Skip to main content

The Batman will be the longest Batman film ever

This March, viewers will get to enjoy Gotham City a little longer than usual. Deadline revealed today that The Batman, Matt Reeves’ gritty take on the Dark Knight, will clock in at 167 minutes. That’s the longest Batman film yet, with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises the previous record holder at 165 minutes.

THE BATMAN - The Bat and The Cat Trailer

Starring Robert Pattinson as the titular hero, The Batman will need every minute it can get as it serves as a new beginning for the DC hero after years of false starts and relatively unimpressive DC Extended Universe appearances. Set shortly after the Caped Crusader has established his unique brand of vigilante justice, the film chronicles Bruce Wayne’s initial encounters with the mysterious Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Colin Farrell’s Bugsy Siegel-like mobster the Penguin, and Paul Dano’s the Riddler, who is revamped to look and act more like the Zodiac killer than the traditionally comical villain that Jim Carrey immortalized in Batman Forever. Joining Batman in his quest to eradicate crime is Jeffrey Wright’s beleaguered James Gordon and Andy Serkis as Bruce Wayne’s faithful (and in the film’s trailer, increasingly horrified) butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

Robert Pattinson in The Batman.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With three confirmed villains, a new continuity, and a large cast, it’s understandable that Reeves would need nearly three hours to tell his tale and reboot a valuable brand for both WB and future owner Discovery. In comparison, Tim Burton’s first Batman film in 1989 was a slim 126 minutes, while Joel Schumacher needed only 120 minutes to establish his campy spin on the DC hero in 1995’s Batman Forever. At 140 minutes, Christopher Nolan required more time than his predecessors to redefine the Dark Knight in Batman Begins as he featured two villains (Ra’s al Ghul and the Scarecrow) and a relatively complex origin story. As a sequel to Man of Steel, a team-up between two iconic DC heroes, and a prequel to Justice League, Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 crammed a lot of exposition (and large amounts of unconvincing CGI) into its 152 minutes in an ultimately futile attempt to launch the DC Extended Universe.

Colin Farrell as The Penguin in the new film The Batman.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While The Batman is the longest Batman film to date, it’s not the longest superhero movie ever. That honor goes to Zach Snyder’s Justice League, the extended cut of the heavily reshot 2017 original. At 242 minutes, the film will most likely keep that distinction until the inevitable (and still imaginary) Avengers vs. Justice League movie in 2045.

The Batman is scheduled to premiere in theatres on March 4, 2022. After its 45-day exclusive theatrical run, the film will debut on HBO Max on April 19.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
3 best DC movies to watch on Netflix in December
The cast of The Suicide Squad standing in rubble.

As saturated as the current streaming market is, blockbuster franchises are still moving between platforms, including Netflix's recent additions from Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Studios. The streaming juggernaut is adding an entire collection's worth of DC's contemporary theatrical releases.

These movies range from superhero icons out of DC Comics' source material to an antihero-themed team-up. Each of these titles offers unique and entertaining flavors of the superhero film genre sure to satisfy fans looking for something moody and atmospheric or some over-the-top action with raunchy comedy. Along with the rest of Netflix's diverse catalog of movies and shows, these DC features are great standalone stories.
The Batman (2022)

Read more
5 best Batman villains ever, ranked
Joker and several other Batman villains in comic book art for Hush.

Is Batman the greatest character in comic book history? Arguably, yes. The Dark Knight is among the genre's most complex and layered figures, a fascinating study of trauma, grief, and unwavering loyalty. Batman's storylines, set against the bleak backdrop of the morally bankrupt cesspool that is Gotham City, are all about the struggle to save a corrupt city from itself. Gotham is more than willing to descend into chaos and madness, often led by one or more of Batman's most iconic villains.

Indeed, part of what makes the Caped Crusader such a fascinating and enduring figure is his collection of deranged enemies, all of whom have a tight grasp on the city, even from the confinement of Arkham's walls. Batman's villains are dark reflections of the Dark Knight, representing the darkest corners of his broken and dangerous psyche. Perhaps that's what sets them apart from the usual brand of over-the-top-bordering-on-ridiculous comic book villains. Batman's foes have panache to spare, but they also have that which eludes so many other comic creations: gravitas. And while Arkham Asylum has more than its fair share of noteworthy residents, a few stand out as the best Batman villains of all time.
5. The Penguin

Read more
10 worst action heroes ever, ranked
Catwoman cocks her head to the side in Catwoman

Action heroes come in all different shapes and sizes. Some action heroes have big muscles (Alan "Dutch" Schaefer) and elite combat skills (John Rambo). Other action heroes rely on their bravery (Indiana Jones) and intelligence (Ethan Hunt). And if you're John McClane, your foul mouth will either make or break you.

The action heroes listed above are some of the most iconic characters of the last 50 years. But, for every legend, there is a dud on the opposite end of the spectrum. These disappointing action heroes failed for various reasons, from the performance and script to the premise and execution. These are the 10 worst action heroes.
10. The Guy - Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)

Read more