HBO Max released today a behind-the-scenes look at highly popular super-hero movie The Batman. In the featurette, film director Matt Reves takes us through the process of creating Gotham City for one of the top-grossing movies of the year, and it’s a surprising mix of technology and practical effects. The movie centers around Bruce Wayne’s (Robert Pattinson) second year as Batman, his run-ins with the GCPD, and their investigation into a tangled series of crimes committed by the Riddler (Paul Dano).
The featurette reveals that the Batman crew found a creative way to approach one of modern cinema’s biggest issues when it comes to blockbusters — the excessive use of CGI that frequently dampens a moviegoing experience. As much as creating computer-generated backgrounds and scenarios is a lot cheaper and saves a bunch of time, if not executed well it pulls you away from the movie when you can tell something is obviously fake. For the Batman team, the decision to avoid CGI was met with a challenge: How do you create Gotham City without actually building it from scratch?
The result was the construction of a massive, 360-degree LED panel with vivid and real-life images that let the production team create whatever scenario was necessary in order to bring a scene to life. The panel also gave actors something to react to, which normally doesn’t happen when you are shooting in front of a green screen. The goal, as producer Dylan Clark states, was to avoid anything that looked like bad visual effect shots in order to have as many “real” elements as possible within the frame. The result is surprising, as you can see in the video at the end of this article.
With over $760 million raked in globally, The Batman is currently the highest-grossing movie of 2022 (even though Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is coming for it quickly), and it is separate from the DC Extended Universe that was previously established with Batman v. Superman and Justice League. Even though it is a standalone story, the movie kicks off its own Batman-verse, with a Penguin (Colin Farrell) spin-off series in the works, as well as an Arkham Asylum project on the way. Planned as a trilogy, the movie has already gotten a sequel order, which was announced a couple of weeks ago at CinemaCon.
Aside from Pattinson as the title character, the movie also features Zoë Kravitz as the burglar Catwoman, Andy Serkis as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.
You can stream The Batman now at HBO Max.
Check out the behind-the-scenes video below: