The Batman Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Gotham City is mired in corruption and crime. Billionaire Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), the owner of WayneCorp, whose parents were killed when Bruce was very young, has been fighting crime as Batman for two years and is obsessed with his mission to rid the city of criminals.

Batman is still not particularly well known, he has not yet become a media hero: ordinary citizens are wary of him, the police consider him some kind of freak and do not want to cooperate with him, but police lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) trusts Batman and share information with him.

During the celebration of Halloween, a new crime occurred: a serial killer nicknamed the Riddler (Paul Dano) killed the mayor of the city, Don Mitchell Jr. At the crime scene, the killer left a special message for Batman. James Gordon allowed Batman to be present at the crime scene along with forensics, for which he received a stick from his boss Pete Savage, but at the same time Batman found some clues in the mayor’s house.

The investigation leads Batman and Gordon to the Iceberg Lounge, which is run by Penguin (Colin Farrell), an assistant to a very powerful crime boss named Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).

Meanwhile, the Riddler continues to kill the city’s most notorious people, each time leaving a mystery message for Batman.


A Brief History of Batman. The first modern “Batman” (the previous “Batman” was made in 1966) was directed by Tim Burton in 1989. Batman was played by Michael Keaton, and the Joker was portrayed by Jack Nicholson, creating a very bright and sinister image. In 1992, Burton directed the sequel “Batman Returns”, where, in addition to Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, who portrayed the Penguin, and Michelle Pfeiffer, who played Catwoman, were busy as Batman.

After that, the franchise began to choke: first, Joel Schumacher directed the extremely cool received Batman Forever, in which Batman was portrayed by Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones played Harvey Dent, and Jim Carrey played the Riddler. Well, the subsequent in 1997 “Batman and Robin” by the same director with George Clooney in the role of Batman was just some kind of complete bottom (rating on IMDB 3.7 and ten nominations for “Golden Raspberry”), and on this solemn note, the franchise seems to be buried forever.

However, after eight years, Christopher Nolan dug up the stewardess, putting a prequel to this whole story, called “Batman Begins.” Behind Nolan at that time was already well-received by critics and the audience “Remember”, but moviegoers believed that Christopher climbed these galleys in vain and that nothing good would come of it.

However, with the prequel, Christopher Nolan made a very unexpected move. Instead of a comic book about superheroes – and the previous films were just that – Nolan made a realistic drama that did not have any hints of superheroes. His Bruce Wayne comes from a very wealthy family who experienced a terrible shock as a child: his parents were killed in front of his eyes. And when Bruce grew up, he began to fight crime in his native Gotham City in the form of Batman: man-bat. Batman is not a superhero, he just uses the achievements of modern science.

It was still masterfully staged and acted, and as a result, the film was well received by both critics and the audience: on IMDB it has a rating of as much as 8.2, although the box office success of the film is quite modest – CCC 2.47, that is, the picture is at least measure should pay off.

But after this film, Nolan already had a complete carte blanche to continue the franchise, and he even surpassed the expectations of movie fans, because the next “The Dark Knight” became one of the main movie hits of those years: it has a rating of 9.0, a CCC of 5.4 and gave us one of the brightest and most impressive movie villains – the Joker in a stunning performance by Heath Ledger. However, we note that this was just a pure comic book movie, and not a realistic drama.

The triquel “The Dark Knight Rises” was also good, purely spectacular, showed TCC 4, but it was clear from it that Nolan had no new ideas and he was just working out old numbers. He himself clearly understood this, therefore, despite the fact that Robin appeared at the end of the triquel, hinting at a continuation, there was no continuation.

However, Warner Bros., the owner of the Batman and Superman franchise, continued to develop all this comic superhero stuff, and since they have every red shorts in the account – tea is not Marvel, who have these superheroes at least eat booty – they first launched a solo Superman, and then proceeded to the most complicated surgical operation of merging two superheroes in the territory of one of them.

Nolan refused to direct the new “Superman”, so Zack Snyder had to take care of this whole story, who directed “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, where Superman was played by the same Henry Cavil from the solo album, and Ben Affleck was invited to play the role of Batman, and this was the saddest Batman in the entire franchise. Yes, and the kintso turned out very, very so-so, but KKU 3.4 was quite decent.

Also, the studio put Batman and Superman in their response to Marvel under the name “Justice League”, and it was completely dull, plus the fees were actually a failure.

At the same time, the idea to launch a separate new Batman (without any Superman) was hatched by both the studio and Ben Affleck for a long time, since 2014. Moreover, Affleck’s participation was supposed to be total: he worked on the script, was going to be a producer, director and performer of the main role. In the draft script that Ben presented to the studio, events took place after the events of Justice League: in it, Batman got into Arkham Asylum, an escape was organized for him, after which Batman entered into a fight with Destroke on the streets of Gotham. Also, the Joker from the “Suicide Squad” could appear in the picture – Jared Leto actively offered his services, and here it was already possible to imagine what kind of madhouse they would get out of all this.

In 2016, work on the film was already underway, but Affleck began to talk about the fact that the script was not really ready and that he wanted to give up the post of director. And later he decided to completely leave the project: Ben was divorcing Jennifer Garner, had serious problems with alcohol – in general, he had no time for Batman. However, for some time it was believed that Affleck would play Batman.

The studio considered Matt Reeves, the director of the acclaimed “Monstro” and the quite decent sequel “Planet of the Apes: Revolution”, as well as other directors like Ridley Scott, Denis Villeneuve and others, were considered for the role of director in the studio. But in the end, it was Reeves who was chosen. He read the script that Affleck was working on, said that the script was excellent, but he, Reeves, had his own vision of a solo film: he wanted to make a prequel and show Batman in the second year of the struggle. Moreover, Reeves’ Batman himself was not supposed to be a kind of secular lion and playboy, as he was in The Dark Knight, but a kind of rock rebel like Kurt Cobain, which Reeves was inspired by.

Affleck was not suitable for this role, so his candidacy was finally dropped, and the studio with Reeves began to select actors. Moreover, Reeves himself said that he wrote the script, seeing in the image of his Batman Robert Pattinson, who he really liked in the arthouse film Good Time. But Reeves was not at all sure that Robert would be interested in this role: as you know, Pattinson was terribly annoyed by the hype around him after “Twilight”, he struggled to change the image and starred in basically any art house: “Good time”, “ Lighthouse”, “The Devil is always here”.

Therefore, of course, other candidates were also considered: Nicholas Hoult (primarily), Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Armie Hammer. However, it turned out that Pattinson himself dreamed of playing Batman, and exactly the way Reeves intended him to be: tragic, completely indifferent to some benefits, obsessed with his goal.

And it seemed that the matter was already on the ointment, but suddenly Pattinson accepted the offer to play in Nolan’s new film “Tenet”. Reeves thought that this would put an end to the actor’s participation in his film, but “Batman” was still in pre-production, and Robert assured Reeves that he would be able to break out of the filming of Nolan for an audition. Pattinson did manage to get Nolan off, citing “extraordinary family circumstances,” but what did he want to hide from a director who directed three Batman films at the same studio? So, when Robert returned to the set of Tenet with the role of Batman in his pocket, it was Nolan who congratulated him on this, although Pattinson had not yet told anyone about getting the role.

I must say that Matt Reeves, when working on the script and the picture, received very wide powers. He did not make another round of this movie universe, but re-told the story of Batman the way he wanted to tell it. And Reeves returned to his plot characters that have not appeared next to Batman since the end of the last century – the Penguin and the Riddler. Also a big role was assigned to the Catwoman.

And the new “Batman” is not a fantastic action movie, but a kind of detective thriller filmed in a noir style. There is not a single superhero here: Reeves’ Bruce Wayne is an ordinary, albeit very well-trained person, who effectively owns various tricky technical devices. He absolutely does not care what happens to WayneCorp, he is indifferent to any entertainment, he trains, fights criminals and investigates the crimes of the Riddler along with police officer James Gordon.

Oswald Cobblepot, Penguin, is just a very unpleasant-looking man who works for a big mafia, and Selina Kyle, Catwoman, under the guise of a waitress, hides a clever thief going to work in a special balaclava.

Batman in this film is only in his second year of doing his job of fighting crime in Gotham City, and many gangsters, seeing him near the crime scene, exclaim in bewilderment: “What kind of clown is this?!” They don’t know who Batman is yet. However, James Gordon is already summoning Batman by lighting a spotlight with a silhouette of a bat.

Pattinson, in my opinion, perfectly suited this role – it was not for nothing that Matt Reeves wrote it for him. His Bruce Wayne is thin, pale, has long bangs, very tragic, manic depressive, has not outlived the terrible childhood drama, he is obsessed with being Batman, not Bruce Wayne, and in his mind every person he confronts is a person who killed his parents. And Reeves and Pattinson came up with a great twist: here, when Batman takes off his mask, black circles of makeup remain around his eyes. In all previous Batmans, when removing the mask, the circles seemed to evaporate by themselves. Great role, love it! But I also really liked the previous roles of this actor in art-house productions – he is a really strong and versatile actor.

A curious metamorphosis has taken place here with Cobblepot the Penguin. It is absolutely impossible to recognize Colin Farrell in this character: he is very much made up. Moreover, in this complex and laborious make-up, the character is very reminiscent of the British actor Rupert Vansittart, who, for example, played in Four Weddings and a Funeral. And Penguin has a very funny pronunciation here.

Farrell refused to get too fat in order to play the Penguin, so in addition to complex makeup, he also had to wait for all sorts of thickening devices to be hung on him. Pattinson, by the way, also refused to rock for the role of Batman, although Affleck was even ready to give the actor his personal tire from Kamaz, which his Batman rocked, but he had enough costume to create the appropriate image, made, by the way, very interesting.

The Penguin has a very small role here, and it’s not even very clear why it was necessary to fence the garden with this complex makeup, but his character will definitely have a spin-off series that is already in development, and Farrell will play the Penguin in it.

Selina Kyle, Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz – in general, I liked it, but nothing special. Looked moderately militant and moderately pretty. There was no on-screen “chemistry” between her and Batman here, although hints of it were made, but there, purely visually, it was well done and looked spectacular.

Interestingly, Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz have been friends in reality for many years, and Reeves kept this actress in mind when writing the script. But in the end, it turned out that friendship and mutual understanding are visible in the picture, but romance is somehow not noticeable. However, no one really insisted on it here: this Batman is clearly not up to romance.

Geoffrey Wright as Police Lieutenant James Gordon was very much liked, and much more so than Gary Oldman’s Gordon in The Dark Knight. The usually very bright Oldman Gordon turned out to be kind of gray and boring, while Wright came out with a noticeably more interesting image.

John Turturro in the role of Carmine Falcone’s authority is very good, but the character itself does not have any striking features: well, a businessman closely associated with crime, well, he bought up everyone who can and who cannot.

Andy Serkis did a great job as Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s mentor and assistant. True, here Alfred is not really a mentor, but it is clear that he is worried about Bruce and that he is trying to return him to some kind of reasonable course, although he does not succeed. But Alfred at Serkis turned out to be at least interesting, he liked it.

But how, you ask, the main villain of the picture is the Riddler (in the original – The Riddler). His image was borrowed by Reeves from a real serial killer nicknamed the Zodiac: David Fincher made a film of the same name about this killer, who liked to report his crimes through the media and the police, they searched for him for decades, but never managed to catch him. At the same time, the Riddler exists in two forms: in the form of some kind of Darth Vader, whose face is completely hidden, and in the form of a character similar to the Zodiac, when the Riddler decided to reveal his incognito and let himself be captured.

He was played by the very interesting actor Paul Dano, and the villain turned out to be incredibly impressive both as this sinister creature with a closed face, and as a middle-aged man named Edward Nashton with a guilty smile and ridiculous horn-rimmed glasses. But Dano is such a great actor that his Nashton could easily terrify him. An excellent role, but I somehow don’t remember other roles in Paul: in some films he is very good, and in others he is a masterpiece.

By the way, the Riddler always starts all his videos like this: “This is the Riddler speaking”. In the same way, the Zodiac began all his appeals.

Despite the fact that a lot of emphasis is placed on the detective component and various psychological aspects, dynamic episodes are also present here, and a certain catharsis that occurs with Gotham City closer to the finale is staged on a large scale.

The film is long, it runs for almost three hours, but it did not seem to me too long, I watched it with great interest. (But, by the way, I looked in two stages.)

What is the result? I really liked it. The interpretation has a full right to exist, Batman is shown as a completely different character, and Robert Pattinson played him great, the antagonist of the Riddler came out gloomy and sinister, and in both of his guises.

I watched this film with a clear syndrome of low expectations (I didn’t plan to watch it at all, but I saw the ratings and decided to inquire, and I like Pattinson as an actor, unlike Affleck), and as a result I got a very decent movie, and I was It would be interesting to see how these characters develop further.

But, apparently, they will definitely be: this “Batman” was conceived as the first part of the trilogy, the box office receipts and reviews are excellent, and a new Joker appears in the final of the picture, and he is played by a very interesting British actor Barry Keoghan. For the film, a scene of Batman’s conversation with the Joker in the Arkham Asylum was filmed, but it was cut from the theatrical version. It can be found in English and dubbed.

So class, just class, I did not even expect!

PS Well, a few interesting points.

The convenience store that was robbed at the beginning of the movie is called Good Times Grocery. This is just a reference to the movie “Good Time”, where Reeves liked Pattinson so much. And the robber disguised as Drophead is also wearing a red jacket, much like the one worn by Pattinson’s character during the bank robbery in Good Time.

Matt Reeves and Tim Burton are filmmakers behind both the Planet of the Apes and Batman franchises.

Colin Farrell, wearing the Penguin make-up, went to Starbucks on purpose to see if he was recognized or not. Nobody recognized him. The character’s facial prosthesis consisted of six separate pieces.

Initially, the participation of Jonah Hill was planned in the film – he was offered the roles of the Penguin or the Riddler. However, Jonah Hill asked for as much as $10 million (Pattinson’s fee, according to various sources, ranged from $3 to $5 million), and as a result, they decided to refuse his candidacy.

Filming was stopped for several months due to the coronavirus, and when they resumed, Robert Pattinson tested positive a day later. And the shooting was again suspended. When Pattinson returned from quarantine, Reeves, fearing infection, in his own words, “turned himself into a burrito”: he appeared on the site in a mask, gloves, cap and diving goggles. At the same time, the director was at a certain distance from the actors and communicated with them through a microphone, and they heard his voice through headphones.

For the role of James Gordon, the director considered the candidacy of the actor Mahershala Ali for some time.

When Matt Reeves met with Colin Farrell to discuss his role as the Penguin, he was just overweight – the actor was getting fat for the role of a whaler in the film “Northern Waters”. Reeves asked Colin not to lose weight, but he referred to health problems, so he got in shape before filming and then, as I wrote above, he was forced to endure hanging overlays.

Robert auditioned for the role of Batman in the costume of Val Kilmer from the movie Batman Forever, but Kilmer’s mask did not suit him, and it was taken from the costume of George Clooney from the movie Batman and Robin. And Nolan’s Christian Bale auditioned for the role of Batman in the same Kilmer costume, but Kilmer’s mask suited him.

The original concepts for the Penguin were very different. It should have looked something like this.


Batman /
The Batman


Matt Reeves


Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Barry Keoghan, Jamie Lawson, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell

Budget: $200 million,  Global gross
$725 million
Fantastic detective thriller,
176 min .


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