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The Batman Set Photos Offer First Look At Gotham City

The Batman is in front of the cameras, and a couple of intrepid Twitter users have given us our first look at director Matt Reeves' solo vehicle for the Dark Knight.

User @100Jordanlee shared a series of set photos showing off the look of Gotham's cops, cop cars, and some utility vehicles. Said look could accurately be described as "grounded." Additionally, Twitterer @WadeGrav took to the social media platform to post a few more shots of Gotham-branded vehicles, as well as first looks at Colin Farrell as the Penguin and (drum roll, please) Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne.

Reeves' version of Gotham is shaping up to be quite a bit less stylized than in some previous adaptations, with its gritty, real-world look being perhaps closer to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and the recent smash hit Joker than anything else. Before you ask, though, that flick's director Todd Phillips has already made it quite clear that his film (which is set in the early '80s) is not connected to The Batman in any way, shape or form.

Of course, with the streets of London portraying the stomping grounds of the Caped Crusader, we're still seeing a touch of Old World architecture mixed in with modern sensibilities. It's a far cry, however, from the bizarrely rendered cityscape of Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns — and an even further cry from the candy-coated video game that was Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever and Batman and Robin.

The Batman's set photos aren't giving away too much

Without any further ado, let's dig into the images posted by @100Jordanlee, who shared them along with the caption, "Running down the Thames today and see this!" The first pic shows us several members of Gotham's finest, who appear to be taking some kind of lunch break. Wait, is that some piece of bagged evidence in the hands of that one cop, or is it a couple of sandwiches brought from home? It's tough to say.

Next, we have a photo of series of vehicles: a Gotham Action News production truck, a cop car, a taxicab, and what appears to be just a civilian's car. There may actually be an important detail or two we can glean from this photo, which we'll get to shortly. This pic also gives an idea of this scene's setting: those aren't towering skyscrapers in the background. They look more like the type of buildings you might find on college campuses.

Finally, another image appears to be shot on the same street, with a Gotham Water & Power vehicle front and center. (In case you can't make it out, the utility company's slogan is "Powering On.") We can also see a guy on his smartphone behind the truck, which may or may not simply be a crew member. If he's actually in the shot, though, he may be helpfully narrowing down the flick's period setting, which we'll get to in a bit.

More set photos from The Batman show us the movie's stars

First, though, let's check out the pics posted by @WadeGrav. The first image gives us a better look at the Gotham Action News truck, as well as a couple vans that are tagging along, one belonging to the Gotham PD; another shot gives us a great close-up gander at a squad car.  We then have a pic of a different news van from a rival network, which also gives us a more clear peek at Gotham's boys in blue — as does an additional image, which looks like it may have actually been taken during filming.

Then, we get to the really interesting stuff. That crafty @WadeGrav managed to snap not one, but two pics of Farrell's Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin; while he's sporting a non-characteristically clean-cut look, his signature umbrella (not to mention his weird, penguin-like stance in the second image) is a dead giveaway.

Finally, here's Battinson. He's astride a motorcycle, and his face is obscured and/or his dome helmeted in all of the pics, but that image is quite clearly the film's star. There's also a similar shot from a wider angle, and a couple more — one a bit blurry, the other quite clear — taken while his helmet was on, in which the cameras appeared to be rolling.

When is The Batman set?

Checking out these photos, we can get a pretty good idea of just when that period setting might be. First of all, the makes of the vehicles indicate that it doesn't take place in the '80s or early '90s, but in a more recent time period. The biggest clue, though, comes from that news truck.

You may have noticed that the graphic on the side of the vehicle proudly boasts that Gotham Action News is broadcasting in HD. In the U.S. (the version in our boring real world), HD broadcasting began in 1996, but didn't gain traction until the middle of the next decade. By late in that decade, the switch from analog to HD was complete; most stations shut down their analog transmitters for good in 2009.

Taken along with the apparent vintage of the cars in these shots (and assuming that the Bat-verse's technology timeline is similar to the real world's), we can comfortably put The Batman's period setting right around the middle of the '00s — a time when HD broadcasts were no longer a complete novelty, but not so widespread that broadcasters wouldn't crow about the fact that they were on board with the new tech. Also, if the dude on the smartphone is indeed an actor and not part of the crew, we can say with near-certainty that the flick takes place sometime after 2007, which is when the iPhone first hit the market.

Now that production is on full swing on The Batman, we should be able to mine little nuggets of info like this with slightly more regularity. You can bet that we'll have our finger on the pulse of the shoot, and we'll be here to report on any and all relevant info.

The Batman is slated to hit the big screen on June 25, 2021.