The long runtime of The Batman continues a trend in the Dark Knight’s solo movies that began after the Tim Burton Batman movies. Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman will also kick off the 2022 superhero wave, which is set to be quite voluminous this year. Recently, the movie generated buzz online with the news that it will run just under three hours, with the seemingly excessive length dividing audiences.
Robert Pattinson becomes the latest big-screen Bruce Wayne in The Batman. The movie focuses on a Caped Crusader who is still in the early days of his double life. Pattinson’s Batman will face the machinations of the Riddler (Paul Dano) and other criminal denizens of Gotham, and will also join forces with Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz). With such a rogue’s gallery of villains to introduce, The Batman clocks in at 175 minutes, making it the longest solo Batman film to date.
The Batman‘s lengthy runtime is also the culmination of a long-running pattern in Batman movies overall. Both Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns ran 126 minutes, while Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever brought it down to 122 minutes. However, every solo Batman movie since then has been longer than the last, beginning with Batman & Robin‘s 125-minute runtime in 1997. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy also boasted progressively long runtimes. Batman Begins ran for 140 minutes, with The Dark Knight running for 152 minutes and The Dark Knight Rises at 165 minutes.
Outside of Batman headlining his own films, his longest runtimes overall have been the director’s cuts of ensemble movies. Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition had a runtime of 182 minutes, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League was a record-setter itself. After the infamously tinkered with theatrical version was released at 120 minutes (per a studio mandate), the much-changed Snyder Cut arrived with a massive 242-minute runtime, over four hours, making it the longest superhero movie to date.
While long runtimes can seem daunting, it ultimately comes down to the story being told. With superhero films being as dominant a presence as they’ve become, many settle in at ten or twenty minutes over the two hour mark; it’s virtually unheard of for a live-action superhero movie to come in under two hours these days. However, it’s not uncommon for some to go even further, with 2019’s Avengers: Endgame being Marvel Studios’ longest movie yet at 181 minutes, or just over three hours.
Judging from the trailer for The Batman, Reeves has a rather grand scope in mind for the film. The Riddler is seemingly being positioned as a threat who could bring Gotham City to its knees akin to the Joker in The Dark Knight. He’s also not the only villain in the film, with Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. The Penguin (Colin Farrell) also appearing. If a near three-hour runtime is best to tell The Batman‘s story, hopefully Reeves has gotten all the mileage possible from that runtime to serve the Dark Knight’s newest tale. As audiences await The Batman‘s release, the fact that it’s longer that any solo Batman movie before shows that it’s crafting its own identity in the Batman pantheon just as its predecessors before it did.
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- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
- Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023
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