Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Batman's Massive Run Time Could Have Been Even Longer

"The Batman" has had a difficult journey to the big screen. Ben Affleck was originally set to direct, co-write, and star in the film, which was intended to have the same continuity as "Batman v Superman" and "Justice League." The star eventually stepped away from the project, with Matt Reeves coming on board as director, and Robert Pattinson signing on to play the Caped Crusader. Even when production started, the film was faced with extensive delays thanks to the pandemic; Pattinson himself reportedly caught COVID-19 in September 2020. 

Despite the delays, fans have kept the faith, no doubt buoyed by the impressive trailers for the film that give a taste of Reeves' intense vision for Batman, Gotham City, and the Riddler (Paul Dano). "The Batman" sees the Dark Knight in his second year of crime-fighting as he tackles institutional corruption, while also grappling with the Riddler's chaotic plans for the city. He'll also meet Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), as well as gangsters like the Penguin (Colin Farrell) and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro). So, it's fair to say that Reeves is playing with plenty of chess pieces. 

It isn't so surprising, then, that the film is two hours and 55 minutes long — including credits — since the story will clearly have a lot of moving parts. But a new report suggests that the massive run time of "The Batman" could have been even longer.

There's reportedly a four-hour cut of The Batman

According to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat-Vision newsletter, the studio tested a four-hour-long cut of "The Batman." Clearly, Matt Reeves has a very big story to tell in this new, grimy Gotham. The newsletter didn't reveal what else test audiences were shown in the extended cut, but it probably further illuminated Reeves' vision for Gotham and its denizens. It's also entirely possible that Warner Bros. didn't ever intend to release the four-hour cut to general audiences, and that the screening was a way of gauging the overall consensus was about the director's vision.

Hopefully, the director has found a good way of cutting the movie down to its current run time of two hours and 55 minutes. Reeves recently took to Twitter to explain that he's finished "quality control" on the film, as well as praising Dolby Vision and Dolby Sound for what they add to it. Whatever ended up on the cutting-room floor, now that fans know a four-hour cut exists, it probably won't be long until they start campaigning to release the "Reeves cut." 

Thankfully there isn't long to wait until audiences dive into this new Gotham, as "The Batman" arrives in theaters on March 4, 2022.