred is actually a military veteran, and Serkis would certainly be up for such set-pieces if they were called for.
The Penguin – Colin Farrell
The Irish leading man doesn’t initially come off as a first-pick for The Penguin, quite possibly Batman’s stodgiest foe. That said, we have seen the actor is quite capable of body-transformation, and Reeves' interpretation of the character might depart from the comics. Whatever the case, we can likely expect a less carnivalesque depiction than the one seen in Batman Returns (although would anyone really have objected to Danny DeVito reprising the role?).
The Riddler – Paul Dano
The There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine actor will be portraying Batman’s most inquisitive enemy. This will mark the character’s first big-screen appearance since Jim Carrey played him in 1995’s Batman Forever, and we can probably expect a less campy (albeit still humorous) take on the villain. Dano has shown to be very versatile in his roles, too, but it will be interesting to see exactly how madcap he gets here. Also, we’ll have to see if both Reeves and Dano avoid the character foil of portraying the character as essentially The Joker-lite.
Jayme Lawson – ???
This one is a bit of a mystery. The recent Julliard graduate doesn't have much of an established track record, and details on her character are scarce. However, one report suggests she'll play a character named Bella, who's described as "a grassroots political candidate running for office in Gotham." In this case, we'll just have to wait and see.
Directed and co-written by Matt Reeves, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro and Jayme Lawson. The film arrives June 25, 2021.