Kino Gütersloh, The Batman, es ist nicht nur ein Zeichen, es ist eine Warnung, Trailer Video

Warner Bros. Pictures präsentiert das Superhelden Epos »The Batman« von Regisseur Matt Reeves. Robert Pattinson ist in der titelgebenden Doppelrolle als Gotham Citys maskierter Rächer und seinem Alter Ego zu sehen, dem zurückgezogen lebenden Milliardär Bruce Wayne.

Lesedauer 140 Minuten, 48 Sekunden, Artikel zuletzt bearbeitet am 9. März 2022, DOI: https://www.guetsel.de/content/38423/8972529.html
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Robert Pattinson als Batman. Foto: Jonathan Olley, DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. 2021

Kino Gütersloh, The Batman, es ist nicht nur ein Zeichen, es ist eine Warnung, Trailer Video

Warner Bros. Pictures präsentiert das Superhelden Epos »The Batman« von Regisseur Matt Reeves. Robert Pattinson ist in der titelgebenden Doppelrolle als Gotham Citys maskierter Rächer und seinem Alter Ego zu sehen, dem zurückgezogen lebenden Milliardär Bruce Wayne.

Seit zwei Jahren schon durchstreift Bruce Wayne als Batman (Robert Pattinson) die dunklen Straßen von Gotham City und versetzt die Kriminellen der Stadt in Angst und Schrecken. Mit Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) und Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) als einzigem Vertrauten inmitten eines korrupten Netzwerks von Beamten und hochrangigen Persönlichkeiten hat sich der einsame Rächer unter seinen Mitbürgern als alleinige Instanz der Vergeltung etabliert.

Als ein Killer die Elite Gothams mit einer Reihe sadistischer Anschläge ins Visier nimmt, führt eine Spur kryptischer Hinweise den besten Detektiv der Welt tief in den Untergrund, wo er auf Figuren wie Selina Kyle alias Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot alias Pinguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) und Edward Nashton alias Riddler (Paul Dano) trifft. Während seine Ermittlungen ihn immer näher ans Ziel führen und das Ausmaß der Pläne des Täters deutlich wird, muss Batman neue Beziehungen knüpfen, um den Schuldigen zu entlarven und dem Machtmissbrauch und der Korruption, die Gotham City schon lange plagen, ein Ende zu bereiten.

Neben Robert Pattinson (»Tenet«, »Der Leuchtturm«) hauchen Zoë Kravitz (»Big Little Lies«, »Phantastische Tierwesen: Grindelwalds Verbrechen«), Paul Dano (»Love & Mercy«, »12 Years a Slave«), Jeffrey Wright (»James Bond 007: Keine Zeit zu sterben«, »Westworld«) und John Turturro (»Transformers«-Filmreihe, »The Plot Against America«) den berühmten und berüchtigten Bewohnern Gothams Leben ein. In weiteren Rollen sind Peter Sarsgaard (»Die glorreichen Sieben«, »Interrogation«) als Staatsanwalt Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson (»Farewell Amor«) als Bürgermeisterkandidatin Bella Reál sowie Andy Serkis (»Planet der Affen«-Filmreihe, »Black Panther«) und Colin Farrell (»The Gentlemen«, »Phantastische Tierwesen und wo sie zu finden sind«) zu sehen.

Reeves (»Planet der Affen«-Filmreihe) führte Regie nach einem Drehbuch, das er zusammen mit Peter Craig geschrieben hat und das auf Charakteren von DC basiert. Die Figur Batman wurde von Bob Kane in Zusammenarbeit mit Bill Finger erschaffen. Dylan Clark (»Planet der Affen«-Filmreihe) und Reeves produzierten den Film. Ausführende Produzenten waren Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo und Simon Emanuel.

Zum Kreativteam des Regisseurs gehörten der Oscar-nominierte Kameramann Greig Fraser (»Dune«, »Lion: Der lange Weg nach Hause«), Produktionsdesigner James Chinlund und Editor William Hoy, die Reeves bereits bei den »Planet der Affen«-Filmen unterstützten, Editor Tyler Nelson (»Rememory«) sowie die Oscar-prämierte Kostümdesignerin Jacqueline Durran (»1917«, »Little Women«, »Anna Karenina«). Die Musik schrieb Oscar-Preisträger Michael Giacchino (die aktuellen »Spider-Man«-Filme, »Jurassic World«, »Krieg der Sterne«, »Oben«).

Warner Bros. Pictures präsentiert eine Produktion von 6th & Idaho/Dylan Clark Productions: »The Batman« von Matt Reeves. Den weltweiten Verleih übernimmt Warner Bros. Pictures.

About the production

I’m just here to unmask the truth …

Director, Writer, Producer Matt Reeves’ “The Batman”, which stars Robert Pattinson in the titular role, is both an epic, high-octane action film on a massive visual scale and a gritty, edgy and emotional exploration into the twisted inner workings of the mind, all set within an iconic city on the brink. In Reeves’ Gotham, fear is a tool and, when properly wielded, little else is required to halt the actions of the ill-intentioned, or to drive the fearful to act. In the hands of a brilliant sleuth with a taste for vengeance and little to live for, something as simple as a mask can be terrifying.

Man, or myth, call him The Batman.

For the last two years, Bruce Wayne has given his life over to the night, and his nights to stalking the crime-riddled streets of Gotham, picking and choosing his petty crime battles and usually winning … often with only the aid of that signal that shines in the darkened sky. But he’s just one man, after all, and crime of every stripe is everywhere. And on a night like Halloween, for instance, when all the ghouls come dressed to kill, you never know who is on the prowl, or behind the mask … or what tricks they might have up their sleeve.

When he embarked upon his own journey into the Batman canon, Reeves was thrilled by the idea of working with the icon that has lived for over eight decades in comic books and graphic novels—and taking him back to his earliest roots. “Batman started as a detective”, says Reeves, “so, to find a way to go back to that, to strip away the fantasy aspect of a DC Super Hero but to still have him be aspirational, was a really exciting idea. I always find that, with genre work, the important thing for me is to find a personal avenue in, and Batman stories allow that. We wanted to make him someone whose real superpower is that he will endure anything to do what he has to do.”

Penned with screenwriter Peter Craig, Reeves’ script exists in its own carved-out portion of the DC filmdom, unconnected to previously (or soon-to-be) explored territory within the Multiverse and starting when Bruce Wayne has already been Batman for a little over a year. “I wanted to start not with an origin story, but with a young Batman—to see the arc of him pushing to become better”, Reeves adds. “So, we’ve taken that Batman and are having him solve a mystery in such a way that is not an origin tale, but refers to his origins, shaking him to his core.”

At the core of the character is the fact that, according to Reeves, “he connects to people because of the suit, the car, the gadgets, he’s super cool … But he’s not really a superhero; under all of it, he’s a human being and he’s driven to try and make sense of that human side of him. That he has that heroic drive to make the world better—but face it, he doesn’t do that in a purely altruistic sense—makes the character approachable.”

That the filmmakers also upped the overall stakes with the kind of mystery he placed before the Caped Crusader deepened the appeal. “He’s a detective solving clues left by a serial killer, and it’s very psychological, but also leads to something very emotional”, says the director.

Pattison appreciated the heightened duality of the classically dual role. He offers, “I had never been interested in doing a superhero movie, it hadn’t been in my periphery at all, but for some reason, Batman always stood out as a very special, separate entity. In the cultural lexicon, the character feels very individual and holds a lot of symbolic importance. Then, when I heard Matt was doing it, I just got really excited. When I finally talked to him, he showed me some of his very early storyboards and that set the tone from something quite radically different; he just had an angle on it that was exciting. And the Bruce characterization felt different as well. He’s alone and isolated, as well as compelled to do this thing. There’s even a kind of hopeless desperation, and that was an interesting interpretation.”

Producer Dylan Clark, who is a longtime partner of Reeves’ and has produced many franchise properties, says of his approach to the film at its conception, “I’ve been doing this over 20 years, and yet working on a movie like ‘The Batman’ takes you to another level. There is excitement and there is fear because of the history of these characters—it’s humbling to know that Batman has been around for over 80 years. So, the level of care, precision and focus is huge. You want this movie and the experience to be the best possible for the audience and the fans, so you have to really ask yourself: are you up to the task of doing something great for the canon of Batman stories that came before? This is a character we have all loved from childhood and you want to present the audience with a way into this character that hasn’t been seen before.”

Eight decades of The Batman has also produced the most iconic collection of Super-Villains in all of comics, as well as a host of other stalwart figures that populate perhaps the most beloved location in the fandom: Gotham City. “Gotham is a really scary place”, notes Reeves, “and as a world is incredibly rich for a filmmaker.”

Peter Craig says he and Reeves “wanted Gotham to be entirely alive, with the remnants of its corrupt history everywhere. One of the most exciting things about working on this was getting to experience Matt’s visual talent—and then having [production designer] James Chinlund on the other end of a speaker phone, fleshing out ideas and sending us images. We had the advantage of working with those pictures in front of us: Batman standing at the edge of an unfinished skyscraper, or Gotham Square seen from a perch above. While leaning into that style, we still wanted to sidestep its deeper cynicism. We saw Gotham like Bruce Wayne did: a dangerous and troubled place, but a place worth saving.”

 If lifelong sidearm Alfred, portrayed by Andy Serkis, and the GCPD’s James Gordon, played by Jeffrey Wright, come with the territory, Reeves found both the lighter and darker side of policymaking as well as policing, with Gotham Mayoral candidate Bella Réal, played by Jayme Lawson, and D.A. Gil Colson, portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard.

The filmmaker also had a vast rogues’ gallery to choose from—and he didn’t skimp: Colin Farrell is unrecognizable as Reeves’ iteration of crime figure Oz before he fully embraces his better-known alias, The Penguin, and John Turturro is his boss, crime lord Carmine Falcone. Reeves also handpicked another fan favorite, Selina Kyle, who may or may not be on the side of “right”, but who finds herself frequently by The Batman’s side in the film.

Zoë Kravitz stars as the steely, slinky femme fatale with her own hidden agenda who is equally enigmatic—and just as recklessly daring—as her newfound partner in crimefighting. It was the opportunity to work with Reeves that drew the actress to the project.

“Matt’s amazing because he’s collaborative, and he really does want to know what his actors think and feel about the characters”, she says, adding that “all of the villains and heroes are so multidimensional. What’s wonderful about this world is the exploration of the gray area; it’s not all about black-and-white, good and evil. There’s just so much in between and the characters are so complicated. For me, that is what makes it really interesting.”

Finally, Reeves pits his protagonist against one of Gotham’s greatest and most twisted (and that’s saying something) minds, The Riddler. But this is not The Riddler who dons bright green duds peppered with question marks; Reeves’ Riddler, played with disturbing intensity by Paul Dano, is as querulous as he is questioning, and his riddles are no laughing matter.

Reeves furthers, “I wanted to lean hard into the early Bob Kane and Bill Finger stories in which Batman was solving crimes as a means of describing Gotham as an incredibly corrupt place. So, I came up with the idea of having the character he is interacting with—the case he is involved with—being a new iteration of The Riddler as a serial killer who is targeting so-called pillars of society. And in the wake of the murders, through the crime scenes and cyphers he leaves behind directed at The Batman, The Riddler is revealing the truth about these individuals. In doing so, I felt that Batman’s journey to solve the case could also serve to uncover for him the history of corruption in Gotham. And because the cyphers are left for him, it gets personal and rocks him to his core.

“This is not a Batman in control”, he emphasizes. “This is a Batman in a little bit of a freefall.”

I’m Vengeance.

Cast and characters

When the film opens, it’s Halloween night and everyone is in costume. Bruce Wayne is patrolling the streets not as himself, not in the Batsuit, but as someone in between Bruce and the Bat—a shadowy persona that Reeves dubbed the Drifter. Clad in non-descript, dark clothing with, kohl-rimmed eyes, the Drifter's brooding, nihilistic bearing hangs heavy on his frame … and his soul. This is where Bruce often chooses to dwell, deep in the shell of a man at the edge of despair, who sees no hope for the city and its residents, looking for a reason to attack.

If the Drifter looks for trouble, it is as The Batman that he takes action once he finds it. Bruce is in year two of his self-appointed role as Gotham’s embodiment of vengeance—the nocturnal vigilante who strikes fear in the hearts of criminals. A reclusive scion of Gotham’s richest family questioning his family’s legacy, The World’s Greatest Detective employs a lethal combination of mental mastery, physical strength and expert technology. Yet it’s emotion that drives him.

“There's a level of rage in him, which makes him difficult to beat”, Pattison observes.

“The idea was to explore the concept of being masked and what it means," says Reeves. “You have a guy who, at the end of the day, may think he’s mastered himself, but is ultimately trying to find meaning in his life after the death of his family. When he masks himself and he’s in pursuit of this goal, he becomes the shadows. That complexity is really unique to Batman.”

Reeves cast Pattinson in the role because, he says, “I was keen to show a different side to the character; I wanted him to have almost a recluse rock-and-roll vibe, a cross between Kurt Cobain and Howard Hughes. Bruce has retreated from being a Wayne and if you see him, it’s like seeing a rock star, but instead of going out and playing gigs at night, his gig is to be Batman. He’s an obsessive guy, and that was one of the things that was exciting to me about Robert Pattinson: he has the intensity to bring that to life.”

Reeves began considering Pattinson for the role while he and co-writer Peter Craig were developing the screenplay. The filmmaker recalls, “I started thinking I should really look at actors in this age range, and I’d always been a fan of Rob’s. James Gray, who’s a friend of mine since film school, made a movie called ‘The Lost City of Z,’ and I remember him telling me that he’d cast Rob in the movie. We always share the cuts of our movies with each other, and when he showed me the movie I had forgotten that he’d cast Rob. So, when Rob appears in the movie, he has this enormous beard and is unlike any version of Rob you’ve ever seen and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Rob Pattinson; how interesting, he’s a chameleon.

“And then I just started watching a bunch of his movies and every time he was totally different”, Reeves continues. “One of the movies that somebody suggested I take a look at was ‘Good Time,’ and in that movie, I saw something that, to me, really connected to Batman. In it you can feel his desperation and you can feel his drive, as well as a level of vulnerability. I wanted this version of Batman to be driven to be scary, but I also wanted to see his vulnerability; when I saw all the different aspects that Rob brought to his roles, I really felt this could be Rob, and I started writing with him in mind.”

This vision of taking Batman back to the early years to bring about a shift in the character's emotional and psychological make-up disoriented the actor upon his initial read of the script. “I couldn’t quite tell why Bruce Wayne felt so radically different”, he says. “And then I realized it's because he’s not a playboy in this story. That is such a key element of previous Batman films, so it does feel really strange. Bruce is so alone and isolated and that is fascinating. I knew Matt saw him as a slightly nihilistic character, but there’s something more emotional there, too. Bruce doesn’t know he’s going to save the day, he doesn’t know if being Batman is going to work, but he’s compelled to do it and he knows that there is no other option. There’s a kind of desperation to it, which is a little bit different.”

When delving into the core of the character, Pattinson was spurred by the question of “Who is Bruce Wayne?” as opposed to “Who is The Batman?” “Bruce is quite an obsessive character and I think the concept of Batman has been fermenting for years”, he posits. “But at this stage, he doesn’t have that much in the way of technology to give him an advantage, just a few layers of bulletproof armor and, as the story goes on, the Batmobile and a few gadgets, but it’s pretty rudimentary. So, he’s very fallible, but he keeps at it; I think he’s really working out this rage. I get the impression that he just wants to keep recreating the night where his parents die.”

The very definition of insanity, perhaps, for a man on the edge trying to save a city on the brink.

“I think it’s about alter ego and identity”, adds the actor. “If he puts on the suit, and he believes in it so much, it elevates him as a creature; he isn’t Bruce, he is The Batman. I wanted him to be less human when he has the suit on; I wanted to get that into his movements. Bruce is still trying to figure out who exactly Batman is, and that makes for a very reactive version of Batman, and that’s new.

“That is why the fights he has seem very personal, too”, he continues. “The reason why he outmatches these people is because every time he’s fighting a stranger it’s as if they have personally harmed him. In a way, he’s imagining that his adversary is the person who killed his parents. Ultimately, that's not a winning strategy, because if you are fighting too emotionally, you will make mistakes and you’ll lose. But, I don’t think he cares about surviving at all, he just wants to inflict pain, inflict his form of questionable justice.”

Pattinson appreciated Reeves’ deliberate work, not only on the page, but on set, too. Of the director’s measured approach, he relates, “Matt is incredibly patient. He’s like a conductor of an orchestra, able to keep the entire story in a macro view in his mind the entire time. He’s never rushed, he will only move on when he feels like he’s got what he needs. He isn’t afraid to stray a little from the Batman canon and he definitely made some pretty bold stylistic choices, and that’s exciting.”

I have a thing about strays …

Selina Kyle is a mysterious figure who is quietly infiltrating Gotham’s seedy underbelly to further her own agenda. Her fierce attitude and tenacious agility are the perfect tools to excel as a cat burglar, but hidden underneath the array of identities and the motorcycle leathers is a protective soul who’s more at home with the city’s strays than its citizens.

Zoë Kravitz stars in the enigmatic, fan-favorite role. Evenly matched with The Batman, Selina is initially at odds with him, presenting another puzzle for Bruce to solve.

“What was most important to me was that Selina didn’t come off as a victim because of her troubled past”, Kravitz states. “That can often be a trap with female characters like her, and I don't think she's like that. I think she is incredibly tough, has survived this far, and has the drive to fight for other people she sees in similar positions.”

Reeves attests, “I knew right from my first meeting with Zoë that there was something very special about her. I could sense her connection to Selina Kyle, and I could feel that this was a character that she felt a kinship with, that she was internalizing. I talked to her about various inspirations, characters like Evelyn Mulwray from ‘Chinatown,’ and Bree Daniels from ‘Klute,’ trying to find a way to make this character a survivor and somebody who had to fight her way in Gotham. Zoë really connected to that, and at the same time was diving into the comics.”

In the film, where the character intersects with The Batman seems predestined: his investigation leads their paths to cross, but, according to Kravitz, it was really inevitable, because they are essentially fighting for the same thing, though their methods may vary.

“Her backstory was very clear in the script”, she relates, “so, for me it was more about figuring out what happened between then and now—how she’s been able to survive, how she’s ended up where she is now, and why she finds it so important to fight for what she believes in.” That exploration, along with the famed moniker, sparked an idea. “The other thing that I brought to Matt was this idea of stray cats. I think that she is a stray herself, and I think she sees Batman as a stray and that’s where their connection lies. She really wants to fight for those who don’t have someone else to fight for them and that is where Batman and Selina really connect.”

It was important to the actress to put her own stamp on the character as well. “I didn’t want to focus on making a character who’s iconic or sexy or whatever people are expecting. I really wanted it to be about her spirit. It’s not often that you get a truly complex female character, especially in movies at this scale”, she says. “I really fell for her story, her past, her pain, her struggle, her strength. In her I found a character who was more than just a sidekick or more than just a good-looking girl in a tight outfit. She doesn’t need to be saved by anybody and at the same time when I was reading the script, there were times when I would just put my hand on my heart and really feel for this person. I feel that her story’s an important one to tell.”

She also reveled in the way Reeves had intertwined Selina and The Batman. “Actually, cat-and- mouse is a great way to describe their relationship”, Kravitz smiles. “There's a love-hate thing and the line between love and hate is really very thin. There is a deep soul connection; even though they see things differently and they come from very different backgrounds, they both believe in justice … though their ideas of what justice is might be a little bit different. They’re both people who not only fight for what they believe in, but also aren’t afraid to die for what they believe in, and that’s a very rare quality.”

Reeves credits his actors for making the connection feel organic, asserting, “There was something very special and magical about the way Rob and Zoë played off each other right from the beginning. They are friends and they have great chemistry, and just like their onscreen counterparts, as actors they are a great match, and for a director that’s really exciting.”

“Matt is so collaborative," Kravitz says. “He wants the actors to be a part of the process and really listens to an idea, no matter how long he’s been visualizing something one way, and that’s incredible. His love for the story and his intention behind it were the things that drove this entire project and I think that is why this film will be different than any other Batman we’ve seen before and why it was a delight to work for him.”

The relationship between Batman and Selina also provided Pattinson with plenty of psychology to chew on. “Batman has a very black-and-white way of thinking about the world”, he says. “For him, there are criminals and there are victims. I think she is the first person he really struggles with. He thinks she’s on the bad side, but he likes her, it’s the beginning of a crack in his pretty rigid worldview. He’s a guy who’s pretty fixated on control, over himself and his environment, and it drives him a little bit crazy that he can’t put his finger on how he feels about her.”

Pattinson knew Kravitz would be perfect for the complicated character. “I’ve known Zoë for years and she is an incredibly hard worker and showed a lot of commitment to the role and the film. And the minute you see her in this film it’s, ‘Yeah, that is Catwoman.’”

“Rob’s a wonderful actor”, Kravitz reciprocates. “He makes really daring, bold, unusual choices and isn’t afraid to think outside the box. He plays this role with the right amount of mystery and emotion and angst and rage.”

 Dylan Clark appreciated the way the characters were realized on both the page and the set, observing, “Selina Kyle is honest and real and sees the world a little bit more cynically than Batman, but they are very similar. When she asks him, ‘Why do you care? Why are you trying to save this city that can’t be saved?’ it’s not because she’s a bad person, it’s that she is an honest person and someone who sees this world can be brutal and unkind.”

We all have our scars, Bruce.

In Bruce Wayne’s world, loyalty and trust come in small doses. Fans of every stripe, however, know that the first place he looks for it is in the familiar pillar of strength, Alfred. Bruce’s closest ally and the only person to know The Batman’s identity, Alfred wrestles with Bruce putting his calling to serve the citizenry ahead of his duty to protect the Wayne family legacy.

The personal relationship between the two has been reimagined to a certain extent. Pattinson posits that “Alfred is the surrogate father who never chose to be a surrogate father; he had Bruce thrust upon him. He's a slightly emotionally stunted person himself, so it’s a very complicated emotional setup. I liken the relationship to a version of Tom Hagen and Michael Corleone in ‘The Godfather,’ where he is a kind of father figure, but not really, but he is an adviser and an equal.”

Andy Serkis—who has worked with Reeves on numerous occasions and who plays the critical role—explains, “There have been many interpretations of Alfred, but we focused on the untold emotional connection between Alfred and Bruce. Alfred has a sense of survivor’s guilt, because he was Thomas and Martha Wayne’s bodyguard and he feels deeply responsible for their deaths. He is—was—a military man, who we surmised may have worked in MI5 or MI6 and gone on to work as a personal bodyguard to the Wayne household. He’s very fastidious and ordered and on top of things, a man who prides himself on keeping things together and doing an extraordinary job. There’s an almost Victorian sensibility about him in respect to defending the honor of your employer.

“But there’s a lot of unsaid tension between Alfred and Bruce”, continues Serkis. “And if Alfred was expected to become his surrogate parent, well … Alfred is not built that way, he’s just not able to connect in an emotional way. So, there’s a brooding tension between them and the only thing Alfred could do to alleviate that and to connect in some way was to teach Bruce things he learned in the army: how to fight, how to decode messages, things like that.”

Now, seeing what Bruce has become, Serkis says the “emotional chasm between them has grown. Bruce has become very isolated, and Alfred has become increasingly worried about Bruce.”

Serkis was happy to collaborate again with Reeves, stating, “Not only is Matt a fine visual director and great master of using the camera, but he’s got an extraordinary eye for detail and performance. It always feels like you’re making a very intimate movie with Matt because deep down, the emotional core of the story is what drives Matt as a filmmaker and underpins every decision about the look, the feel, the cinematography. Everything is done to amplify the emotional truth at the center of the story.”

Alfred may be in on the secret, but this lone vigilante also needs someone he can trust on the outside, and we quickly learn he is already in league, albeit anonymously, with Lt. James Gordon. Notice the title—it’s still a bit early in Gordon’s career as well. The film begins when The Batman is still a relatively unknown figure in Gotham—a rumor more than a reality to most—and Gordon, one of Gotham City Police Department’s finest, is still among the rank and file.

A seasoned cop with a clear sense of integrity who provides the GCPD (and the city) with a much-needed moral compass, he’s the only public figure who counts The Batman as an ally. In fact, it’s Gordon who brings him into the investigation of the gruesome murder of the mayor on a hunch, and without the support of his colleagues and the authorities above them. It soon transpires that there is a serial killer on the loose, picking off prominent members of Gotham's power elite.

Like Alfred, Gordon is a crucial element of the Batman universe. The filmmakers turned to an actor with quiet gravitas to fill the role: Jeffrey Wright. The actor was thrilled, revealing he was a Batman fanatic as a child, enthralled by both the comics and the TV series.

Sharing his observations, Wright states, “One of the things that distinguishes Batman among comic book superheroes is that he lives in a city that’s very recognizable, a city very much like New York City or Chicago. That makes him grounded in a way that’s relatable. He is also human, not an extraterrestrial, and inhabits the kind of space that many of us inhabit. Matt Reeves really built on that in a compelling way in the script and did a lot of due diligence—a deep archeological dig into Batman—so that the world around him was justified for the audience. As I was reading the script, I was trying to justify myself in the role of Gordon and I just found that the world he created was so palatable that it was relevant to our times. It was grounded in a social and political reality that made sense and that aesthetically it felt richly Gothamesque. There was something about the character of the city that really resonated for me in the writing.”

Wright describes his version of Gordon as “very much reflective of the vision that Matt had for Gotham, but also reflective of the work that Robert Pattinson does as Batman. Gordon and Batman are very much a team and for me, it was largely about setting a tone and creating a partnership with Robert that helps define who Gordon is and in some sense defines who Batman is. At the same time, we’re all playing off the mood and the tone of the world that Matt envisioned and that was created through the incredible work that the designers, cinematographer and craftsmen did. When we stepped onto set, there was such a palpable tone to this piece that it drove everything we did.”

 Batman’s relationship with Lieutenant Gordon is still developing. Says Pattinson, “Bruce doesn’t really trust anyone, and he hasn’t known Gordon very long, so they are still learning who each other are. It must be difficult for Gordon because Batman doesn’t trust anyone else in the police department, and he only trusts Gordon probably about 60 percent. Other iterations of Batman had an enormous advantage in terms of his intelligence gathering, but here, Batman’s just as reliant on Gordon as Gordon is on him. So, they’re equals in a lot of ways and that's interesting.”

Wright considers the first time we see the two of them together—at the scene of the initial crime—as a key moment in capturing the tone of the film. “All eyes turn past Gordon to this strange creature that everyone is aware of but not familiar with, and certainly don’t trust”, he says. “And we see there’s the beginnings of some sort of partnership developing as they realize they have a villain who is all about leaving clues. This helps drive the detective narrative even deeper to the core of this film and takes us back to the essence of what Batman and Gordon are: detectives.”

Pattinson was impressed by Wright’s approach. “Jeffrey has a confidence and there’s humor there, which is slightly different for Gordon”, says Pattinson. “Gordon quite often comes across as downtrodden, like he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, whereas Jeffrey has a fire in him that gives the character a different spin. His Gordon doesn’t see Batman as being someone who’s infallible, he thinks Batman makes mistakes. There’s a bit of a power struggle between them as well, which is a new touch, and he’s not just an observer of Batman, they’re very much a partnership.”

Gordon calls The Batman to the location of these crimes not simply for his help, but because this time, it’s personal: the perpetrator of several heinous killings is calling for the Batman’s attention via riddles left for him at each scene. And in this drug-infested city so corrupt it’s on the verge of consuming itself—where mobster and cop are almost interchangeable—politics as usual is a concept steeped in both familiarity and contempt, and also makes separating out the players … puzzling, to say the least.

Quickly establishing himself as Gotham’s deadliest threat is an enigmatic, masked killer who will be dubbed The Riddler. He has devised a sinister series of puzzles and tortuous devices to entrap Gotham’s power players and publicly unmask the city’s darkest truths.

According to Reeves, the film explores the parallels between Bruce Wayne and the villains he pursues. “The Riddler is a serial killer whose motivation is gradually revealed: to expose these supposedly legitimate Gotham figures who turn out to be corrupt. Batman and The Riddler share a philosophical view of the city and of crime and corruption; Batman is drawn to the edge and comes close to it—the struggle to do the right thing is always alive.”

To play the role that pushes The Batman toward the precipice, Reeves says that, as with Pattinson, “I did start thinking of Paul and writing with him in mind, but I had no idea if he would want to play this character. The Riddler is brilliant, someone whose great power has to do with patterns. He has a very dark agenda, and he has retreated into numbers and puzzles because that’s the one place he can find control, the way that Batman retreats into his mission of becoming a vigilante. Fortunately, when I sent Paul the script, it turned out he was very interested in it and was very excited about how grounded the character was, and he understood my reference of the Zodiac Killer for the idea of this serial killer.

“At the same time, it is The Riddler”, Reeves continues, “an iconic, mythic character, and so he needed to be larger than life, he needed to be grand in his use of puzzles and cyphers to taunt and tease and lead this city, and Batman in particular, toward this message that he’s trying to reveal about why this city is this corrupt. It’s almost as if he’s saying, ‘I have the answer and I am going to show it to you, but to get there I’m going to torture you and scare you to death.”

As well as falling for the script, Dano responded to Matt Reeves' infusion of psychological and emotional suffering on the main characters, and the effects of that. “Matt and I talked a lot about the two sides of trauma, and that really spoke to me”, says the actor. “Bruce Wayne has lost his parents and responds to his trauma by trying to do something good with that pain. And you have the trauma of Edward Nashton, who has suffered in his own way and takes that pain and thinks he’s doing something good, but it is misguided. That felt like a really good way into this villain. How do you bring a fresh point of view to the idea of the villain? I think having the emotional backstory be the driving force for that character in the way that Matt had written it, felt good to me.”

Dano sees Edward Nashton as a man who is gifted in many ways, but who has never had the breaks. “He has brilliance but was never given the opportunity to move up in the world, so he’s working as a forensic accountant. He is somebody who was probably drowning in himself, in his mind, in his past and in this city, which didn’t offer him a helping hand his entire life. The riddles are a response to all the questions he’s tortured himself with his whole life, especially ‘Why me?’ But they are also a solace; they provide one of the only places Edward could find pleasure growing up—puzzles, numbers, riddles, games … They were one of the only ways he could escape his situation and feel good.”

So, how does Dano explain his character’s obsession with The Batman? “It’s seeing Batman that inspires him. It’s one of those transcendent moments where he suddenly sees a hidden piece of himself. Without Batman, you would never have The Riddler; there’s an emotional connection between them. Unfortunately, Edward feels he has to go to some pretty extreme lengths to be heard and seen and to make change, because he sees that corruption at the heart of Gotham City as a deep betrayal and he wants the truth to be seen, no matter how frightening that may be. His first victim is what sets the film in motion.”

Unlike Wright, Dano became a fast fan of the Batman comics after being cast in the film. “It’s really an incredible art form that I feel a little embarrassed that I wasn’t as in touch with as I am now”, says the actor. “Reading the comics for this was really interesting, because Matt’s conception is, I think, so singular. Batman: Year One, which is my favorite, was the gateway to all of them. And even after reading a lot of them, I’m pretty excited that I think we still have something new to offer to the audience.” Another longtime favorite from the DC Super-Villain lineup featured in “The Batman” is The Penguin. Also known as Oz, in the movie, he is the proprietor of Gotham’s exclusive nightlife hotspot, The Iceberg Lounge, a meeting place for the city’s underworld. While this shady crook is known for running his mouth as well as running operations for the city’s top gangster, Carmine Falcone, hedefinitely has designs on even more.

Completely transforming himself for the role, actor Colin Farrell says the idea of working with Reeves on a new version of a property he loves was an easy “yes.” Farrell relates, “Matt’s an extraordinary director. He makes really huge and incredibly entertaining films that always have a very real and significant emotional core to them. When I heard that he was doing Batman and that there was the opportunity to play Penguin, I was thoroughly intrigued.”

Upon his first read, the actor was hooked. “The script was extraordinary. It had incredible depth and every single character seemed to be imbued with a sense of backstory and subtext and a deep emotional and psychological undercurrent. I thought Matt did an amazing job of creating the sense of danger in this world. The Gotham of this film feels like a very lawless place, a place of spiritual corruption in a way, and also political corruption and environmental corruption are key narrative elements in this story.”

Farrell was also inspired by the physical appearance of the character he plays, revealing, “The silhouette of the character now is very dramatic and very different. I look like a penguin, like a bowling pin, and it’s nothing short of creative genius thanks to [prosthetics designer] Mike Marino. When I saw the face of The Penguin for the first time, I was blown away. I was so moved and excited and provoked, and my imagination just kicked up a notch. That was a great gift that Mike Marino’s talent has given me on this film. When I saw Mike’s work—what he had done, what he had sculpted—I finally got in my own mind what my and Matt’s version of Oz, aka The Penguin, was going to be. This was the first time that I ever had full face makeup and I’m utterly grateful to Mike and his team and to Matt for having the moxie to push this as far as we did.”

The director had shared his inspirations for the character with Farrell when he approached him for the part. “What was interesting to me about this version of the character we’d written was that he was not yet the Kingpin”, says Reeves. “He’s on a path to becoming the kingpin, but now is a midlevel gangster who’s underestimated, who’s made fun of. So I talked with Colin about the idea that you would see the seeds of what he was gonna become, but not yet see that he was that character. I had thought a lot about gangster movies, like ‘The Long Good Friday’ with Bob Hoskins, and I thought, ‘Oh, I can see that in Oz.’ I also thought about John Cazale, Fredo in ‘The Godfather,’ and the idea continued to form for Oz as being someone who is a showman, people think he’s a little bit of a joke, and he’s kind of this mixture of someone who people make fun of to a degree, but actually, it turns out, that under all of that, he’s a volcano.”

Reeves also recalls that when he first met with Farrell, “Colin had some weight on him because of a movie he was doing, and I said, ‘You look great, you’d be great for the role.’ However, it wasn’t a healthy weight for him, and he was planning to lose it, but I knew that we were going to work with Mike Marino, who is a genius of a makeup artist, and the prosthetics that he does are incredible. So, with the references of Hoskins and Cazale in those roles, the two of them got together.”

The physical transformation helped Farrell get to the essence of the character. “Oz is aware of his image, of what he looks like”, says Farrell. “He’s aware of his physical attributes, which are potentially handicaps, including a fairly noticeable jerk in his right leg. He wears the hardships of the life that he’s lived. His face bears the scars of his life, and it was fun creating a backstory for every single mark and every single issue that he has. It inspired a different way of moving, a different way of talking, a different way of gesticulating.”

The first time the final look was applied may have taken four hours, but Farrell wasn’t troubled by the process. Rather, it was quite the opposite. “It was one of the most exciting and most jubilant, celebratory experiences I’ve had in making pictures in 20 years”, says the actor. “I’m not overstating how much fun I had. I was able to experiment with animating the final character and giving it voice. My youngest son came out to visit just as the whole costume was finalized on that day, and to see his response to it was really special.”

For the actor, giving voice to The Penguin—a rough-hewn middle-aged gangster from Gotham City—meant discovering a different way of speaking and burying his Irish lilt. “I learnt from a wonderful dialect coach I’ve worked with a lot, who approaches the work from a socio-psychological direction. It’s about getting into where the character’s from, what period the character was born, what the character’s upbringing was like, the psychological implications of said upbringing, how they inform the character behaviorally, and so on. It almost becomes an anthropological study in the history of this one person.”

Kravitz, for one, was knocked out by Farrell’s transformation. “I lost my mind; I couldn’t believe it!” she shares. “Matt Reeves said to me, ‘You’re not gonna recognize him,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure.’ And then Colin walked onto set and I couldn’t believe it. What Colin was able to do was to really bring that character to life with his movements, the way he walked, the way he spoke … Everything he did was just impeccable.”

Farrell's admiration for Matt Reeves was not limited to his reinvention of The Penguin. “Matt is incredibly passionate, his energy and optimism are palpable”, says the actor. “As a filmmaker and a storyteller, he lived and breathed these characters for five years. His attention to detail is second to none and he has made a film that is extraordinary and powerful and moving and sensational.”

If Oz seeks a higher level of power, he could easily be eyeing the position held by Carmine Falcone, the head of one of Gotham’s most established crime families. Holed up in The Shoreline Lofts, this hermit-like kingpin manages to exert power and influence on the city without taking a single step out of doors. Played by John Turturro with a disturbing level of reserve that serves to enhance the character’s profound hold over those around him, Falcone is the rarely glimpsed man with an influence felt throughout the city.

Turturro says it was Reeves that ultimately convinced him to take the role. “I was sort of on the fence about doing it, not because of the movie, I was interested in the movie, but I didn’t know if I wanted to play this particular kind of character. And then I had a few ideas—and Matt was really open to it—one being that I thought everyone has some kind of a mask on. So, I was thinking, ‘What would be my mask?’ And then, I’d read Frank Miller’s Year One. When we talked again, I showed him these glasses that I’d found, and he liked them.

“I haven’t really played a lot of bad guys”, Turturro continues. “Early in my career, I did a certain amount and then I didn’t want to do that anymore. But because of the whole genre, and because I’ve liked Batman and my children like Batman … I also loved the TV show when I was a kid, and I liked Zorro. I liked the idea that Batman doesn’t have superpowers—that he’s this conflicted guy—and the idea that he would be in transition, that he’s not fully formed, I thought would be interesting.”

Turturro says that “The more I spoke with Matt, the more he was just very, very open to trying different things and the way I wanted to look—that’s how you can feel someone out. Sometimes you explore something that doesn’t work, but that leads to something that does, that neither of you thought of, and that’s really exciting. Matt really liked what was going on between the actors, and I really enjoyed working with him. I found it wasn’t like a quick sketch kind of a job, which can sometimes be the case on a really big film. It was more detailed than I even imagined it, just because of how he set the tone. And the sets were fantastic. It was really fun to do. He had so much energy and enthusiasm. And when you tried something unusual, he’d pick up on it right away. And when someone does that, you want to keep surprising them. So, it was nice.”

Having a number of scenes with Farrell, Turturro remembers, “Colin, I didn’t even recognize. I really like Colin. He’s a sweet guy and I thought he looked great—I thought he was doing a terrific job. I mean, it was amazing. Up close, you couldn’t tell that he had makeup on, believe me.”

When the film opens it’s clear that it’s an election year and the mayoral race in Gotham City is … was … tight. Bella Reál is the youngest challenger for the post. Using grassroots tactics to rally her supporters from the ground up, Bella is prepared to rip up the rule book in order to cleanse the city of crime and isn’t afraid to call out the citizens she believes could be doing more—like Bruce Wayne.

Jayme Lawson plays the confident candidate seeking what could, considering the criminal hierarchy in Gotham, be a thankless job. Lawson comes to the property as, she says, “a casual Batman fan. I feel in order to call yourself a legit fan, you’d have to have really been into the comics growing up, and I just didn’t read a lot. But I was fascinated by Batman, he was one of those superheroes that I loved above anyone else because he’s just a dude, he didn’t have any special powers, and that felt more relatable in a sense.”

Lawson recalls when she first had an inkling that she could be involved in “The Batman.” “I remember reading it and texting my agent and telling him, man, this is awesome, I’m about to be a part of something that’s crazy good. First off, you know that anything Matt Reeves is doing is going to be phenomenal. But, reading Matt’s script, I just got lost; I felt like I was actually watching the film and taking a ride through all the twists and turns. And I really loved getting to see Batman as a detective.”

She also loved the character he had crafted. “Bella is just trying to make a difference in the city that she was born and raised in. She doesn’t come from a wealthy background; she’s really somebody who is of the people, who understands the gripes within the city. Being very hands-on, she knows the real pains, the real conflicts in a way that all these career politicians don’t, and she’s decided to try and shake things up, to try to be an actual voice for the people.”

Another character who is meant to speak for the people in cities big or small is the district attorney. However, Gotham’s DA, Gil Colson, appears to have lost his way. Instead, Colson looks the other way when it comes to the activities of Gotham's biggest crime bosses, while at the same time enjoying the perks of the job as one of the city’s top lawmen, especially its nightlife … down to the last drop.

Peter Sarsgaard plays the pivotal character, who comes in contact with both Selina and The Batman in a locale most district attorneys wouldn’t—and of course, shouldn’t—frequent.

Sarsgaard observes, “Gil is a district attorney in Gotham and he’s both a family man and a guy who’s become corrupted. I think in large part that has to do with this really, really high anxiety that he has, which to me comes from somebody who is not morally ambivalent. I think he’s a person that is torn up about what he’s involved in, but he doesn’t really see any way out.

“Gil knows the inner machinations of what’s going on in the city”, he continues. “In a way, he understands, even before other people around him do, the sort of downward spiral that he is personally on.”

Says Clark, “With Matt, we always want to go back to the basics and work with actors that can make you feel something emotionally. Matt’s a great actor’s director, and we are the luckiest filmmakers to have an ensemble that comprises Rob Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard and newcomer Jayme Lawson. Every one of these actors has headlined a project at some point in their life and now we have them all together.”

Come on, Vengeance, let’s get in some trouble …

Fight training

Reeves turned to supervising stunt coordinator and second unit director Robert Alonzo to head up the team that trained the cast for the countless fight sequences and other physical demands required for the massive action sequences in “The Batman.”

One of the most challenging—but one that perfectly encapsulates Alonzo’s fight style—is between Selina Kyle and The Batman. Calling for him to pin her down in order to try to extract the information he needs to continue his investigation into the serial killer, the action underscores that they both know they're facing a formidable opponent; what’s more, it’s their first meeting, so the scene is loaded with tension.

Alonzo recalls, “One of the most difficult things about choreographing this fight scene was ensuring that the objectives of both characters are accomplished. It was one of the most difficult fights that I have had to do, primarily because I didn’t have my female stunt double at that time, and I was constantly working with male energy. Normally when I choreograph, I play both sides, but this one was a little bit more difficult because I needed that feminine approach and I needed to turn each move into a statement. So, it really became a fight of physical dialogue. However, that really worked because not only do I dislike doing fights for the sake of fighting, but Matt Reeves also feels the same way. Neither of us wanted to do things for the sake of glorified action; there always has to be a character-driven purpose.”

Alonzo designed the choreography to play off of the tension between them called for in the script during their introduction. “When you meet someone for the first time, it can be flirty or playful, even though you’re fighting”, he says. “We wanted to show a blossoming potential interaction or relationship, but I think it’s really important to keep in mind here that Batman definitely does not want to fight. He is trying to maintain some distance and ensure that he’s not hurting her, because he doesn’t know quite how she’s involved in what’s happening in Gotham.”

The Batman may want to pussyfoot around Selina, assuming he has the advantage based on size alone, but thanks to Alonzo’s designs and Kravitz’s confident physicality, it quickly becomes clear she has powerful moves of her own. And because Pattinson is clearly much bigger than Kravitz, Alonzo’s approach was always to ensure that his actors were completely believable in the sequence.

“Sometimes when you train actors, they get so focused on their movement that they lose their intention”, says Alonzo. “I work on reactive training, which is training so that the actors move organically; they are not memorizing moves, but reacting to each other. It’s what I call physical dialogue: like actual dialogue, each move must be a statement and move the scene forward. Throughout filming, we had the challenge of getting the style of shots that Matt really wanted with regard to composition, framing, lighting, how we’re bringing attention to the scene and where to bring the focus. The key was to keep the actors’ intentions and their objectives clear throughout the whole scene, while still being in the moment. I think Rob and Zoë did a fantastic job.”

Pattinson trained for seven weeks, kicking off with fight training for the first fight of the film, which takes place on a Gotham rail station platform on Halloween night. Pattinson confirms he felt completely prepared thanks to the weeks of prep, stating, “Rob has a great style. First, you learn certain signature moves, which you can build into different patterns really quickly. We mostly concentrated on specific combinations without putting them in the context of the fight, then we’d practice a few sets of different combinations. In the end it felt more reactive and closer to a real fight, because you’re really watching the person who you’re fighting with rather than just memorizing it like steps in a dance.”

“Rob Alonzo and his whole team are just incredible people”, says Kravitz, who has known Alonzo for most of her life, ever since he taught her Tae kwon do when she was just seven. “In this film, we were not doing things that didn’t feel possible. For example, I wasn’t wearing shoes I couldn’t walk in, and if I couldn’t pick somebody up, Rob wouldn’t have the character do it. He was really concerned about everything feeling grounded and being motivated by emotion and that’s really great.”

Of course, the actress readily admits it was no stroll in the park. “The first couple months of training were intense—I would hobble home!” she laughs. “But it was great. I had never felt so strong in my life and that was transformative.”

Who are you under there … what are you hiding?

The batsuit

The Batsuit is The Batman’s protective suit of armor, crafted by his own hand. Bruce Wayne combined technical fabrics and bulletproof plating to give his vigilante alter ego a formidable, tactical defense against criminals. With the Batsuit, he creates an intimidating silhouette amidst Gotham City’s shadows.

Reeves had a very specific aesthetic in mind when it came to what would arguably be the most important element of iconography in the film: “I felt that if Bruce was going to create this Batsuit, the purpose of the Batsuit would be twofold: one, to intimidate and scare the hell out of the criminal element, because that’s why he’s chosen this image, as he has to appear out of the shadows; and two, it has to be very protective, it has to be very tactical, it has to be like riot gear. I knew that when you looked up close, I wanted to see the seams; I wanted to see the number of times he’d been hit in the head, and to know that that was reinforced, and to see the places where his suit had been scarred. I wanted you to get the feeling that Bruce had put that together in the bat cave.”

The effect of stepping into that iconic suit was immediate and transformative for Pattinson, who attests, “You immediately feel incredibly powerful. Then you realize that if you even slightly exert yourself, you’re pouring sweat, all the while trying to figure out how to project a performance through a mask. You realize pretty quickly that this is way harder than a normal role, and it comes with its own specific set of complications. You’re very reliant on the lighting and the director, because basically, you have a new face, and anything you could rely on before in terms of performance is out the window. You have to almost learn an entirely different language. Eventually, you realize you can do tiny movements and that, in a lot of ways, the iconography of the cowl can be so much more impactful than anything you can do with your face.”

“We wanted the Batsuit and the Batmobile to look obviously like it was designed by one man, by Batman himself”, says Clark. “The suit is tactical, it’s military, it’s purpose-driven, it’s practical. It’s also iconic; Batman has his own emblem, his cowl, his cape. We chose a design that Bruce Wayne, at 30- years-old, would have built.”

The Batsuit costume was designed by Batsuit chief concept artist Glyn Dillon and costume supervisor Dave Crossman. Inspired by old Soviet pressure suits, it appears hand-made, with visible seams and evident battle scars.

Pattinson was surprised at how comfortable the suit was, while also giving him physical protection. That’s because, no matter how cool it needed to look, comfort was at the forefront of Dillon and Crossman’s designs; they didn't want to put the actor into something he could not sit in in-between takes or that would need five people to get him out of if he needed a break.

“I immediately wanted to do rolls!” the actor confesses. “You could jump around and actually crash into stuff. And it had loads of scuffs and tears, so it didn’t feel too superhero-y. There was a bullet indentation in the cowl, which is there throughout the movie. Every little scar shows. For me, it’s a reminder of Batman’s fallibility.”

For efficiency, every part of the suit has a use, from the gauntlet concealing the iconic grapple gun that fires grappling hooks, to the bat motif that turns out to be a magnetized folding Glauca knife. And unlike its predecessors, this Batsuit isn’t bulked up with exaggerated shoulders and powerful muscle definition. Instead, it was designed not to be too noticeable, and as a suit for a slimmer man—a lean, mean streetfighter.

The “make-do-and-mend” feel extended to every part of the costume, from the cowl—made of rubber meant to look like leather, which has been stitched and re-stitched very obviously by hand—to the utility belt, with its police issue-like ammo pouches and packs. “It’s the same with the boots”, remarks Dillon. “They’re not fancy superhero boots; they’re Austrian army boots, which Bruce has given a customized cover to protect his shins.”

The Batman’s vambraces, or gauntlets, were partly inspired by the quick-draw sleeve gun Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle wears in “Taxi Driver.” Again, these also come with a heavy nod to homespun technology. “It’s meant to feel like Bruce has used found objects”, says Dillon, “which he has customized using something that could almost be the handle of a knife, or part of a washing machine. The vambraces are based on bō shuriken, an ancient Japanese throwing weapon, but in Batman’s case they’re harpoons, which he can also use defensively against knives and so on.”

For the flying suit Batman wears during a critical chase sequence, Dillon was guided by Reeves’ desire to have a kind of wingsuit, which creates surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. Dillon’s design featured a lining inside the cape that Batman is able to flick out, so it opens up. “He’s able to put his arms through, zip it up and then jump off the building”, says Dillon.

The film’s visual effects supervisor, Dan Lemmon, says of the wingsuit: “There are always gadgets in Batman movies that allow him to step off the edge of a building and glide down to safety. That presented a bit of a problem in this movie, where we were trying to be realistic and grounded. If his cape becomes a rigid glider, there’s a suspension of disbelief that actually goes beyond what we were trying to achieve in this film. Matt’s idea was that, rather than a rigid glider, his cape and his suit could become a wingsuit. Even though with a real wingsuit you could never actually land without a parachute, because this is Batman and he’s an engineer and he’s tough, he’s developed a wingsuit that allows him to take a rough landing and walk away.”

The sequence begins on the rooftop of the Gotham City Police Department, which combined elements of the famous Liver Building in Liverpool and the Chicago Board of Trade Building. Wide aerials of Batman standing on the parapet were shot on location in Liverpool, then heavily altered in post to increase the height of the building and replace Liverpool’s waterfront with Gotham City. However, the shot of Batman leaping from the building was filmed on a partial set at Leavesden, with a camera strapped to the back of a stunt performer on wires. The stuntman only had eight feet of travel before he reached the bottom of the set, so the shot handed over to a digital GCPD Building and Batman as the wingsuit inflated and began to take flight.

Batman’s descent through the urban canyon was based largely on LaSalle Street in Chicago, where the production shot extensive plates from a drone. “However, the drone didn’t have the correct flight dynamics and was not able to fly fast enough to realistically recreate wingsuit flight”, says Lemmon, “so, the VFX team used the Chicago footage as a springboard to create a grittier Gotham-ized street in CG that they could then race through with more appropriate flight dynamics.”

Lemmon goes on to further describe, “We were using the LEDs at the same time that we were flying performers in the wingsuit on wires, and we had to be able to move a lot of air through that space so the suit would stay inflated, which is what gave the performers control and kept them ‘flying’ and not just hanging on wires. We made a 20-foot-wide tube of LEDs to provide interactive lighting from the buildings racing by, but the LEDs also helped channel the air being pushed by the large fans—in effect, we created a wind tunnel out of LED panels that we flew Batman through. We did the same thing with Rob Pattinson as well; Matt wanted it to feel completely believable, so that you get to the end of the scene and say, ‘Oh my God, Rob Pattinson actually just flew down the streets of Gotham in a wingsuit and landed on the street without a parachute!”

No matter the action required in a scene or the effect wearing it had on his performance choices as an actor, simply donning the Batsuit brought home to Pattinson the full force of playing Batman. “You put on that suit for the first time, and you can feel the unbelievable level of power in it”, he says. “There’s so much history invested in the iconography, and so many people connect to it on such a deep level for so many different reasons. You can feel that when you put it on, you can feel that weight and responsibility, and it bleeds into how Bruce feels about being Batman himself. You have some level of responsibility to the people who’ve invested so much in the character. It’s the same way that Bruce feels a responsibility to Gotham in a lot of ways. It’s a great feeling though.”

Costume Design

One of the filmmakers’ key collaborators on “The Batman” was costume designer Jaqueline Durran, who immediately hooked into Reeves’ aesthetic sensibilities for the film. “The interesting thing about this movie for me was Matt Reeves’s vision for it”, Durran says. “He didn’t want the film to be a retro film; it has modern technology and is in the modern world. But it’s in Gotham, so for me, it was about finding a balance between how to reference those ideas and to make them contemporary. The most significant comic reference for me was Batman: Year One—that formed one of the cornerstones in the creation of the costumes.”

Throughout her design process and beyond, Durran found working with Reeves to be a fulfilling experience. “Matt had very clear ideas of how he wanted the movie to look, so from the beginning it was about us fleshing out those ideas. What I aimed for and what I hope I achieved is that each individual character is distinct, but that they all fit into the overall pattern.”
Durran finalized her initial creative designs once the cast were in place. “Knowing which actor is playing a particular character naturally has a huge impact on how the costume evolves”, she says. “With early concepts, what’s often difficult is that you don’t know the physicality of the person that’s going to be cast.”

For DC canon characters, where a general expectation already exists, it makes the design challenge even greater. Durran explains, “For example, with The Penguin, we didn’t know whether we were going to have a bigger or smaller person, and that’s something that can’t be underestimated, because you need to build the concept of the character with the actor and with their physique.”

Once the cast was set, Durran and her team worked closely with them. “The Penguin had an interesting evolution”, she remembers. “As soon as Colin was cast, we had an idea of the shape of the prosthetic body, which was made in the U.S. We were looking at 1940s and 1980s gangsters for inspiration and ended up with an amalgamation of those two periods: a `40s-influenced `80s suit, and a very `80s-style leather coat. We made everything except the shoes, and Colin had a lot of input, too. The only inspiration we took for The Penguin from the comic books was the color purple.”

In creating the look for The Riddler, she says, “Paul Dano had a lot of input in how he felt the costume should be and there was a lot of evolution and rejection of certain elements”, she explains. “He and Matt both wanted to research surplus stores, as those would have been the options available to The Riddler in Gotham. So, he has a German jacket and American trousers and boots. One of the defining things was finding the winter combat mask, but that gave us a way into the character.

“Another example of the effort that went into creating the character were his glasses”, she continues. “Glasses are very particular to a person, and you can't decide which pair looks best before you

 put them on someone’s face. We went through something like 200 pairs of glasses before we got the right pair. Paul was in Australia at the time and went to opticians to try them on and sent pictures. The Riddler is a really good example of the concept working in reality.”

Dano also responded enthusiastically to Durran’s work. “Something that I was very impressed by immediately was the character design”, says the actor. “Edward Nashton’s costume was very important to me and to the team, because it says so much about that character. Here’s a guy who could be at the desk next to you at the office. Finding the right khaki pants and button-down shirt was just as important as The Riddler's costume. It was the same with the glasses—we went through a lot of pairs, and why that pair with the clear frame was the one, I don’t know, but it just felt right. When I put them on over the combat mask, there was a scientific, doctor-y vibe about the look that just worked.”

Dano also came up with an idea for The Riddler’s look that involved plastic kitchen wrap. “I thought it would be kind of scary and weird”, he says circumspectly, not revealing too much. “Matt Reeves loved it; he loved anything that was upsetting or disturbing for the character.”

For Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle, Reeves states, “She is not yet dressing up as Catwoman or calling herself Catwoman, but you see there’s a path there. In the future this will become some kind of Catsuit, and she will become Catwoman, but not yet.”

Durran remained conscious of that throughout her development of the design, noting “We came up with a design somewhere between the real world and a full-fledged Catsuit”, she says. “We needed to make it Catsuit-like enough so that it registers that she’s going to be Catwoman, but isn’t yet, so it was quite challenging to work out that balance. We added stretched panels to make the suit very fitted, and that was a technically difficult thing to make because it had to stretch in so many different directions, and it is leather, which isn’t stretchy. Then, once we had built the costume, we broke it down, gave it some wear and tear to make it look like she wore it all the time, to give it a history.”

For the character’s scenes at the club where Selina works, Durran created a costume with nods to the Batman: Year One comics, with rubber pants, belt, and short top. “Rubber was something that Zoë was really interested in and that we were very keen on using to create that look”, Durran notes. “Selina also has a coat that has a similar feel to the Catsuit, which is trashed and broken down as well. The combination of the coat and the rubber underneath looked great.”

Durran didn’t quite leave it there. “Another way we found to hint at what’s to come was to cut up a beanie and put a seam across the top, which ‘inadvertently’ makes it look a little like a cat's ears”, she smiles.”

Reeves was thrilled with that touch. “I had said to Jacqueline that I wanted Selina to wear a ski mask, and when she altered it to form these subtle little ears, I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s really cool, I love that!’ That’s when I came up with an idea for a shot that pushes into the back of her head, and you see the outline—it would just hint at the idea of car ears. So, you’re not seeing any of the fine details.”

The director was impressed with how the full Catsuit came together. “One of the key elements of Selina’s look is the motorcycle suit and that, with her ski mask with the cat ears, the whip, all paid homage to Year One, to a very particular outfit, which has this kind of bustier and these kinds of leather pants.”

Durran’s work also found an enthusiastic cheerleader in Kravitz. “Jaqueline is just an absolute genius and so collaborative, which was great because it was so fun to be a part of the process”, says the actress. “Matt wanted the Catsuit to not be a fashion thing but to be practical. It has different shapes and silhouettes, and some parts are shiny; there are bits that have been patched up with different kinds of leather, and you can just tell she’s worn this thing to death, and I loved that. It feels very feminine and very sexy, but at the same time practical, and that’s something that really was important to us.”

For Bruce Wayne’s Drifter costume, Durran also took inspiration from Batman: Year One, but created an outfit that blends into the background. The end result was a hybrid of workwear and army surplus. “Rob really wanted to push the workwear aspect”, she says. “If you’re wearing some sort of uniform, you tend to be invisible. He specifically spoke about the dock workers in Manhattan and how they are an unnoticed part of the crowd. One challenge was finding a helmet that would be appropriate for the bike he rides, but eventually we found one that is somewhere between a retro and motor cross helmet."

Because the character is not the version audiences are accustomed to, another pivotal scene involving Bruce Wayne as Bruce Wayne presented a different challenge for Durran: a men’s suit. “It took quite a bit of working out, but like the other costumes, it was all about pulling back and honing down”, Durran relays. “We went minimalist Japanese for Bruce’s shirt, and we went Saville Row with his suit and coat. It’s luxurious but very low key. The Kurt Cobain element Matt devised was really important in how we chose to introduce our Bruce Wayne, but when Kurt Cobain wore a suit, it was trashy and that wouldn’t have worked for Bruce. Fortunately, Rob was all about honing it down and taking away rather than adding, so Bruce doesn’t look like a playboy … he’s more of a tortured soul.”

In contrast to that look is Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler. “Andy Serkis wanted Alfred to be very well-dressed and very tailored, very neat, and to have a military precision about what he wore”, says Durran. With that in mind, she furthers, “We bought vintage black mohair to give his suit a `60s feel, and it has a shawl lapel on the waistcoat. It was a very expensive and very traditional Savile Row look and makes for a great contrast to Bruce in his suit.”

The input from the cast occasionally presented challenges for the costume department as well. John Turturro, for example, found a pair of vintage sunglasses in New York, which were perfect for Carmine Falcone. “The problem was that there isn’t another pair in the world!” Durran laughs. “We needed several copies for the stuntmen, and they had to be an exact match, so we had to make glasses to match the originals; it was a process, but we got there.

“For his costume”, she continues, “we kept him very minimalist and unshowy. Many of the most powerful people in the world don’t call attention to themselves in that way; they take a back seat and stay in the shadows, and that was the approach he wanted to go for.”

As the artisan capturing it all for the camera, Reeves’ director of photography, Greig Fraser, says he was blown away by the appearance of the entire ensemble. “The costume team is incredible on this film. Everything they made the costumes from was beautifully textural and reflected light in such an interesting, unique way. Every time I put a light on a costume, it just sang. It was absolutely fantastic; nothing felt false in any way, but rather earthy and organic.”

Transformative Makeup

Prosthetics makeup designer Mike Marino was charged with creating The Penguin's prosthetics. “Matt Reeves wanted something that was a little pathetic and a little sympathetic for The Penguin”, he says, “and he referenced Fredo from ‘The Godfather.’ The Penguin is also, like the other characters, only just at the beginning of his career, so there was a little room for him to change and mature. I took inspiration from some older gangsters as well as the original comics and put them all together. In the end, I sculpted Fredo’s brow onto Colin as closely as I could, and after tweaking, he developed into this strange mob character: a scarred, grizzled heavy guy with maybe an insecurity or two”, he smiles.

That insecurity might be derived from The Penguin’s pockmarked face and slight subliminal beak-shaped nose, visible in profile. Over a process lasting some three hours, Farrell gradually transformed into The Penguin, with individual pieces comprising nose, upper lip, chin, brows and earlobes, made up each day and glued onto the actor’s face and neck.

“Once the pieces were glued on, we would start painting it, airbrushing different tones and colors to match the skin tone as closely as possible”, says Marino. “Then stubble would be added next, then the eyebrows and the wig pieces. I couldn’t have asked for a better person than Colin to be in the makeup, because his personality is so unique and he did some really interesting things with his face, and added a sort of limp, and it really made The Penguin come alive.”

See You in Hell.

Creating and capturing Gotham

For the look of the film, Reeves and his team—including director of photography Greig Fraser and production designer James Chinlund—had a specific ambition: to design a Batworld that hasn’t been seen before. Says Reeves: “We have seen theatrical fantasy versions of Gotham, amazing versions in the Burton movies and the very practical versions that are almost James Bond-like in the Nolan films. Our crime story tells a story of a place, and that place is Gotham, and I wanted that hanging over everything.”

Reeves was keen to create a world that was at once plausible and unrecognizable. “We didn’t want to have Times Square standing in for Gotham Square”, he says, “so we added skyscrapers and an elevated train to the gothic architecture of Wellington Square in Liverpool, with the idea that you look at it and think, ‘Where is that?’ One of the characters of the film is Gotham and as the crimes are alluding to the history of corruption in Gotham, the idea of the presence of that place as a character was critical.”

Fraser was instantly engaged by Reeves’ depiction. “I love it when I read a project and I don’t know how to do it instantly”, he states. “If I read something or I talk to a director about something and I walk away slightly terrified, I’m in. Batman has such a strong filmic history and has been remade by multiple extraordinary filmmakers. That said, I don’t skydive and I don’t ride skateboards or motorbikes, but I try to challenge myself when I’m making a movie and this one certainly intrigued me from the start.”

The artisan was pulled into the project through the protagonist’s character. He observes, “The one thing that Matt and I spoke about early on was that we wanted to make a film that was dark, but not so dark that it was unwatchable. It needed to appeal to a large group of people, but the tone needed to go back to how Batman started in the comic books, with Bruce Wayne’s broken character and how Batman is a result of that brokenness.”

Reeves and Fraser, who got to know each other very well while making the vampire movie “Let Me In”, had been speaking about Batman for a long time before filming started. “It was very easy to click into Matt’s vision. Matt has a very particular way of seeing the world and he’s a very meticulous director. There are a lot of similarities between him and Batman in that sense”, he grins. “So, I knew from having worked with Matt before how Matt sees and approaches the world. And seeing the concept work between Matt and James Chinlund meant that I could very quickly understand what Matt was trying to achieve with the film. Batman: Year One was a main reference and became a launching pad for what was going to become our movie. And that told the story of a slightly younger, brooding Batman, so the look of the film would reflect that.

“One of the things that concerned me early was the darkness”, Fraser continues. “More specifically, how to create light darkness, which sounds like an oxymoron, but there are ways to create lightness in an image, but darkness within the character. The Batsuit is very dark and so is the mask. Trying to see into a character through a dark costume, through dark eyes, is very hard, because it’s a challenge to illuminate that well enough to see emotion, but not give away the mood. It’s a very fine balance. So, during the camera test it became quite clear that we really needed to skirt the line of fill-light in the eyes, finding that balance between seeing detail and not seeing detail—that was one of the big things that we explored very early on.”

When it came to Selina Kyle, however, Fraser was given a chance to explore a different aesthetic tone. “I had a fantastic time, because Zoë absorbs light and reflects light in such a unique way”, he says. “She’s got such beautiful skin and features, and I found that being able to play with color with her was really interesting. We tried to remain very simple and not get too fussy with our lighting in general, but with Zoë I found that often times, if I were to add cyan into the light source that was lighting her, that it would lift her out of the scene and give her a little bit of a glow.”

Underlining all Fraser's decisions was the desire for the look to be authentic. “This film needed to be very naturally lit, meaning every single light needed to appear practical. In any big city there is light pretty much everywhere, so we wanted to make sure that every single set had practical illumination at its core. I didn’t want the audience feeling like it had been lit in any other way except practically. All the lights that illuminated the backlot we built were effectively built into the set, so at any given time I could change the look of the set through turning on lights that existed already. That was a very big bonus for us, because it meant wherever we looked, it felt real. It also allowed the actors to see what the background was going to be, allowing them to emotionally have an interaction with it. It also permitted the correct light integration to exist between the foreground, the mid-ground and the background, which makes visual effects a lot easier, and therefore, a lot more successful.”

When it came to deciding on how the camera would move, Fraser and Reeves opted to make the camera very grounded as well. “We moved the camera in a very delicate way”, says Fraser. “The camera rarely pans or tilts, rarely are there multiple moves happening at the same time; we were either pushing in or pulling out, panning, dropping. The film is so complex and so deep when it comes to set dressing, story and character, that the camera needed to take a step back from that and be almost like an impartial observer so as not to confuse the audience by moving too much. Simple camera moves allow us not to complicate the story.”

All along the way, Fraser was guided by his director's unique vision and working style. “Matt is a very meticulous, detailed-oriented director and writer, and what Matt brings to the set is a desire to have more than just what appears on the surface, to delve into those characterizations. Watching him work with actors is incredible, because Matt has a very particular direction that he is after, and he gives the actors their space to try and find that direction.

Production designer James Chinlund was equally inspired by Reeves’ desire to present the world of Batman in a completely new and fresh way. “We wanted to unpack the world and find a new space”, he says. “With Matt’s leadership and vision, I think we really landed on something all our own.”

Chinlund, who has been a massive fan of Batman since his childhood, took his lead from a specific directive. “Matt wanted to make sure we presented a world that felt plausible as a place that you might find around the corner or up the street, a world connected to our own that would keep the audience engaged. A lot of Matt’s visual references were 1970s films and the photography of that era, as well as the grit and grime of New York from that period. That was the genesis or the DNA of ‘The Batman’ world.

“We were also thinking about the effects of corruption and crime, and a bit about climate change, too”, he continues. “That helped us generate the visual rules that would guide us going forward. It really landed us in our own space: a contemporary world that you could believe is a part of America, similar to towns like Detroit and Cleveland, but at the same time, it’s entirely unique.”

Chinlund further describes his aesthetic as built on “the idea that Gotham had had a very powerful heyday, and over the years, corruption led to this massive decay. As if time had stopped, much of the growth of the city was frozen in the past. A lot of our inspiration for the Gotham look was the way the American movie palace took Gothic architecture and created a pastiche, a Gothic language that was slightly pushed and maybe a little bit more romantic. So, architecturally, that was the foundation of the city. Then we incorporated a frozen attempt at modernization, which allowed us to create these rusting hulks, these massive towers that remain incomplete. Looking at the construction of the World Trade Center in the `70s, for example, was a big inspiration; you saw these shards of steel going up into the skyline. I love the way those sorts of skeletal shapes in the skyline married with the Gothic shapes, allowing us to create a world that felt simultaneously modern, but not shiny and new. You could see those representations of the failure of the system in the skyline itself.”

Reeves and Chinlund wanted to counter the broader palette, which skewed toward dour and gloom, by creating a different tone in the red-light district, where Selina Kyle lives. “We were inspired by some of the films of Wong Kar-Wai, in terms of textures and patterns”, Chinlund says. “There’s a romantic palette in some of those movies that we loved, so we let in a bit more color in those scenes, like neon and a lot of color from the light in the street. Our world is grim in a lot of places, and that was an environment where we could let some color pop.”

During pre-production, the team created sets using virtual reality, which allowed Reeves, Chinlund and Fraser to design the sets, add camera and lighting and, donning virtual reality headsets from anywhere in the world they happened to be, move around the virtual set before it was even built. This enabled Reeves to make changes to the set as per his creative and practical requirements.

Chinlund describes the technology, noting, “The great thing about the virtual reality production tool is it allows you to ‘audition’ changes to sets and to feel the space. You’re able to put lenses on viewfinders and see the kind of shots you can get, so if you need to move a wall it’s a lot less expensive than if you’ve already constructed it. It allows you to do a lot more planning in the shot-making process before having to fully commit to the construction.”

Once he was given a tour of the virtual reality tools and shown how it was used interactively with the set, Reeves recognized its power as a tool immediately and how it would also enrich the collaboration between all the creative and effects departments working on the film.

Reeves says, “I’d had some experience with it, and it’s exciting to work in the VR space because you feel like you’re at the forefront of something in filmmaking. The idea of virtually creating Gotham, of James working hard with the artists to try and lay out this city in a way that felt really signature to us, and where you could see our bridge with the keyhole design—that was James’ design—that was so emblematic to the story and so important. At the same time, we were still figuring out how to use it and how to get shots in it, and that part of it is a very exciting but challenging thing. To be able to extend the set in the volume—the set itself is actually not that big, but when you turn around and you see the rest of the extension of the building and what’s behind it that’s all actually virtual as well, it’s a weird and truly thrilling experience. It’s beautiful technology.”

“It was our goal to represent the whole world in VR, then allow Matt to storyboard and shot-make as he went”, Chinlund says. “We were breaking new ground and it was just so exciting for us to see the power of the tool and its effectiveness in Matt’s process. I think it created a much more efficient relationship between the art department, visual effects, storyboards and pre-visualization.”

For Fraser, the digital technology was “a game-changer. It meant that we could foresee the film six months prior to building a set, so we could make decisions on lighting, on blocking, even on changing the size or the direction of where the key light’s going to come from because we know in advance about how we’re going to block the film. Filmmakers are generally visual humans, and to be able to see that, as opposed to seeing it as a model, was invaluable for us.”

During the scouting phase of pre-production, the locations team looked at several American cities, including Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and New York, but decided to base the main shoot in London. Chinlund had some doubts at first, but once he started scouting in Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow, he recognized the potential.

“We noticed a decayed Gothic layer that we just don’t have in the States”, he says. “It gave us a real opportunity to combine practical set builds and some Chicago location work with this amazing rich tapestry of architecture from the UK, and to try and weave all that into an American city you’ve never seen before.”

In the end, location work included Liverpool, Glasgow and London, while Leavesden and Cardington Studios provided stages and backlot space for the huge set builds. Second unit shooting also took place in Chicago, with stunt doubles on the motorbike and Batmobile, as well as drone footage that would be seamlessly woven into the main footage.

Nevertheless, creating the Gotham skyline was tricky. Chinlund says, “We realized it was going to be beneficial to find a location where we could shoot plates, which would allow us to judge the way the light reflects off of other buildings. We found a location in Lower Manhattan that we used to anchor the unfinished skyscraper, and then rebuilt the world around it. That became a key part of the Tricorner Bridge area of Gotham. So”, he smiles, “there is a piece of Lower Manhattan that was the kernel of our city after all.”

Locations and studio sets made up a very large part of the shoot, but visual effects, led by Dan Lemmon, were naturally a major contributor. “The Batman” production utilized LED volume technology to bring much of the locations to life. Like traditional rear projections, the LEDs allowed the filmmakers to see the backgrounds directly in-camera. By adding motion capture tools to the system, the team was able to track the camera and adjust the perspective of the 3D backgrounds in sync with the moving camera, seamlessly blending between the physical and virtual spaces.

However, the greatest advantage that the LEDs provided was the light—LEDs perfectly matched the color, contrast and exposure levels of the real world. That meant that the light reaching the actors’ skin was reflecting off their leather costumes and the wet floors of the set was totally consistent with the rest of the world, creating a realism in the lighting and integration that is simply not possible on bluescreen stages. The technology also allowed the filmmakers to shoot locations that would be unsafe or impractical in the real world, all within a controlled, photorealistic, interactive studio environment.

“LED allows you not only to have the world there visually, but the way the light affects a subject is entirely natural”, Chinlund explains. “For the actors, standing there looking out at the world of Gotham is an incredibly powerful tool as well. Dan and his team did an incredible job pulling all this together in conjunction with Tad Davis, our visual effects art director; it was amazing seeing the virtual reality tools combining with the LED screens.”

Fraser adds that from his perspective, “What LED gives you instantly is an authenticity to the lighting, and it’s not just the lighting, it’s a feel, it’s a mood. If you get the lighting wrong, but the emotion of the characters right, well, then something’s not right. But if you can make them all work together, the lighting, the story, the blocking, then you’ve got something that kind of works for an audience.”

Lemmon, whose primary concern was ensuring everything in the film looks as realistic as possible, was presented with an interesting challenge because of Reeves’ ambition to have the film appear grounded, gritty and realistic. “Normally, visual effects are all about creating worlds that don’t exist or that trade in the fantastic and supernatural. In this movie it was all about trying to do everything we could to help the audience believe that this character and this world exists. Visual effects always have to connect with the themes and ambitions of the film itself; they need to feel integrated and be as seamless as possible. Our ambitions for this film were for you to believe one hundred percent that it really happened.”

Lemmon and his team worked for months to get the images of Gotham up on the LED screens, meaning that a lot of what he and his team would normally accomplish in post-production was right at the front of the schedule. “One of the big challenges was making sure that the design, the crafting of the 3D models, the materials and the rendering was well and truly buttoned down long before we even walked on set”, says Lemmon. “We weren’t the first to use LED volumes, but the extent to which we used it— building the world of Gotham and having a volume that wasn’t purpose-built, but literally went up in days and came back down in days—this was a new thing, and we made it very flexible, which was also one of the key new things.”

Chinlund and his team had a critical mass of sets to design and build, including the Iceberg Lounge, The Riddler’s apartment, the diner, Falcone’s loft and more, which, he says, “created an amazing opportunity for us to build a backlot set of Gotham. That was one of the first things we attacked, in addition to the iconic pieces like the Batcave and Wayne Tower.”

The latter two sets brought about some trepidation for the design team, to say the least. The Batcave, The Batman’s base of operations, is situated in the bowels of Wayne Tower, where the vigilante has transformed the old Wayne Terminus railway station into his hidden headquarters, accessed through a series of secret tunnels.

“The Batcave and Wayne Tower, both built on the stages at Leavesden Studios, were two sets that make a production designer wake up in the night in a cold sweat!” Chinlund laughs. “Those two sets have been executed so beautifully by so many in the past, how could we possibly create something new that the fans hadn’t seen before? Matt and I agreed that all we could do was deliver something that feels true and real to our story.”

The design conversation started with a question: if Wayne Tower was built in the 1920s, would there be an opportunity for a cave under it? “I was thinking about foundations”, recalls Chinlund. “I remembered there’s an underground train station at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the myth, which I think is true, is that there’s a train parked there all the time for whenever the President is in town and if there’s ever an emergency, they could take him through this secret tunnel at the Waldorf and it would get him out of town discreetly. I always loved that idea and thought it was so romantic. I thought that if you were the Waynes and you had created this city, you would probably have your own secret train terminal under the tower. It created a great visual where you had an underground train station and a very skeletal glass elevator that led to the top of the tower.”

Driving Chinlund’s design for Batman’s home and possessions was the particular DIY nature of Bruce Wayne’s mindset. “We loved the idea that Bruce doesn’t care at all about Wayne Industries and that he is doing all this himself”, says Chinlund. “The look of Wayne Tower, the look of the Batcave and the look of the Batmobile reflect that he couldn’t care less about his wealth and Wayne Industries.

That the film is set at the beginning of Bruce’s journey as The Batman also influenced the approach. “We didn’t want to create something that was just a splashy piece of design. We wanted it to reflect the DIY aesthetic of everything Bruce was building”, he explains.

Chinlund used Central Saint Martins art and design college in London to double as the Gotham City Police Department Command Center as well as the morgue, one of Chinlund's favorite sets. “The architecture and patina of this building just lent itself so well to going way down in the bowels of the Gotham City Hospital, where they are understaffed and underfunded.”

Other major sets included Gotham City Hall, whose interior was constructed at Cardington Studios in Bedford, one of the largest indoor spaces in Europe, while the neo-classical, grade 1 listed St. George’s Hall in Liverpool doubled for the exterior. The set had to accommodate real stunts, where a car smashes through the doors and drives up the central staircase.

Selina Kyle’s apartment afforded Chinlund another opportunity to let his imagination go wild. Located in the red-light district of Gotham above an old burlesque theater called The East End, the apartment had to look as though it was the home of a real person rather than a mythical caricature. Like Reeves, the design team drew aesthetic inspiration from Batman: Year One. There was also a scene in the script that called for the camera to track through the apartment, following Selina as she jumps out the window and onto her motorcycle below. The layout had to accommodate the one shot that could take her from the door to the window and down to the garage below, hence the apartment needed to be elevated.

The designer had a lot of fun playing on the concept of Selina and her journey to becoming Catwoman, too. Chinlund describes, “The apartment is very lived-in, and all the furniture is scratched by the cats she takes in, and the refrigerator is dedicated entirely to cat food. There are galleries of cat photography on the walls.”

Of course, taking in stray cats meant they would be in her apartment, and the production brought in the furry castmates to “rehearse” in the space for weeks, so that they would be comfortable and would swarm around Kravitz when she walked in.

The Riddler’s apartment represents another key location in the story. “The design of the space is a representation of his madness. We had lots of really interesting back and forth with Paul Dano, making sure we were on the same page in terms of representing him as a buttoned-down accountant by day, madman deep thinker by night”, Chinlund affirms.

Another important set is the diner where The Riddler is drinking coffee as the police are zeroing in. “We knew we needed to be able to see to the cops approaching”, says Chinlund, “and it also establishes us at the base of the Tricorner Bridge, which is a hugely important anchor for the geography of the set, being at the center of the compass. Edward Hopper’s painting ‘Nighthawks’ was very much in my mind when I designed the set, because I love the way the diner acts as a lamp in the center of a dark world. In a way this is an homage, certainly in terms of the expanse of glass there—I love the idea of it being a sort of fish tank with The Riddler encased in glass, in this glowing space in a dark and rainy world.”

Chinlund credits his team with pulling off the long shoot, which required working extensively both in the US and the UK. “The cold and rain during two UK winters made for difficult working conditions, but working with the British crew made up for the hostile weather. To be able to tap into the tradition, the amazing craftsmanship of the artists in the UK, was really a dream come true. I was shuttling back and forth, so Grant Armstrong, supervising art director, was generous in helping me build this team and brought so many talented people to the table. Lee Sandales, our set decorator, did such beautiful work, top to bottom, and Andy Evans, our construction manager, is a legend and was so supportive of us the whole way through, and built some of the most beautiful sets I’ve ever seen.”

Certain additional developments of note achieved during post include a day’s worth of aerial plates over Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, for establishing shots in flooded aftermath scenes. Lemmon relates, “We altered the cityscape, removed the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, added the Tricorner Bridge, added a partially destroyed seawall and flooded Downtown Gotham. We also used plates from that aerial shoot at the beginning of the movie, when the Drifter rides back to Wayne Tower over the Tricorner Bridge, and again replaced the Brooklyn Bridge with the Tricorner Bridge and added a digital Drifter and café racer.

“Panoramic photographs of Manhattan from the palisades of New Jersey served as a foundation for certain shots from The Riddler’s POV as well”, he continues. The same technique applied, replacing major elements of the skyline, adding the Tricorner Bridge, and then also creating digital elements for particular surrounds.”

The batmobile

The Batmobile is Batman’s awe-inspiring signature vehicle. Combining brute force with high- speed ferocity, this staggering feat of engineering provides The Batman with the on-road muscle to chase down his fiercest foes. Also in his vehicular arsenal is the Batcycle, The Batman’s sleekest mode of transport, perfect for allowing the hero to race through Gotham’s streets at breakneck speeds.

Because Bruce Wayne is just into his second year as The Batman, everything Bat is in its early stages as well, and that includes his wheels. The city is decaying around him and the Batmobile reflects this through his hands-on, hand-built, bespoke muscle car, designed to suit his very specific needs.

Chinlund had watched the evolution of the Batmobile, from its early days in the original comics, through the mid-century models of the TV series to the pumped-up sports cars on steroids of the films of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He and Reeves began thinking about the design of the car even before the script was finalized.

“There are certain things you get to do on a Batman movie that you kind of have to pinch yourself”, Reeves says. “You say to yourself, ‘Well, we’re going to need our version of the suit and cowl, and we’re going to need gadgets, and we’ll need our version of the Batmobile.’ Now, as a kid, I loved ‘Batman `66,’ I loved Adam West and that Batmobile, that concept car? I thought that was the coolest car ever. I loved the fire that came out of the back. So many cool Batmobiles have come out since then, and to me, the Batmobile has to be like the Batsuit: it’s meant to intimidate, it has to be like a monster. And because our Batman is just starting out, I wanted his Batmobile to feel elemental, too.”

Reeves and Chinlund I looked at a lot of cars together. “We both came back to the idea that it was all about function and utility for Bruce in our film”, Chinlund says. “Bruce is single-minded in his mission and his construction of the car is all about function: if it’s useful, he keeps it; if it’s extra, he throws it out. We loved the idea of him using parts of a classic American muscle car as the foundation, and then adding the custom frame, amped-up engine, the armor, and so on. Bruce has built this Batsuit for function but also to instill fear, and we knew we had to deliver that same level of signature look in the car.”

Over a period of two years, the Batmobile took shape with the help of vehicle illustrators Ash Thorp, Benjamin Last, and many others. From the initial designs, the team then moved the concept to 3D with vehicle art director Joe Hiura. The end result is a car that has made the long journey to becoming the behemoths-on-steroids moviegoers are used to; “The Batman” Batmobile is matte black all over, with a design that tips its hat to the original Batmobile from the 1960s TV show via red lighting and wings at the rear. A solid steel bumper is attached to a steel frame that runs through the whole car, enabling it to crash through anything in its path, and the massive engine that powers the car is exposed when the car powers up and the louvers open like gills on a fish.

Special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy and his team had to handle a car made up of over 1,000 individual parts, but the fact that the car is so detailed is one of the things that makes Chinlund so proud. “You can look anywhere in the car and there’s something exciting to see, some sort of mechanism or some detail, such as the thruster that controls the jet, which Batman uses when he needs that extra push; rear-view cameras; a control panel; the leather-wrapped dash; and then traditional muscle car gauges. It's a stripped-down, function-first design aesthetic.” But that’s not the best part, the designer notes: “The car performs like a dream. It’s just amazing what these guys pulled off.”

Tuohy’s team began work with the physical build of the car, a process that took 12 weeks. Apart from the engine, tires and gearbox, the car is custom-made. For example, the windscreen would not fit a normal vehicle and required specially made windshield wipers precisely placed to ensure functionality when the script called for the car to be driven through artificial rain. “That’s what was interesting about building the Batmobile”, says Tuohy. “We didn’t use a donor car; we built a one-of-a-kind and, in this case, we built four.”

The Batmobile was built around a V8 engine with 700 horsepower and four-wheel drive, including a transfer box inside that would allow the driver to transfer from the front wheels to the rear wheels while driving using a pneumatic system. Tuohy notes, “That is something that they use in the rally car fraternity, because it gives the car dynamics that you wouldn’t normally have and allows the driver to come around a corner with just the front wheels working, and with the push of a button, transfer all the power to the front wheels, or the rear wheels, or both. From previous experience, we know the stunt drivers love that, because they’ve got immediate power where they want it.”

The car also had to be able to jump. “That was part of the remit when we designed the rear suspension of the car”, says Tuohy. “We built the car so it could be put in either general driving mode or jump mode. One of the four vehicles we made had longer suspension and was for the jump. We also had to redesign the front of that car, because the bumper is injected molded plastic, which has a really good finish as well as strength, but we needed it to be as light as possible to go over a jump. So, we re-molded it out of fiberglass, which reduced the weight by nearly 100 kilos.”

For Tuohy, the best thing about the project was that “everything you see the car do is done in real time”, he says. “There are no computer-generated graphics; what you see on screen is all down to the skill of the stunt team.”

Surprisingly, one of the four Batmobiles Tuohy’s team built was electric—but for a very practical reason. Says Chinlund, “That one was the show car for work on set, and it had the advantage of being totally silent. It also had a pod on top, where the stunt driver was seated while Rob Pattinson was in the driver’s seat below.”

For Pattinson, the Batmobile fit exactly into his incarnation of the character’s aesthetic. “It’s another part of the hand-made nature of everything in this film”, he says. “It’s great that you can see the realistic construction—it’s not alien technology or super high-tech, Bruce has built it himself and we are able to understand that process. Batman has always been an accessible Super Hero, even though he’s a billionaire; the fact that he’s just a guy I think appeals to a lot of people. And when you get closer to that and you see that even the Batmobile looks like something handmade if you had the perseverance and the cash … I think that is appealing.” And incredibly cool. “It sounds unbelievable when you drive it, like you’re driving a jet or something.”

Underneath the bridge …

Music and score

From Schubert’s “Ave Maria” to Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” and a handful of requiems and concertos, Reeves’ “The Batman” is infused with a haunting, nocturnal sensibility that reflects the deepest nature of Bruce Wayne in his second year of taking to the streets of Gotham as a vigilante working through his rage and a detective working to solve a deadly threat to his city.

For the score, Reeves reunited with composer Michael Giacchino. “This is the fifth movie that Michael Giacchino and I have done together”, the filmmaker recalls, “and that to me is a very exciting collaboration; I love working with him. He is very funny, but also an incredibly emotional person. I really love him personally and he’s one of my favorite people. When I first got ‘Planet of the Apes,’ he was the first person I called, because I knew he had all of the Planet of the Apes dolls; I knew that he had the same connection from his childhood that I had. So, when I got ‘The Batman,’ I said to him, ‘Well, guess what is next?’ He has the same kind of love and connection to Batman that I do.”

Despite sharing the same passion for the property, Giacchino quickly informed the filmmaker that he intended to approach it in a different way. Reeves remembers, “He told me he wanted to do what we’d never been able to, which was to record before I ever shot a frame. He said, ‘I want us to record a suite. I want this to be like the unknown Beethoven Sonata of Batman that was found, and that we use to score the entire movie.’ I immediately said okay. I was getting excited about it, so he started writing while I was still writing, and he would send me little samples of what he was composing, recordings of pieces he was doing on the piano.”

Reeves says that later, “the night before Rob was to screen test, Michael sent me a secret little MP4, and he said to listen to it. He had put it together with an orchestra, and it was the theme. It was both Bruce’s theme and Batman’s theme in this incredible suite, and I was blown away! It was so emotional. I drove to the set that morning, and Dylan Clark was there, and I said to him, “You have to get in the car.”

“He sat in the passenger seat, and I just turned up the music”, Reeves continues. “I told him it was Michael’s music for the movie, and the two of us literally cried. He also felt it was amazing. It was one of those rare moments where I just felt like this was a very special, fated day, because here we were, listening to this music, and Rob Pattinson was about to be in one of the classic Batsuits, because you need to see what somebody who might play Batman looks like in a Batsuit. Not that there was ever any doubt—I mean Rob’s chin couldn’t be more Batman-like—but we were going to shoot some scenes, and there we were listening to this perfect music, and it was just one of these things where you suddenly felt you were about to be part of film history that meant so much to you and meant so much to everyone.

“So, we went inside, and I told Rob that before we shoot the scenes, I want to see you looking in the mirror, Batsuit on, no cowl, and I want you to put the makeup on. And we put on this red light, and I took the Bruce Wayne theme that Michael had written and played it as Rob was putting that makeup on his eyes, and I was like, ‘This is in the movie, we’re doing this.’ That’s where that scene comes from; it literally came out of Rob’s audition with Michael’s music playing. That music helped him to become Batman, and so we listened to that music all the time.”

Carrying that through to post-production, Reeves said, was a very special experience. “When William Hoy and Tyler Nelson, my editors, and I were in the edit bay, normally you temp things but, in this case, we had Michael’s temp music, and so everything was built from the score that Michael had created from the beginning. That signature music was there; it was so resonant and powerful, and it was always embedded in the movie.”

Dylan Clark reflects on the experience of making—and soon delivering—a film based on one of fandom’s most iconic Super Heroes. “Batman movies live inside of us, because we’re always looking for the hero in people and Batman represents that”, he says. “He’s courage and heroism wrapped up into one person, but he’s also complicated and conflicted. Matt has created a film in which the vengeance side of this hero drives him. Destruction and rage factor heavily into his journey and he has to come to terms with that and understand that he has to become a symbol of hope. To me, it’s in that symbol of hope that Batman represents that’s most needed today.”

Robert Pattinson also sees this different, exciting spin to the story and finds the emotional pay-off an interesting reversal. “In previous films, Batman thinks the symbol of Batman and what he’s achieved will inspire the city to have a more optimistic outlook and create a brighter future”, says the actor. “In Matt’s story, Batman is committed to the darkness and nihilism; he doesn’t think that Gotham City is capable of healing itself, but is rather on a downward spiral, and that he’s just fighting a hopeless battle that will end in defeat. I always liked the idea of Batman allowing himself to hope a little bit at the end, which is probably the most painful thing that he has to do, because he has closed himself off from feeling anything. So, it’s actually Gotham that opens him up to the possibility of hope.”

Reeves summarizes, “As a storyteller, there are many stories that I want to tell, but at the end of the day, more than anything, the most important thing to me—to all of us—was to make this movie a complete experience for the audience. We want to take them on a journey as we take Batman through an arc that is hopefully meaningful for them, while honoring the history of this character that continues to inspire us to tell his story again and again.”

About the cast

Robert Pattinson (Bruce Wayne, The Batman) maintains a fearless pursuit of challenging roles, evolving with each new project and captivating global audiences with his transformative performances.

In 2020, Pattinson was seen starring in the Christopher Nolan film, “Tenet”, alongside John David Washington, released on August 26, 2020, in select countries and in the US on September 3, 2020. He was also seen in the Antonio Campos feature “The Devil All The Time.” He stars as Preston Teagardin, a preacher who is new to town. Netflix released the film on September 16, 2020. Additionally, Pattinson was seen in “Waiting for the Barbarians”, starring alongside Johnny Depp and Mark Rylance. The film, which debuted at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, is based on the allegorical novel by J.M. Coetzee and follows a British magistrate a small colonial town who begins to question his loyalty to the Empire as he attempts to ignore a war with the so-called barbarians. The film was released in the US on August 7, 2020.

Prior, Pattinson was seen in “The Lighthouse”, from director Robert Eggers, in which he stars opposite Willem Dafoe. The film tells the story of an aging lighthouse keeper who lives in early 20th- century Maine. The film debuted to rave reviews at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in the Director’s Fortnight section of the festival. Pattinson was nominated for the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for his performance. The film was released in the US on October 18, 2019.

In 2019, Pattinson was seen starring in Claire Denis’ debut English language film, “High Life, alongside Juliette Binoche and Mia Goth. The picture tells the story of a father and daughter who struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation. The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2018 and was released in the US on April 12, 2019. Additionally, Pattinson stars as The Dauphin in “The King”, reteaming with director David Michôd for the Netflix film. Alongside Timothée Chalamet and Joel Edgerton, the feature debuted at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. Netflix released the film in theaters on October 11, 2019 and streaming on the platform on November 1, 2019.

On June 22, 2018, Pattinson opened David and Nathan Zellner’s feature “Damsel”, starring alongside Mia Wasikowska. The film followed Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer as he ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. Pattinson received rave reviews for his comedic performance.

Pattinson starred in the 2017 film from Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Good Time.” The film centers around Constantine Nikas, who embarks on a journey through New York City’s underworld in a desperate attempt to get his brother out of jail. The film premiered at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival to a six-minute standing ovation and critical praise. Pattinson was also nominated for the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for his performance. The film was released in the U.S. August 11, 2017.

In 2017, he starred in James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z”, opposite Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and Tom Holland. The true-life drama follows British explorer Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s. The film was released in the US April 21, 2017.

In 2015, Pattinson appeared in Anton Corbijn’s “Life”, a film about the friendship between Life magazine photographer Dennis Stock, played by Pattinson, and James Dean, played by Dane Dehaan. He also starred in Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert”, opposite Nicole Kidman.

In 2014, he starred in David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars”, opposite Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore and John Cusack as well as with Guy Pierce in David Michôd’s “The Rover.” Both films premiered at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival.

Additional film credits include David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis”; he also joined Francis Lawrence and costars Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz in bringing The New York Times bestselling novel Water For Elephants to the screen. Prior, he headlined the drama “Remember Me”, directed by Allen Coulter, appearing opposite Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Emilie De Ravin. Pattinson also starred in “Bel Ami”, a film based on the novel of the same name written by Guy de Maupassant in which he played a young journalist in Paris who betters himself through his connections to the city’s most glamorous and influential women, played by Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci.

Pattinson gained industry notice at 19 years of age when he joined the Harry Potter franchise in Mike Newell‘s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, playing Cedric Diggory, Hogwarts’ official representative in the Triwizard Tournament. He is also known world-wide for his portrayal of the vampire Edward Cullen in “The Twilight Saga.”

Pattinson began his professional career with a role in Uli Edel’s “Sword of Xanten”, opposite Sam West and Benno Furmann. He also appeared in director Oliver Irving’s “How to Be”, winner of the Slamdance Film Festival’s Special Honorable Mention for Narrative Feature. Pattinson played the lead role of Salvador Dali in “Little Ashes”, directed by Paul Morrison. His television credits include “The Haunted Airman” for the BBC.

As a member of the Barnes Theatre Group, Pattinson played the lead role in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Other stage credits include Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes”, “Tess of the D’Urbevilles” and “Macbeth” at the OSO Arts Centre.

Pattinson has been the face of Dior Homme’s fragrance since 2013 and is the face of Dior Homme ready-to-wear. Additionally, he is actively involved with the GO Campaign, an international charity organization improving the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world through local solutions. He was named as their first ambassador in 2015.

ZOË KRAVITZ (Selina Kyle) has stood out in blockbuster big screen franchises such as “Mad Max” and “Fantastic Beasts” and the celebrated Emmy Award-winning series “Big Little Lies.” At the onset of the multi-talented entertainer’s career, Variety touted her among its 10 Actors to Watch, while Forbes spotlighted her on the coveted 30 Under 30 List as she captivated audiences in diverse group of acclaimed major motion picture films and notable independent releases.

In addition to her role both starring in and executive producing the series adaption of “High Fidelity” for Hulu, it was recently announced that Kravitz will make her directorial debut with the original motion picture film “Pussy Island.” Written by Kravitz and E.T. Feigenbaum, the film will star Naomi Ackie alongside Channing Tatum. Bruce Cohen, Kravitz, Tiffany Persons and Tatum’s Free Association will produce, with Garret Levitz overseeing for Free Association. Kravitz additionally has also announced that she has signed on to star in the animated series “Phatty Patty”, which she will executive produce through her production company This Is Important.

Kravitz’s additional credits include her role as Bonnie in the groundbreaking HBO miniseries “Big Little Lies”, opposite Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Directed by Jean Marc Vallee, the series won eight Emmy Awards. Kravitz has also appeared in “The Road Within”, with Dev Patel; “Good Kill”, with Ethan Hawke and January Jones; “Rough Night”, alongside Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon; the critically acclaimed film “Dope”, produced by Forest Whitaker and executive produced by Pharrell Williams; and “Gemini”, with Lola Kirke. Kravitz also starred in the second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”, alongside Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law. She can currently be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s original thriller “KIMI.”

Kravitz began acting in high school, appearing in “No Reservations”, alongside Catherine Zeta- Jones and Aaron Eckhart, and “The Brave One”, directed by Neil Jordan, starring Jodie Foster. Shortly after, she appeared in the role of Angel Salvadore in “X-Men: First Class”, co-starring Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Kevin Bacon. She was also featured in lead roles for the films “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”, co-starring Zack Galifianakis and Emma Roberts, and in the “Divergent” series, where she played the role of Christina, alongside Shailene Woodley. She additionally co-starred alongside Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy in “Mad Max: Fury Road”, which walked away with six awards and 10 nominations at the 2016 Oscars, the most of any film that year.

Outside of her film endeavors, Kravitz is the global face of YSL Make-up, a brand ambassador for Saint Laurent and, as well as the face of YSL Black Opium fragrance.

Kravitz currently resides in New York City.

Paul Dano (The Riddler) is perhaps best known for his work on the acclaimed feature films “There Will Be Blood”; “Love & Mercy”, which garnered him several awards nominations, including the Independent Spirit Award and a Golden Globe, and several critics’ awards wins; “12 Years a Slave”; “Prisoners”, for which he was part of the NBR Award-winning ensemble; “Little Miss Sunshine”, for which he won the Critics Choice Award for Best Young Actor and was part of the SAG Award-winning ensemble cast; and “Looper.” He has also appeared in such films as “Ruby sparks”, “Being Flynn”, “Cowboys & Aliens”, “For Ellen”, “Meek’s Cutoff”, “Knight and Day”, “The Extra Man”, “The Good Heart”, “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Taking Woodstock”, “Fast Food Nation”, “The King”, “The Ballad of Jack and Rose”, “Taking Lives” and more.

Dano has appeared on television in such projects as the limited series “Escape at Dannemora”, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Critics Choice Award for his performance; the mini- series “War & Peace”; and the TV movie “The Great Work Begins. Scenes from Angels in America.”

Jeffrey Wright (Lt. James Gordon) is a Tony, Emmy, AFI and Golden Globe Award- winning actor who has enjoyed an illustrious career, spanning the worlds of theatre, film and television. Wright can currently be seen playing the critically acclaimed role of Bernard Lowe in HBO’s “Westworld”, for which he recently earned his third Emmy nomination for his portrayal. He can currently be seen reprising his role of CIA agent Felix Leiter in James Bond franchise, “No Time to Die” (October 8, 2021) and also starring in an all-star ensemble cast in Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” (October 16, 2021).

In “The Batman”, Wright is making history being the first black American to portray the iconic character of Jim Gordon. His recent projects also include lead roles in Netflix’s “Hold the Dark” and HBO’s “O.G.”, which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where he won the award for Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film and in 2019 he appeared in the lead role of Hobie in “The Goldfinch” and the Sundance darling “All Rise” (formerly “Monster”). He also had a strong supporting role in Netflix’s “The Laundromat” and voices the character of McWinkle in the Netflix series “Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham”, and a lead role in the Netflix movie “All Day And A Night” (May 1, 2020) a drama written and directed by Joe Robert Cole (“Black Panther”) and produced by Nina Jacobson, Jared Ian Goldman (“Moonlight”).

Wright broke onto the big screen in 1996 with a harrowing performance in the feature “Basquiat”, portraying the gifted late painter Jean Michele Basquiat. Since then, he’s appeared in such productions as “Syriana”, “The Manchurian Candidate”, “The Hunger Games”, “Casino Royale”, and HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

Wright made his Broadway debut in 1993 in the landmark play “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches”, playing three parts. He returned to his roles in the continuation of the story, “Angels in America: Perestroika”, winning a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his performance. Ten years later, Wright became the only original member of the Broadway cast to star in the HBO adaptation of “Angels in America”, for which he won Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.

Born in Washington, D.C., Wright graduated from Amherst College and received a B.A. in political science. He later earned a doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater. He resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his family.

John Turturro (Carmine Falcone) studied at Suny New Paltz and the Yale School of Drama. For his theatrical debut he created the title role of John Patrick Shanley's “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” for which he won an OBIE Award and a Theater World Award. Turturro has performed in many films, including Spike Lee's “Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever”; Martin Scorsese’s “The Color of Money”; Robert Redford’s “Quiz Show”; Francesco Rosi’s “La Tregua”; Robert De Niro’s “The Good Shepherd”; Tom DiCillo’s “Box of Moonlight”; Nanni Moretti's “Mia Madre”; and Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Miller’s Crossing”, “The Big Lebowski” and “O Brother Where Art Thou.” For his lead role in the Coen Brothers’ “Barton Fink”, Turturro won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and the David Donatello Award. He received the Camera D'Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival for “Mac”, his directorial debut. Other films as director/ writer include “Illuminata”, “Romance & Cigarettes”, “Passione," "Fading Gigolo” and “The Jesus Rolls.”

On Television, Turturro was nominated for a SAG Award for his portrayal of Howard Cosell in “Monday Night Mayhem” and again nominated for “The Bronx is Burning.” He won an Emmy Award for his guest appearance on “Monk” and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for his performance in HBO’s “The Night Of.” Turturro led an international cast in “The Name Of The Rose”, a limited series for Sundance TV, and he was last seen in “The Plot against America” on HBO. He was recently announced to star in Apple’s new drama series “Severance.”

Peter Sarsgaard (District Attorney Gil Colson) continues to remain an actor renowned for his range and ability to acess what is behind the often-complicated facades of the characters he plays.

He can be seen currently starring in “Dopesick”, loosely based on The New York Times bestseller by Beth Macy. The show takes viewers to the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Big Pharma to a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA. Peter stars as Rick Mountcastle, the Assistant US Attorney confronting Big Pharma head-on. Created by Danny Strong, and directed by Barry Levinson, the show debuted on Hulu on October 13th and also stars Michael Keaton, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Kaitlyn Dever.

He can also be seen in the Gotham Award-winning film “The Lost Daughter”, which was written and directed by his wife, Maggie Gyllenhaal, based on the novel of the same title by Ella Ferante. The story follows a woman whose beach vacation takes a dark turn when she begins to confront the troubles of her past. The film also stars Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, and Ed Harris. The film will debuted to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival in early September and will be released Netflix on December 31st.

In 2020, he appeared in the in foreign film “Mr. Jones”, loosely based on Wales journalist Gareth Jones, who travels to the Soviet Union to uncover Stalin’s unpleasant truths and their economic expansion. The film which was released in the United States in April 2020. Sarsgaard also starred in “Human Capital”, the remake of the Italian film by Paolo Virzì, loosely based on the Stephen Amidon novel. The film revolves around two different families that collide when their children’s relationship leads to a tragic accident. It premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and had its’ theatrical release on March 20, 2020.

Other projects include “The Sound of Silence”; the drama film follows Peter Lucian (Sarsgaard) as he meets a client with home he just can’t quite calibrate. In television he appeared in Hulu’s “The Looming Tower”, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning expose by Lawrence Wright on the in-fighting between the FBI and CIA in the years leading up to 9/11. The show co-stars Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg and Bill Camp and is executive produced by Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney and Legendary Television. He appeared in the CBS show “Interrogation”, a crime series centered around an interrogation of people who might be involved in a murder case. He starred in the Netflix six-part story “Wormwood”, which tells the true story of Frank Olson’s (Sarsgaard) sixty-year journey to uncover the truth about his father’s mysterious death. Sarsgaard also starred in Norman Lear’s EPIX Documentary Series “American Divided”, alongside Common, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson and Amy Poehler. The series documents the group’s travels around the nation exploring the socioeconomic issues plaguing today’s America.

Additional, film credits include Antoine Fuqua’s “The Guilty”, and “The Magnificent Seven” opposite Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, and Chris Pratt, “Experimenter”, opposite Winona Ryder directed by Michael Almereyda, which world premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In Pablo Larrain’s award-winning film “Jackie”, Sarsgaard played Robert F. Kennedy opposite Natalie Portman. He also appeared in Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass”, Ed Zwick’s “Pawn Sacrifice”, Kelly Reichardt’s “Night Moves”, Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine”, opposite Cate Blanchett, “Lovelace”, opposite Amanda Seyfried, “Green Lantern”, “Knight and Day”, “An Education”, “Orphan”, “In the Electric Mist”, “Elegy”, “Rendition”, “Year of the Dog”, directed by Mike White, “Jarhead”, directed by Sam Mendes, “Flight Plan”, opposite Jodie Foster, “The Dying Gaul”, opposite Campbell Scott and Patricia Clarkson, “Kinsey”, directed by Bill Condon and starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, “Garden State”, opposite Zach Braff and Natalie Portman, “Shattered Glass”, opposite Hayden Christensen, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe, and “K-19 Widowmaker”, opposite Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.

On the big screen, Sarsgaard first received wide acclaim for his role as John Lotter, the tormenter and rapist in Kimberly Pierce’s “Boys Don’t Cry.”  Starring opposite Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny, he received critical praise for his searing portrayal of the violent ex-con ill-equipped to deal with a startling discovery.

In 1995, Sarsgaard made his theatrical debut in the Off-Broadway production of Horton Foote’s “Laura Dennis”, which was directed by James Houghton.  In 2008 Sarsgaard made his Broadway debut as Trigorin in Anton Chekov’s “The Seagull”, opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and Carey Mulligan.  This was the beginning of his critically acclaimed Anton Chekov run, which was followed by an off-Broadway run of “Uncle Vanya” and culminated with “Three Sisters”, both starring opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal. “Three Sisters” was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway and a Drama Desk Award. In April 2015, he completed a six-week run of “Hamlet” at the Classic Stage Company which found him reunited with his “Three Sisters” and “Uncle Vanya” director, Austin Pendleton.

Sarsgaard attended the Actors’ Studio Program at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, and their two children.

Jayme Lawson (Bella Réal) makes her studio film debut in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman”, as a politician with grassroots support running to become mayor of Gotham City.

This Spring, Lawson will be seen in Susanne Bier’s Showtime anthology series “The First Lady”, sharing the role of Michelle Obama with series producer Viola Davis. Lawson plays Obama from ages 15-30 in the series, which is described as a reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House. The first season will focus on the personal and political lives of Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Lawson is currently in production on “The Woman King”, opposite Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu and John Boyega. The film, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is a historical African epic based on true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Lawson also recently completed production on “Till” for director Chinonye Chukwu and producer Barbara Broccoli.

Lawson’s feature film debut, Ekwa Msangi’s “Farewell Amor”, premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance in 2020 and was picked up for release by IFC Films. Lawson was featured as one of The Los Angeles Times’ and Variety’s breakouts of the festival. Variety also named her one of their 2020 10 Actors to Watch. The film is currently available to stream on Hulu.

In 2019, Lawson made her New York stage debut in The Public Theater’s critically acclaimed revival of Ntozake Shange’s seminal “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf.” Lawson graduated in 2019 with a BFA from Juilliard, and was that year's recipient of the Laura Pels Prize, Juilliard’s top acting award.

Andy Serkis (Alfred) is an award-winning actor who has earned acclaim from both critics and audiences for his work in a range of memorable roles. He gained legions of fans around the globe for his performance as Gollum in the Academy Award-winning “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson. Serkis won an Empire Award for his role, in addition to sharing in several Outstanding Ensemble Cast Awards, including a Screen Actors Guild Award. He reunited with Jackson in the director’s epic retelling of “King Kong”, taking performance capture to another level as the title character of Kong.

In February of 2020, Serkis was honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) at the 73rd EE British Academy Film Awards with one the organization’s highest honor, the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.

Most recently, Serkis helmed “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” He is currently in production on the feature installment of the acclaimed crime series “Luther”, starring alongside Idris Elba and Cynthia Erivo for Netflix and the BBC.

In 2018, Serkis directed the feature film “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle”, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which was released by Netflix in theaters and on its global streaming platform. In addition to directing the film, Serkis played the character Baloo.

Serkis portrayed Ulysses Klaue in “Black Panther” (2018) from director Ryan Coogler and he reprised his role from 2015’s “Star Wars: The Forces Awakens” as Supreme Leader Snoke in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) for director Rian Johnson.

Serkis made his directorial debut with the 2017 release of “Breathe”, which brought to life the inspiring true love story between Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) and his wife Diana (Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease.

In July 2017, he starred in “War for The Planet of The Apes” for director Matt Reeves. The San Francisco Film Society and The Utah Film Society recognized his performance as Caesar with the honor of Best Actor, as well as numerous other critic group nominations. In 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, he received acclaim from both journalists and audiences worldwide, earning him a Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Serkis served as 2nd Unit Director on Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” Trilogy and reprised the role of Gollum in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

In 2011, Serkis founded The Imaginarium, alongside producer Jonathan Cavendish, a multi- platform production company linked to a performance capture studio focusing on next-generation storytelling. The first Imaginarium projects include two films released in October 2017: “Breathe”, directed by Serkis, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, and “The Ritual, starring Rafe Spall. The company is currently in pre-production on an adaptation of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, which Serkis will direct, for Netflix.

His other credits include a starring role as Captain Haddock, alongside Jamie Bell’s Tintin, in “The Adventures of Tintin”, from director Steven Spielberg and producers Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy, and co-starring roles in “Death of a Superhero” and “Brighton Rock.”

In 2010, Serkis received critical acclaim and accolades for his portrayal of punk-rock legend Ian Dury in the film “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”, for director Mat Whitecross. The role earned Serkis a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor.

On the small screen, Serkis appeared in the BBC miniseries “Little Dorrit”, based on Charles Dickens’ classic tale, which garnered him a 2009 Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also starred in as Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein in the BBC/HBO production of “Einstein and Eddington.”

Serkis previously earned Golden Globe and BAFTA TV Award nominations for his performance as Ian Brady in HBO’s “Longford.” He also garnered acclaim for the role of Bill Sikes in the PBS presentation of “Oliver Twist.” British television audiences also know him for a wide range of roles in telefilms, miniseries and series.

Serkis’s feature film credits include Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed drama “The Prestige”; the comedy “13 Going on 30”, with Jennifer Garner; and the indie films “The Cottage”, “Extraordinary Rendition” and “Sugarhouse.” He also lent his voice to the animated feature “Flushed Away”, and starred in Michael Winterbottom’s “24 Hour Party People” and Mike Leigh’s “Topsy-Turvy.” Serkis includes among his additional film credits such independent releases such as “Deathwatch”, “The Escapist”, “Shiner”, “Pandaemonium”, “The Jolly Boys’ Last Stand”, “Five Seconds to Spare”, “Sweety Barrett”, “Among Giants”, “Mojo”, “Career Girls”, “Loop”, “Stella Does Tricks” and “The Near Room.”

An accomplished stage actor, Serkis has received acclaim for his work on the stages of London and across the United Kingdom. He starred as Iago in “Othello”, at the Royal Exchange Theatre; played the Emcee in “Cabaret”; and originated the role of Potts in Jez Butterworth’s “Mojo”, at the Royal Court Theatre. His stage work also includes productions of “King Lear”, “Hush”, and “Decadence.” In 2003, he made his directorial debut with the play “The Double Bass” at London’s Southwark Playhouse.

As a director, Serkis also helmed the award-winning “Heavenly Sword” for Playstation 3 and “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West”, for Namco Bandai Games. In addition, he wrote and directed a short film called “Snake”, starring his wife, Lorraine Ashbourne and Rupert Graves.

Colin Farrell (Oz/The Penguin) has had a distinguished career of nearly twenty-plus years in film and television. An accomplished actor recognized the world over, Farrell recently wrapped writer/director Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisheer”, which re-teamed him with the director and “In Bruges” co-star Brendan Gleeson. In 2022 he can be seen in the film “Thirteen Lives” for director Ron Howard (April 15th) and in the BBC/AMC drama “The North Water” also in the spring. “After Yang”, which premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, made its North American debut at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Farrell was most recently seen in Tim Burton’s 2019 live action film “Dumbo” and the 2018 ensemble feature “Widows”, directed by Steve McQueen and co-starring Viola Davis. In 2017, Farrell made his second film with Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”, opposite Nicole Kidman. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival along with Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled”, in which he also starred with Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst. That same year, he appeared opposite Denzel Washington in the Sony film “Roman Israel, Esq.”, written and directed by Dan Gilroy.

Lanthimos’s “The Lobster”, co-starring Rachel Weisz, was Farrell’s first time working with the reputable director. The film won the Jury Prize at the 68th Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a 2016 BAFTA. Farrell was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globe Awards, Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards, and Best European Actor at the European Film Awards for his role in the film.

June 2015 marked Farrell’s television debut in the second season of HBO’s “True Detective.” In 2009, he won a Golden Globe for his role in Martin McDonagh’s “In Bruges.” Past work also includes “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, “Miss Julie”, “Saving Mr. Banks”, “Winter’s Tale”, “Dead Man Down”, “Total Recall”, Peter Weir’s “The Way Back”, “London Boulevard”, “Fright Night”, the comedy “Horrible Bosses”, and “Ondine.” Farrell also had memorable roles in Gavin O’Conner’s “Pride and Glory”, “Miami Vice”, Oliver Stone’s “Alexander”, Terrence Malick’s “The New World”, “Ask the Dust”, "The Recruit," “A Home at the End of the World”, based on the Michael Cunningham novel, and two of Joel Schumacher's films, "Phone Booth" and "Tigerland." Other notable film credits include “Minority Report”, “Daredevil”, “American Outlaws”, “SWAT”, and “Intermission.”

Born and raised in Castleknock in the Republic of Ireland, Farrell attended the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin before landing starring roles in Deirde Purcell's miniseries “Falling for a Dancer”, the BBC series “Ballykissangel”, and Tim Roth's directorial debut, “The War Zone.”

About the filmmakers

Matt Reeves (Director/Writer/Producer) wrote and directed the critically acclaimed final chapter of the “Apes” trilogy, “War for the Planet of the Apes”, starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn. The film has grossed over $490 million worldwide since its release on July 14, 2017.

In 2014, Reeves directed the second installment of the popular Apes franchise, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell. The critically acclaimed film grossed over $700 million worldwide.

In 2010, Reeves directed “Let Me In”, starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz. Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, the film is a remake of the Swedish horror film “Let the Right One In”, about the relationship between a bullied young boy and his new neighbor, a young girl who turns out to be a vampire.

Reeves first came to feature film prominence in 2008 as the director of the acclaimed science fiction horror hit “Cloverfield.” The modestly budgeted film set a domestic record for January release and went on to gross over $175 million dollars worldwide.

In television, Reeves co-created and directed the pilot for the popular series “Felicity”, starring Golden Globe Award-winning actress Keri Russell. Reeves served as executive producer along with partner and co-creator J.J. Abrams. He is currently creator and executive producer of NBC’s “Ordinary Joe”, which debuted in September 2021.

In 2023, Reeves and J.J. Abrams are re-teaming for a new Batman animated series, “Batman: Caped Crusader”, with DC animated universe veteran Bruce Timm, on HBO Max.

Through his production company, 6th & Idaho, Reeves is currently producing “Lift”, starring Kevin Hart, and the series “Twelve Scarves”, both for Netflix. Current feature development includes Jo Nesbo's “Macbeth” and a remake of the Russian film “Sputnik” with Village Roadshow. “The Human Conditions” and “The Future” with Aneesh Chaganty are also in development for HBO Max.

Reeves’ other film and television producing credits include “Mother/Android” (producer, 2021), “Away” (executive producer, 10 episodes for Netflix, 2020), “Tales from the Loop” (executive producer, 8 episodes, 2020), “The Passage” (executive producer, 10 episodes, 2019), “The Cloverfield Paradox” (executive producer, 2018), “10 Cloverfield Lane” (executive producer, 2016).

Dylan Clark (Producer) is a producer and founder of Dylan Clark Productions, a company he launched in 2017. With over 20 years’ experience producing commercially and critically successful films and building and running film operations for prominent entertainment companies, Clark is best known for his work on the blockbuster “Planet of the Apes” franchise. He is also an executive producer on the Amazon hit series “The Wilds.”

His company is currently housed at Netflix. Clark recently produced Netflix’s most-watched original film, “Bird Box”, starring Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”) and directed by Susanne Bier (“Night Manager”). Also for Netflix, Clark produced “Let It Snow” from bestselling young adult novelists John Green (Paper Towns, The Fault in our Stars), Maureen Johnson (The Name of the Star), and Lauren Myracle (The Internet Girls series) with Luke Snellin (“Wanderlust”, “The A Word”) directing. He is working with Universal on a reimagining of the classic film “Scarface”, with Luca Guadagnino directing. Dylan Clark Productions is developing “Battlestar Galactica” with writer/producer Simon Kinberg; “Bad Monkeys”, starring Margot Robbie; a film based on Armada from bestselling novelist Ernie Cline (Ready Player One); Bermuda Triangle with Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”) attached to write and direct, and “The Prisoner”, with Elizabeth Moss attached to star.

Clark was formerly a partner at Bluegrass Films since 2013. While at Bluegrass, he oversaw development and production of a diverse slate of films with Bluegrass Films’ Founder Scott Stuber. Clark and Stuber produced “Patriots Day”, directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg, which was released in December of 2016.

Before working at Bluegrass, Clark was President of the film division at Chernin Entertainment, a company he launched with former News Corp COO Peter Chernin in 2009. Clark successfully rebooted the coveted “Planet of the Apes” property with Chernin. “Rise of The Planet of the Apes”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “War for the Planet of the Apes” were hits with critics and consumers, garnering a franchise total of more than $1.7 billion at the worldwide box office. While at Chernin Entertainment, Clark developed and produced “Oblivion”, directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Tom Cruise, and also “Parental Guidance”, directed by Andy Fickman and starring Billy Crystal for Fox. He served as executive producer of the female powerhouse comedy “The Heat”, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, which was directed by Paul Feig.

Prior to his work with Chernin, Clark was a production executive at Universal for eight years, most recently serving as Executive Vice President of Production. During his tenure, he oversaw production for dozens of films including “Friday Night Lights”, “Dawn of The Dead”, “Children of Men”, “Cinderella Man”, “The Kingdom”, “Charlie Wilson’s War”, “Green Zone”, “Couples Retreat” and “Robin Hood.” Clark started his career in film as Director of Development for MGM, where he oversaw production of hit films such as “Barbershop” and the Denzel Washington thriller “Out of Time.”

Before entering into the film business, Clark worked as an aide to US Senator Dianne Feinstein in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Clark resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons.

Peter Craig (Co-writer) is a screenwriter and crime novelist whose debut feature was Ben Affleck’s “The Town.” He went on to write Parts 1 and 2 of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”, with Danny Strong, then the adaptation of his own novel, Blood Father, as well as “Bad Boys for Life.” In the coming year, his other credits will include “Top Gun: Maverick”, and “The Mother”, currently in production.

Greig Fraser (Director of Photography) is a multi-award-winning Australian cinematographer with an internationally celebrated career. Most recently, he lensed “Dune” for director Denis Villeneuve, for which Fraser has received numerous accolades, most recently Academy Award and BAFTA nominations.

Prior, Fraser worked on the Disney+ flagship series “The Mandalorian.” Created by Jon Favreau, the first “Star Wars” television series saw Fraser envision and implement a new way of shooting in the studio, by using a video game engine to render special effects (e.g. a location) into a “volume” in real time. For this outstanding thought leadership he was named a recipient of Broadcasting + Cable's 2021 Technology Leadership Award and he won the 2020 Emmy award for Best Cinematography for his work on Episode 7.

Working closely with director Gareth Edwards, Fraser also contributed to the “Star Wars” franchise with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, the first standalone film. He opted to shoot the space opera with legendary Panavision 70mm lenses married to Arri’s Alexa 65.

Fraser’s work on “Lion” won the Golden Frog at Camerimage, the American Society of Cinematographers award for Best Cinematography, an Oscar nomination for the 2017 Best Cinematography Academy Award, a BAFTA nomination and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Best Cinematography award. Starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, the film is based on Saroo Brierley’s autobiography “A Long Way Home”, following the author’s journey to find his Indian family after being adopted in Australia.

Previously, Fraser shot “Vice”, the powerful story of former Vice President Dick Cheney, played by Christian Bale; Garth Davis’s “Mary Magdalene”, starring Rooney Mara as Mary and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus; Rupert Wyatt’s “The Gambler”; and Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher”, which received five Oscar nominations and won the American Film Institute Award for Best Film.

Fraser is the recipient of numerous other accolades: He won the New York Film Critics’ Circle Award for Best Cinematographer for Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award nominated “Zero Dark Thirty”; and he earned the Australian Cinematography Society’s Cinematographer of the Year for his work on director Jane Campion’s “Bright Star.” “Bright Star” also earned him the Australian Film Institute's (AFI) award for Best Cinematography and the British Independent Film Award for Best Technical Achievement.

Fraser received further AFI Best Cinematography accolades for his work on “Last Ride” and Tony Krawitz’ “Jewboy”, as well as a nomination for his work on Cracker Bag. Other films to benefit from Fraser’s expertise include “Killing Them Softly”; “Snow White and the Huntsman”; “Let Me In”, the adaption of Swedish vampire novel Let the Right One In; “The Boys are Back”; and “The Last Ride.”

His craftsmanship also appears in numerous commercials, for clients including Xbox, DirecTV, Nike, Subaru and Cadbury Schweppes.

Fraser is based in Los Angeles, California, but holds a special place in his heart for Australia.

James Chinlund (Production Designer) was born and raised in New York City. He studied Fine Art at CalArts in Los Angeles, with a focus on sculpture and large-scale installation art works. After graduating, Chinlund returned to New York and started his career in film, initially as a carpenter, before finding opportunities as a production designer on music videos and independent films. During this period, he first worked with frequent collaborator Darren Aronofsky (“Requiem for a Dream”, “The Fountain”) in addition to other directors in the New York independent film world, including Todd Solondz (“Storytelling”), Paul Schrader (“Autofocus”) and Spike Lee (“25th Hour”).

After a short break from features to help care for his young daughter, Chinlund returned to the feature world in 2012 to work on “The Avengers”, which set a record for the highest grossing opening weekend ever. Since then, he has been nominated eight times for Art Directors Guild Awards: two for his work on the films "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and “War for the Planet of the Apes”, directed by Matt Reeves, and most recently for his work on "The Lion King," directed by Jon Favreau, which was the first feature film ever shot entirely in Virtual Reality.

Over the years, Chinlund has been active in the commercial and fashion worlds as well. Collaborators include Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Rupert Sanders, Spike Jonze, Marc Forster, Lance Acord, Gus Van Sant and Harmony Korine.

William Hoy (Editor) most recently cut “The Call of the Wild”, “Underwater” and “the Last Summer.” He previously edited Zack Snyder’s worldwide hit “300”, his acclaimed comic book adaptation “Watchmen”, and the action fantasy “Sucker Punch”, having first worked with the director as an additional editor on “Dawn of the Dead.”

Prior to “The Batman”, Hoy cut Matt Reeves’ blockbusters “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, the latter of which garnered him a Satellite Award for Best Film Editing. He also edited “2:22””, and Timur Bekmambetov’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” He has also edited such films as Tim Story’s “Fantastic Four” and its sequel, “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer”; Alex Proyas’ “I, Robot”; F. Gary Gray’s “A Man Apart”; and Randall Wallace’s “We Were Soldiers” and “The Man in the Iron Mask.” He has collaborated with filmmaker Phillip Noyce on three films: “The Bone Collector”, “Sliver” and “Patriot Games.”

Hoy’s additional credits include editing work on “Se7en”, “Outbreak”, “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” and “Dances with Wolves.”

For television, he has edited “Houdini” for TNT, “Shattered Mind”, and the series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Tyler Nelson (Editor) served as editor on the feature film “Rememory”, which he also co- produced, and assistant editor on David Fincher’s “Gone Girl”, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Social Network”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Nelson has also worked as an image stabilization artist on the Alejandro G. Iñárritu films “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” and “The Revenant.” He has also been assistant editor on numerous short films, including “Hummingbird”, “The Dead Man”, “Concerning the Bodyguard” and more.

On television, he has cut episodes of “Shadow and Bone”, “Tales from the Loop”, “Mindhunter” and “Love, Death & Robots”, and served as assistant editor on “House of Cards” and “The Good Wife.”

Jacqueline Durran (Costume Designer) is an acclaimed Costume Designer whose career began in the wardrobe department on Stanley Kubrick’s film “Eyes Wide Shut.” She worked as an assistant costume designer on several renowned films, including “The World is Not Enough”, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, and “Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones.”

Durran frequently collaborates with two directors, alongside whom she has completed seven films each. The first, Mike Leigh, met Durran while in production on his 1999 film “Topsy-Turvy”. At the time, she was working as the second assistant costume designer. Since then, Leigh has selected Durran as his costume designer on every directorial project, from “All or Nothing” (2002) to “Peterloo” (2018). Durran won a BAFTA Film Award for her designs in Leigh’s “Vera Drake” and received eight nominations, including BAFTA and Academy Award nominations, for her work on his film “Mr. Turner.”

Durran has also received numerous accolades for her achievements in costume design on the films of her other frequent collaborator, director Joe Wright. For her designs in “Anna Karenina”, Durran won eleven awards, including a Costume Designers Guild Award, a BAFTA Film Award, and an Academy Award. She received multiple nominations and awards for Wright’s films “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement.”

In 2018, Durran received Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for two films: “Darkest Hour”, yet another Wright collaboration, and “Beauty and the Beast.” She received a total of five awards and nine nominations for the latter.

In 2019, she designed the costumes for two films that swept the Academy Awards: the impressive “one shot” “1917”, directed by Sam Mendes, and Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, the latter of which won Durran the Academy Award.

Durran’s recent work can be seen in both “The Batman” and “Spencer”, the latter directed by Pablo Larrain and starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana.

Dan Lemmon (Visual Effects Supervisor) is an Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor who has contributed to eight Academy Award-winning films and has been nominated for four Oscars: for his work on “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014), “War for the Planet of the Apes” (2017) and “The Jungle Book” (2016), for which he won the Oscar and a British Academy Award. He has also won five Visual Effects Society Awards, recognizing his work in features and commercials, including for the “Planet of the Apes” films as well as “King Kong” (2005) and “Avatar” (2009).

Lemmon began his career in Los Angeles at Digital Domain, cutting his teeth on films such as “The Fifth Element” (1997) and “Titanic” (1997). After working on “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001) from LA, he relocated to New Zealand to continue on the trilogy at Weta Digital.

In addition to “The Batman”, he has collaborated with director Matt Reeves on the last two “Planet of the Apes” movies, and with Producer Dylan Clark on all three films in the trilogy.

Glyn Dillon (Batsuit Costume Designed by, Batsuit Chief Concept Artist) was born in 1971 and started out wanting to be a painter, but at the age of 17 he impatiently followed his brother into a career drawing comics. After seven years in the business, he changed tack and spent the next 15 exploring the world of film and television as a storyboard and concept artist.

Then, on returning to the world of comics, he wrote and drew the award-winning graphic novel The Nao of Brown, for which, in 2013, he won the Best Book category at the British Comic Awards. Translated into six languages, the book’s French edition, Le Nao de Brown, also garnered him the 2013 Special Jury Prize at the world-renowned Angoulême International Comics Festival.

In the past few years, Dillon has worked as chief concept artist on such films as “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and the “Star Wars” films “The Rise of Skywalker” and “The Force Awakens”, for which he designed antagonist Kylo ren’s iconic helmet. Promotion came in the form of teaming up with David Crossman as costume designers on “Rogue One” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Michael Giacchino (Composer) has credits that feature some of the most popular and acclaimed film projects in recent history, including “The Incredibles”, “Coco”, “Jojo Rabbit”, “Ratatouille”, “Star Trek”, “Jurassic World”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.” Giacchino’s 2009 score for the Pixar hit “Up” earned him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, the BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award and two Grammy Awards.

Giacchino studied filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. After college, he landed a marketing job at Disney and began studies in music composition, first at Juilliard, and then at UCLA. He moved from marketing to producing in the newly formed Disney Interactive Division, where he had the opportunity to write music for video games.

After moving to DreamWorks Interactive, he was asked to score the temp track for the video game adaptation of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” Subsequently, Steven Spielberg hired him as the composer and it became the first PlayStation game to have a live orchestral score, recorded with members of the Seattle Symphony. Giacchino went on to score numerous video games, including Spielberg’s “Medal of Honor” series.

Giacchino’s work in video games sparked the interest of J.J. Abrams, and thus began their long- standing relationship that would lead to scores for the hit television series “Alias” and “Lost”, and the feature films “Mission: Impossible III”, “Star Trek”, “Super 8” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

His additional projects include collaborations with Disney Imagineering on music for Space Mountain, Star Tours (with John Williams), the Ratatouille ride in Disneyland Paris, and the Incredicoaster on Pixar Pier at California Adventure. Giacchino was the musical director of the 81st Annual Academy Awards. His music can be heard in concert halls internationally with all three “Star Trek” films, “Ratatouille”, “Jurassic World”, “Up” and “Coco” being performed live-to-picture with a full orchestra.

In June 2018, Giacchino premiered his first work for symphony orchestra, V oyage. Commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the piece celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of NASA. In July 2019, a third movement, Advent, was added for the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing.

In 2019, Giacchino’s first LP of original music, Travelogue Vol 1, featuring his Nouvelle Modernica orchestra, described as a story in song, was released on Mondo Records. The holiday song “Christmas Number One”, written with Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, was recorded and performed by UK based band Itchy Teeth and released as a specialty single with Death Waltz Records.

His upcoming film projects include “Jurassic World: Dominion” and his work was most recently heard in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Giacchino sits on the advisory board of Education Through Music Los Angeles.



Kommentar von jdee, 8. März 2022, 7.56 Uhr

Uuuuh. Eine Warnung. Wovor?

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