If the most recent DC FanDome convention was supposed to showcase the scale of the DC Extended Universe, it succeeded. Somehow, the livestream event managed to blaze through exclusive previews, panels and content updates for dozens and dozens of upcoming titles in just four hours.
Jason Momoa shared some fantastical concept art from his upcoming Aquaman sequel. And we got a sneak peek of movies in the works in the Shazam! universe, like a four-minute first look video from Black Adam star and executive producer Dwayne Johnson and a making-of presentation on Fury of the Gods, in which Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren play a pair of villains.
Previews abounded for content beyond the big screen, too, like the upcoming TV series The Sandman (starring Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie), The Suicide Squad spin-off Peacemaker (starring John Cena) and DMZ, a four-episode miniseries that executive producer Ava DuVernay says is “set in a world just a few years into the future that asks what we’d be if we let the worst of our divisions get the better of us.”
The DC Universe even extends into audio entertainment now, with news of the narrative podcast Batman Unburied coming exclusively to Spotify next year. Gina Rodriguez will voice Barbara Gordon and Winston Duke will become Bruce Wayne—and it’s all executive produced by David S. Goyer, who’s well qualified after having written screenplays and stories for entries in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.
But even amid all the sneak peeks and first looks, it’s an anecdote from The Batman panel that might be the most memorable FanDome takeaway. Director Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson revealed a story from production that’s equal parts nostalgia and comedy. During Pattinson’s screen tests as the Caped Crusader, he had to wear a batsuit, of course … and the only one handy was from Val Kilmer’s Batman Forever. Pattinson was drenched inside of it.
“It was crazy,” Pattinson said. “I remember putting it on and saying, ‘This is going to be absolutely impossible.’ Wearing a two-inch-thick rubber suit and being incredibly nervous and full of adrenaline the whole time. I remember we did like two takes and we were saying, ‘What can we do about this sweat?’ And I was like, ‘Nothing, there’s nothing that can be done.’ I had to be drained of liquid.”
At least he’s not alone. Christian Bale, too, is known to have worn the same suit during screen tests for Batman Begins. And Kilmer, who had to wear it for the entire duration of the Batman Forever shoot as opposed to short screen tests, can attest to how uncomfortable the suit was. In his autobiographical documentary, Val, he recounts how miserable it was at times: “When you’re in it, you can barely move and people have to help you stand up and sit down. You also can’t hear anything.”
Despite the physical challenges, Pattinson pulled off a successful screen test to score the role of The Batman—and a much more modern and breathable batsuit. The Batman is scheduled to release in theaters on March 4, 2022.