The Batman is set to introduce fans to a whole new Caped Crusader in the form of Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne. Directed by Matt Reeves, the upcoming DC flick has been confirmed to do a deep-dive into the character's detective expertise while also being set in two years into The Dark Knight's Gotham escapades. 

So far, plot details of the film are still being kept under wraps, but the first teaser from DC FanDome provided fans a glimpse of what's to come. Aside from the grounded nature and intriguing story beats, The Batman is bannered by an all-star cast including the likes of Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, and Colin Farrell. 

Just like most films in Hollywood, the film is no stranger to delays and production shutdowns due to the ongoing health crisis. Right now, The Batman is set to debut on March 4, 2022, and a new report appears to tease a game-changing release strategy for the movie. 

THE BATMAN'S EXCLUSIVE THEATRICAL DEBUT

Deadline shared in a report that Cineworld has set in motion a plan that could see the return of films in theaters in the foreseeable future.

The outlet revealed the phased process of the movie chain where it will start with a limited number of Regal cinemas opening for Godzilla Vs. Kong on April 2. After that, Regal locations are expected to open more widely on April 16 for New Line's Mortal Kombat

In addition, Cineworld and Warner Bros. both reportedly agreed to a multi-year agreement that will see the No. 2 global exhibitor showcase the studio's 2021 movie slate in theaters. 

At the beginning of 2022, Warner Bros. films will have a “45-day window of theatrical exclusivity” at Cineworld's Regal Chain. 

Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger shared an official statement regarding the new deal, expressing his excitement about the upcoming return of the theatrical business: 

“We are very happy for the agreement with Warner Bros. This agreement shows the studio’s commitment to the theatrical business and we see this agreement as an important milestone in our 100 year relationship with Warner Bros.”

As pointed out by Fandango's Erik Davis, it looks like the first film that will grace the big screen in 2022 is Matt Reeves' The Batman on March 4. This means that the DC film will likely serve as the studio's first major title to return to theaters exclusively since Christopher Nolan's Tenet

 

MORE DC FILMS IN THE BIG SCREEN IN 2022?

As is, this latest development should bode well for movie chains as well as for fans eager to return and embrace the big-screen experience. More so, this new deal between Warner Bros. and Cineworld will no doubt have an impact on the reopening of theaters in major markets like the U.S. and the U.K. 

In many ways, the gradual process of reopening theaters fits in the current global situation, considering the uncertainty when it comes to rising COVID-19 cases amid the rollout of vaccines worldwide. This strategy provides a window of opportunity for theaters to still be open ahead of the expected shift of interest from fans in 2022. 

At this point, it's no secret that The Batman is a much-anticipated project of DC and Warner Bros., especially after the overwhelmingly positive reaction from fans during DC FanDome. Given that the film will likely serve as the first major title to have an exclusive theatrical run, it creates a much-needed boost for the studio and theaters. 

Not much is known if the global situation will be improved by 2022, but the consistent vaccine rollout combined with enforcing minimum health protocols such as mask-wearing should help in terms of significantly diminishing COVID-19 cases worldwide.

That said, if the stars aligned, fans should be able to flock to theaters when The Batman arrives on March 4, 2022.