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Here's Why The Batman Won't Be Available In Russia

The release of a new Batman movie is always a major film industry event, and doubly so when it changes the franchise's direction in a significant manner — or, even better, marks the debut of a brand new actor donning the cape, the cowl, and the kevlar armor. Matt Reeves' "The Batman" checks all those boxes and more. Its detective noir approach is markedly different from Zack Snyder's more action-oriented Batman, and the movie's lean, young, slightly DIY Caped Crusader (Robert Pattinson) is a considerable departure from Ben Affleck's buff, grizzled, and aging Dark Knight.

The movie's casting is also a far cry from your typical Hollywood fare. Pattinson, Paul Dano (who plays The Riddler), and Zoë Kravitz (Catwoman) may be no strangers to major motion pictures, but they come with plenty of indie credibility to go with their requisite drama plaudits. Meanwhile, arguably the biggest traditional movie star in the film, Colin Farrell, plays the Penguin under a veritable mountain of make-up and prosthetics. 

As such, there are plenty of fans who can't wait for the movie's release — both in the U.S. and other countries. In fact, with the movie cleared for release in China, "The Batman" might have a decent chance to become a massive global super-hit — a rare feat in this day and age. However, there's one market that won't get to enjoy the movie and its jaw-dropping runtime, because "The Batman" won't be available in Russian movie theaters. Let's take a look at the reasons behind this omission.    

Russia's invasion of Ukraine put The Batman on hold in the country

The reason "The Batman" won't make an appearance in Russian cinemas in the foreseeable future is the country's invasion of Ukraine, as CNN Business reports. This isn't a logistical issue, either — the film's distributor specifically made the decision to pull the movie. The announcement is one of the most high-profile among the several recent entertainment industry decisions to take business away from Russia. 

"In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film 'The Batman' in Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves," a spokesperson for the company shed light on the decision.

It remains to be seen how the situation develops, but the aforementioned WarnerMedia spokesperson expressed the company's wish of how it should wrap up. "We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy," they said, and the sentiment is very easy to agree with.

What people are saying about the decision

The latest developments of "The Batman" and its Russian release — or, rather, the lack of it — have been duly noted in the people's court of social media, and multiple Twitter users have spoken their minds about the situation. Though people appreciate — or at the very least understand — the decision, there are different opinions about its meaningfulness and effectiveness. 

Some people have been quick to show their support. "The Batman film release is on hold for Russia. Good. Moral principal over profits, Even in hard times. Good for Warner Bros.," Twitter user @StevenPotts7 expressed their support. User @Ring_Of_Truth thought along the same lines. "I congratulate Warner Bros for pulling out of distributing in Russia what is touted as their block buster of the year, the movie 'The Batman'," they wrote.

Others, however, were skeptical about the move, and pointed out that pausing a movie's release is unlikely to have an impact in the grand scheme of things. "That'll stop them," user @itsbigian tweeted their sardonic response to the news, clearly doubting the decision's ability to affect anything. "Movie companies are really acting like the batman not releasing in russia is going to make putin stop smh," @SIRENCORE agreed.  

Other movie industry giants are doing the same

Thanks to the impeding release date of "The Batman" and the massive hype surrounding it, Warner Bros. pulling the movie from Russia is arguably the hardest immediate blow to the country's movie theaters. However, it's far from the only one Russia has taken from the entertainment industry as of late. In fact, multiple entertainment juggernauts have made similar decisions. 

On the streaming side of things, Netflix recently refused to add state-mandated content on its platform in Russia (via Deadline). WarnerMedia's fellow movie business greats have also announced that their movies won't be released in Russia until further notice. Per CNN, Disney's release pause in the country means titles like "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" might not see a Russian release. Sony, according to Deadline, will do the same with "Morbius," as well as all the other movies it had planned to release in the country. 

"The Batman" will premiere in U.S. theaters on March 4.