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Bad News Just Dropped For The Batman

Fans of the caped crusader will have to be patient as they wait to see the first attempt at Batman in a post-Ben Affleck universe. 

Warner Bros. announced on April 20 that it has postponed the release of The Batman, citing the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic as reason for the delay (via The Hollywood Reporter).

The Batman is the the first standalone Batman film since Christopher Nolan wrapped his Christian Bale-led Dark Knight trilogy in 2012. The film stars former-teen-heartthrob-turned-indie-actor-extraordinaire Robert Pattinson in the title role, taking over from Affleck, who appeared as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The first solo Batman film in almost a decade was scheduled to drop in the heat of next year's blockbuster season, on June 25, 2021. However, the global fight against the coronavirus and the distancing measures it requires have delayed production on The Batman. This has, in turn, set the film back on the road to release; The Batman is now scheduled to launch on October 1, 2021.

The team behind The Batman began production in London in January. Production went on what was initially a two-week hiatus in mid-March, when the impact of the coronavirus was becoming clear. They have not yet resumed production, as the U.K. — along with the rest of the world — continues to battle the virus.

The Batman isn't alone in being pushed back

The Batman wasn't singled out in the news of delayed releases and shuffled calendars. All of Warner Bros.' upcoming slate is being pushed around as the domino effect of delays works itself out. The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark was pushed back to March 12, 2021 from a planned release date of September 25, 2020. With this year's Oscar season in shambles, the studio also opted to push back King Richard, the biopic on Serena and Venus Williams' father, all the way to next November; it was originally scheduled to open this November 25.

Additionally, several DC releases are up in the air. The Flash is being moved up to June 3, 2022 — from an originally planned July 1, 2022 release — to accommodate recently moved projects. Fans of Zachary Levi will be bummed to learn that Shazam! 2 will land on November 4, 2022 instead of April 1, 2022. If you had the studio's as-yet-unnamed Elvis biopic on your calendars, prepare to be even more disappointed: the story of the King has been pushed back from October 2021 to November of that year. This was likely to make room for The Batman, now set to fly into theaters when the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic was originally slated to debut.

The Batman has faced fan backlash — could this delay be beneficial?

When details of The Batman made their way to the press, the fan reaction was swift and largely negative. Batman fanboys bristled at the idea of the former Twilight star donning the helm of Bruce Wayne's alter-ego. Reaction stayed mixed even after director Matt Reeves shared Pattinson's screen test in the newly built Batsuit.

"Wow. Is there a rule at WB/DC that no Batman actor can have a decent-looking costume anymore?" wrote one Twitter user. Countered another, "The new Batman suit looks incredible for what it is. Man I'm so excited for Matt Reeves' take on the character."

Here at Looper, we're all aboard the hype train for Robert Pattinson's Batman, as he's proven to be an incredibly gifted actor with an excellent range. We know he's particularly well-suited for a role that calls for brooding.

Skeptics and enthusiasts alike will all have to delay judgement on "The Battinson," however, as the movie is still well over a year away from rolling out. It's definitely nerve-racking to think about the potential consequences of delaying The Batman from its prime summer blockbuster release date to an October launch, but on the flip side, perhaps extra time to build excitement will work in the film's favor. A few more months to think about Pattinson portraying Bruce Wayne — in what Reeves has described as a "point-of-view-driven, noir Batman tale [...] that will be thrilling but also emotional" — could be exactly what fans on the fence need to go all in on The Batman

What fans are saying about The Batman's delay

Speaking of fans, they had plenty to say about The Batman being delayed from late June to early October 2021. As predicted, some looked on the bright side of the push-back, looking to the success of another DC-made comic book movie that premiered in October to predict similar triumph for The Batman

"Given how well Joker did in [its] October release date slot, seems like a no-brainer to release The Batman in that same month," wrote Twitter user @CinematicBanter, referring to Todd Phillips' gritty origin-story-slash-cautionary-tale that starred Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, scooped up multiple Oscars, and earned over $1 billion at the global box office. 

Some fans, like user @henrycavills, were totally distraught over the news, writing, "All I want is to see Rob as Batman, but now I have to wait even longer. This is my own personal hell." 

Others' reactions were a balance between the two, expressing disappointment over The Batman being delayed and noting that there are positive trade-offs that come with it. One fan tweeted, "The delay will never stop making me think of what could've been an amazing summer. But on the bright side, we're now getting a Batman movie in October for the first time (Joker excluded) which is 100% on brand, and the movie can get its SDCC hype that was taken from this year." 

User @TheBCEU also noted that the delay was "kinda inevitable" but "a good thing for so many reasons": fans are getting another dark comic book movie event taking place in October, the Batman reveals at next year's San Diego Comic-Con (which historically takes place in July) will be amazing now that the film is opening after the convention that was cancelled for 2020, and "the film will be closer to awards season." Like the fan tweeted, "The ONLY issue here is patience."

The Batman will open in theaters on October 1, 2021.