Warner Bros. Announces Sequel to ‘The Batman’


'The Batman' director Matt Reeves

‘The Batman’ director Matt Reeves at CinemaCon 2022. Photos: Eric Chardonneau.

In news that should surprise exactly no one, Warner Bros. kicked off its CinemaCon presentation this year with the announcement that a sequel to ‘The Batman’ is in the works.

The first movie’s co-writer/director Matt Reeves took the stage at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas to thank exhibitors for their support and to reveal that star Robert Pattinson will be back for a second round of cowl action and that Reeves will be back behind the camera.

Reeves, who co-wrote and directed ‘The Batman’ is returning to pull similar double duty for the sequel. He offered no details on what the story might entail, nor a potential release date, only hinting that more news would come “in a future CinemaCon”.

‘The Batman’ was all but guaranteed a sequel – it’s one of Warners’ marquee properties and launched to a massive $134 million on its first weekend of release domestically. That still ranks as the biggest opening weekend of 2022, as well as only the second pandemic-era movie to cross the $100 million mark in a single weekend following ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home.’ With $759 million to date at the global box office, ‘The Batman’ is currently the highest grossing movie of the year.

And Warner Bros. has shown huge faith in the world of the movie, even though it is disconnected from the sprawling DC Extended Universe. More than one HBO Max spin-off is in development based on characters from the film, including a series about Colin Farrell’s Penguin, AKA Oz Cobblepot.

A Batman of a different sort – and universe – was the focus of an early, unfinished trailer for ‘The Flash’, which finds Ezra Miller’s speedster endangering the multiverse to help his family. We’ve known for a while that Michael Keaton is playing Bruce Wayne in the movie, and he shows up in the footage, quoting one of his most famous lines from 1989’s ‘Batman’ – “You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts.” ‘The Flash’ should be in theaters on June 23rd, 2023.

Margot Robbie as Barbie

Margot Robbie as Barbie in Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘Barbie,’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Jaap Buitendijk. Copyright: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

In other news, the studio offered the first look at Margot Robbie as the title character in ‘Barbie’. The movie based on the iconic doll range has been shooting in London for a while now, with Greta Gerwig directing.

‘Barbie’ boasts an eclectic cast that also includes Ryan Gosling (as Barbie’s famous plastic paramour, Ken), Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Hari Nef and Will Ferrell. Gerwig wrote the script with Noah Baumbach.

No concrete details have been revealed for what the movie might include, though there has been chatter that it sees Barbie ejected from her world for not being perfect enough.

From the looks of this, though, the trademark pink of Barbie’s world is present and correct. ‘Barbie’ will be in theaters on July 21st, 2023.

That’s a change for WB, as ‘Coyote Vs. Acme’, in which the beleaguered cartoon character sues the company who makes his misfiring weapons, had been sitting on that date. The movie, which features John Cena, Will Forte and Lana Condor, is currently in production and doesn’t now have a release date.

Austin Butler from 'Elvis'

Austin Butler from ‘Elvis’ at CinemaCon 2022. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

Showing up in person to show off their latest wares was Baz Luhrmann, who has ‘Elvis’ headed our way this summer. Luhrmann brought some new footage from the movie, which stars Austin Butler as the iconic rock ‘n’ roller and Tom Hanks as his controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

Ever the consummate showman, Luhrmann had the crowd laughing with his presentation style. “You know, I haven’t actually finished it,” he confessed to the assembled theater owners. “If it feels a little like a superhero film, it is. Elvis is kind of the original superhero. He rises so high, then finds his kryptonite and falls so low and then a beautiful, powerful tragedy ensues. Man can’t live by Batman alone; we need to bring all audiences in the theater!” (He also praised Matt Reeves and ‘The Batman’, so this was only comedy shade).

Luhrmann also joked about Hanks, and how he was “new” to the whole acting thing. “He’s a bit nervy and stuff, I had to coach him a lot to get him out of his shell,” the director quipped. Then he got serious: “I have worked with everyone, all sorts of icons and my god, Tom Hanks — the Rolls Royce of actors.”

‘Elvis’ rocks into theaters on June 24.

Music was also the focus of the presentation about ‘Wonka’, the ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ prequel that stars Timothée Chalamet as the candy man. ‘Paddington’ director Paul King is handling this one, a tune-filled story of Wonka facing down the authorities to bring his love of chocolate to the world. The footage played to enthusiastic audiences, but there will be a wait for this one – it isn’t scheduled for release until December 15th, 2023.

'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' director James Wan

‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ director James Wan at CinemaCon 2022. Photos by Eric Charbonneau.

James Wan was on hand to promote two movies – firstly, ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’. Following a video greeting from Jason Momoa (currently at work in London on, we presume ‘Fast X’), Wan showed up with a quick blast of footage and praise for the advancing special effects that let him create complicated characters without “torturing” his actors on wires.

The superhero sequel, which sees the return of Momoa, Amber Heard and Patrick Wilson, among others, will swim into theaters on March 17 next year.

Second on Wan’s list was ‘Salem’s Lot’, the Stephen King adaptation he’s producing, and which ‘Annabelle Comes Home’s Gary Dauberman is directing.

‘Lot’s story follows Ben Mears, a writer who spent part of his childhood in Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine, also known as Salem’s Lot, has returned after twenty-five years to write a book about the long-abandoned Marsten House, where he had a bad experience as a child. He soon discovers that an ancient evil has also come to town and is turning the residents into vampires. He vows to stop the plague of undead and save the town.

‘Salem’s Lot’ will arrive on September 9th this year.

Asher Angel, Helen Mirren, Jack Dylan Grazer and Zachary Levi from 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods'

(L to R) Asher Angel, Helen Mirren, Jack Dylan Grazer and Zachary Levi from ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ at CinemaCon 2022. Photos by Eric Charbonneau.

Zachary Levi and some of the cast of ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ (including the living legend that is Helen Mirren) turned up to talk up their own superhero sequel, with Mirren admitting that she enjoyed joining the “most wonderful crazy family” and that she wasn’t sure how much she could say about the movie.

The clip shown from the film included some typically meta references to the DC universe (including a dream about ‘Wonder Woman‘) and Mirren, alongside fellow villain Lucy Liu, doing their thing.

‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ has bounced around the release schedule but will finally see theaters on December 16th – which slightly worryingly is the same day that the much-anticipated ‘Avatar 2’ is set to land.

Olivia Wilde was at the event to hype her new movie, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’, starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh. The movie, a psychological thriller also starring Wilde, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne and Nick Kroll, asks a compelling question: “What would it take for you to give up your life, to do what is right?”

Wilde had the trailer to show and enthused about her stars. “You are seeing the birth of a full-fledged movie star,” she said in regard to Pugh, and called Styles “a revelation.” She then joked, “I am also in the movie because I was the only one we could afford when we go that that point.”

‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is due in theaters on September 23rd.

Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in 'Don't Worry Darling.'

(L-r) Harry Styles as Jack and Florence Pugh as Alice in New Line Cinema’s ‘Don’t Worry Darling,’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Copyright: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Rounding things off was one of WB’s biggest stars, who had two movies to show off. Dwayne Johnson, ever the charismatic superstar, kicked off his presentation with a fake-out that he was stuck in Hawaii and appearing via video.

Instead, he was in the room, walking through the crowd to applause and talking up both the animated family adventure ‘DC League of Super Pets’.

The cartoon movie, which sees Superman’s faithful hound Krypto (voiced by Johnson) teaming up with other animals to save his master and the Justice League when they’re kidnapped. It soars into theaters on July 29th.

But most of Johnson’s attention was reserved for his own superhero outing, ‘Black Adam’, which puts a character more known in ‘Shazam’ comics as a villain front and center in a story that focuses on his antihero side.

Yet as the footage showed, the vengeful, righteous character – a slave from an ancient world who is revived and gifted mighty powers in the modern day.
Responding to a character who says, “heroes don’t kill people,” Johnson’s character declares, “Well I do.”

'Black Adam's Dwayne Johnson

‘Black Adam’s Dwayne Johnson at CinemaCon 2022. Photos by Eric Charbonneau.

‘Black Adam’ will arrive in theaters on October 21st.

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