The anticipation surrounding Matt Reeves' "The Batman" is resoundingly palpable, especially after it was recently revealed that the film is set to be nearly three hours in length. Per The Hollywood Reporter, "The Batman" will be exactly 175 minutes long, chronicling the early years of the masked vigilante in Gotham City while he tackles the rampant corruption and looming threats that threaten the very fabric of his core identity. While there has been much discourse — often listless and hackneyed — about the film's runtime on social media, it has been reported, as per the new edition of The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision newsletter, that some test screenings of "The Batman" showed a four-hour version of the film.
4 Hours Of Noir-Tinted Revelations?
As a film's runtime is no yardstick for one to measure its artistic merit, it is impossible to gauge what the four-hour cut of "The Batman" constitutes, and how it would potentially compare to the 175-minute theatrical release. If one were to compare it with other pieces of media (strictly feature films) featuring Batman, "Zack Snyder's Justice League" emerges as an obvious comparison, running infamously at 242 minutes, along with Snyder's Ultimate Cut of "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," with a runtime of 183 minutes. With these comparisons in mind, it is not overtly unrealistic for Reeves' "The Batman" to have a four-hour test screening, given that it establishes an age-old odyssey within the mold of a noir-style detective story.
While a four-hour cut would understandably be unsuitable for a theatrical release, it is only indicative of the wide-ranging scope of Reeves' world-building, and the potential depth with which the characters might have been allowed room to blossom. This is no surprise, given that Reeves is set on expanding the film's universe, with two HBO Max series in development: a spin-off Gotham police procedural and another focused on the Penguin, with Colin Farrell reprising his role. Hence, the prospect of a four-hour cut of "The Batman" is thrilling, as it potentially might have delved deeper into the complex ecosystem of Gotham City and Batman's interpersonal relations (as one can hope).
"The Batman" stars Farrell, Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, and Andy Serkis. While it remains unclear what the four-hour runtime of the test screenings entailed, it is probable that Reeves has enough solid material to release a potential director's cut that further enriches what the film has to offer, in the near future.
Find the full synopsis here:
Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman, striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies — Alfred Pennyworth, Lt. James Gordon — amongst the city's corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
"The Batman" is scheduled for release in theaters on March 4, 2022.
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