Despite the United Kingdom entering its third national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID, movies like The Batman can keep filming in the country.
Despite the United Kingdom entering its third national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID, movies like The Batman can keep filming in the country. The long-awaited debut of Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader has suffered from numerous filming delays. The first national lockdown in the UK stopped production for a number of months, and filming was once again interrupted after Pattinson contracted COVID-19. As a result, the movie's release date was pushed to 2022, and filming is only expected to finish in February, a year after it started.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman will take place outside of the main DC Extended Universe continuity, allowing the filmmaker to craft a standalone tale that won't have to fit in with the established universe. The result is expected to be a dark, noirish detective tale following Pattinson's Batman early in his career as a vigilante. The Batman teaser trailer, released in August last year, confirmed the film's approach and tone, and blew fans away with its depiction of Gotham and the iconic character, not to mention the fact that Colin Farrell was almost unrecognizable under his makeup as Oswald Cobblepot.
Despite filming starting almost a year ago, The Batman has yet to wrap, and with a new national lockdown announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, some were worried it would delay the movie once again. However the UK Government confirms that the lockdown's rules mean movie and TV shoots are considered essential activities and may continue with established COVID safety protocols in place. As a result, The Batman will be able to finish filming in London and wrap on time, so long as there are no changes to the restrictions, and no further cast or crew test positive.
The positive news means that production is close to being complete after what turned out to be a long slog for the cast and crew. It also means that, barring any major disasters, The Batman is likely to meet its March 4, 2022 release date. This gives Reeves a full year to work on the edit, including what is likely to be extensive CGI, considering the movie is a superhero tale. Plus, if The Batman should need reshoots - which is likely considering it's a major DC movie - this schedule gives the cast and crew plenty of time to coordinate additional photography and ensure COVID protocols are followed.
It's also a sign that as the pandemic has stretched on, governments have begun to figure out ways to keep many industries, including the movie business, going despite the continued spread of coronavirus. There is still little known about The Batman's plot, beyond the fact that it will feature the Dark Knight investigating a series of murders connected to Paul Dano's Edward Nashton, aka The Riddler. But with filming close to complete, the hope is that another trailer will be released soon, revealing some new information and showing off more footage.