Despite their previous declaration that Matt Reeves’ The Batman would be the studio’s first film to debut exclusively in theaters following the conclusion of their 2021 dual release experiment, Warner Bros. has now changed their mind and announced that the Dark Knight’s latest epic will receive an earlier-than-expected HBO Max premiere date.

Source: The Batman (2022), Warner Bros.

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WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar recently confirmed that Reeves’ film will have a 45-day run in theaters before it winds up on HBO Max – a model mirroring the one first employed in 2021 by ViacomCBS with Paramount+ and adopted later in the year by Disney+.

“Think about when movies would show up on HBO, which is eight to nine months after [the] theatrical premiere,” Kilar said in a recent interview with Vox’s Recode. “The Batman is going to show up on day 46 [April 19, 2022] on HBO Max. That is a huge change from where things were in 2018, 2017, 2016.”

Source: The Batman (2022), Warner Bros.

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In a move that Kilar is very ecstatic about, this new policy will also affect all releases in 2022, so Black Adam, The Flash, and other tent poles will now have the same 45-day theatrical release window.

“I feel really, really good knowing that The Batman, and Black Adam, and The Flash, and Elvis [a Baz Luhrmann musical about the King of Rock & Roll], and a whole host of other movies, are literally going to be showing up on day 46 on HBO Max in a variety of territories all over the world,” he added. “That is a very, very big change that I don’t think people appreciate, and I feel really good about it.”

Source: The Batman (2022), Warner Bros.

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In addition to this news, Warner Bros. also dropped another feel-good update regarding The Batman, this time in the form a new trailer which shed more light on film’s plot, including what Riddler (Paul Dano) knows about Bruce Wayne, why the police might turn on the vigilante, and the true nature of the Bat-and-Cat relationship.

Based on the four-minute clip, it appears the two team up to fight crime – not taking very long to do so either – and figure out what Riddler is up to – all the while while sparking their iconic star-crossed and unsteady romance.

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The trailer also gives us our first signs of the rumored bond fracturing between Alfred (Andy Serkis) and Bruce when the young vigilante accuses the loyal servant and father figure of having lied about something. Afterward, he assures Bruce “you’re still a Wayne” – whatever that means.

Our best guess is that Alfred knows whatever secret the Riddler is trying to expose, and more specifically how it pertains to Bruce and the Wayne family. According to the rumors, the Waynes will be framed as bad influences, with the Court of Owls possibly at the center of the deception.

Source: The Batman (2022), Warner Bros.

The trailer doesn’t give too much away, settling instead for simply planting seeds that bloom with familiarity to anyone who has been regularly following the alleged spoilers made by people claiming to have already seen The Batman.

That’s a privilege most won’t share in until March 4th, 2022, but only in theaters – unless, of course, you are an HBO Max subscriber willing to wait until April 19th.

Source: The Batman Trailer, Warner Bros. YouTube channel

What do you make of Warner Bros.’ new 45-day theatrical exclusivity window? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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