Who are The Batman cast and characters? With a runtime of nearly three hours, The Batman is not only the longest Batman movie ever, but the flick is also brimming with action and characters. So much so, that it could be hard to keep track of who’s who when it comes to recognising the faces of Gotham’s heroes and villains.
This dark and gritty new contender for the title of the best superhero movie in years offers us our first look at the newest Batman actor, Robert Pattinson, as Bruce Wayne in the DCU. As he enters his second year of crime-fighting, this Batman is relatively new to the vigilante game. He has plenty of allies and adversaries still to cross paths with, and this Batman movie introduces us to a great selection of Gotham’s citizens.
If you’re wondering who the man under the mask is, can’t quite figure out Catwoman’s allegiance, or you’re trying to put your finger on why The Penguin looks oddly familiar in the DC movie, keep on reading and get the full profile on the main players from The Batman cast and characters.
The Batman cast list:
- Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler
- Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman
- Jeffrey Wright as Lieutenant James Gordon
- Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin
- Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth
- John Turturro as Carmine Falcone
- Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson
Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman
We’re pretty sure most people know who Batman is, but just in case, here’s a little breakdown for the uninitiated among us. Bruce Wayne is the son of billionaire philanthropists, Thomas and Martha Wayne. When he witnesses his parents get gunned down, a young Bruce dedicates his life to becoming the ultimate crime-fighter and puts his body on the line to clean up the streets of Gotham City.
In The Batman, the titular character is played by Robert Pattinson, who gives us a younger, less experienced, and raw version of the Bruce Wayne-Batman double-act than we’ve seen before.
You’re most likely to know Pattinson for his work on some of the best fantasy movies for teens like Twilight and Harry Potter, but the actor has actually done some really exciting projects of late, such as Good Time and The Lighthouse. Still, we think his role in The Batman might be his best movie yet.
Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler
As you may have guessed from his nefarious nickname, this guy enjoys a good riddle, and has tormented Batman and the citizens of Gotham for years with his quirky questions. The real identity of The Riddler is somewhat ambiguous, with names like Edward Nygma and Edward Nashton being used in comic books and films alike.
This time around, The Riddler is played by Paul Dano, in the darkest and most disturbing interpretation of one of the best DC villains to date. Often, this Batman villain is more camp, comical, and not particularly scary, but Dano has brought a serial killer approach to the role for The Batman. You may know Dano for his work in Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, or There Will Be Blood – one of the best Paul Thomas Anderson movies.
Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Now, this lady can be quite confusing at times. Although she generally assists Batman when he needs her, Selina Kyle has a propensity for criminal activity and is a renowned thief (or, cat burglar, if you like). One thing’s for sure, she loves cats, and often has several feline friends.
Zoë Kravitz plays the leather-clad companion to Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight in The Batman, and just about stays on the right side of the moral compass. We also see the relationship between the Bat and the Cat heat up, just as we have many times in the vast comic book lore of Batman. You may know Kravitz from Mad Max: Fury Road, and she also voiced Catwoman in the Lego Batman Movie.
Jeffrey Wright as Lieutenant James Gordon
This man is definitely one of the good guys. James ‘Jim’ Gordon is historically incorruptible throughout pretty much all of the Batman canon, and has taken on police duties ranging from detective and lieutenant to commissioner. Gordon is Batman’s main law-enforcement ally, often defending his actions and allowing him access to crime scenes when others are apprehensive about his involvement.
For Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Jeffrey Wright steps into the role of James Gordon, and his character is given more scope than ever to really pair up with Batman and do some brilliant detective work, and the duo have a fantastic chemistry. You may know Jeffrey Wright from the Daniel Craig era of the James Bond franchise, or one of the best TV series for those who enjoy having their heads scrambled, Westworld.
Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin
One of Gotham City’s most despicable characters, Oswald Cobblepot is more interested in seedy affairs and soliciting bribes than superpowers and mass murder. Due to his appearance, which most commonly features facial disfigurement and limb deformities, Cobblepot is referred to as The Penguin, and he uses this alter ego to strike fear into the criminal underworld.
You’d be forgiven for not having a clue who is playing The Penguin in one of the best action movies of his career. Under an astounding level of makeup and prosthetic work, you’d find none other than Colin Farrell, who has completely transformed into the sleazy nightclub owner for this role.
You may know Farrell from some of the best comedy movies like In Bruges and The Gentleman, or the Disney movie Dumbo. 2022 was Colin Farrell’s year, and he was even recognised by the Oscars for his role in the brilliant 2022 movie The Banshees of Inisherin. You’ll be able to see Farrell in Gotham once more when the Penguin show release date comes around, where he will get the time to shine in his own spin-off series.
Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth
After the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, it became the sole responsibility of their butler, Alfred Pennyworth, to care for the young Master Bruce. To be fair, calling him a butler would do the man a disservice. Alfred not only raised Bruce Wayne and acted as the father figure he needed, but he also cares for the Wayne estate, and is a handy, if not sometimes reluctant, assistant to Bruce’s crime-fighting escapades.
For The Batman, Matt Reeves recruited motion-capture expert Andy Serkis to play the role of Alfred. Serkis brings a slightly younger interpretation of the character to ones we have seen in the past, and offered a great level of skill in helping decipher The Riddler’s codes in The Batman.
You probably know Andy Serkis better for being the man behind CGI characters such as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, and Caesar in Reeves’ Planet of the Apes movies. He also showed up in a couple of MCU movies, too, as one of the best Marvel villains: Ulysses Klaue.
John Turturro as Carmine Falcone
Although Carmine Falcone isn’t usually a prominent character in Batman history, particularly live-action movies, he is still a very important figurehead in Gotham society. Important though he may be, he is not a very nice man at all, and is pretty much the head of all street-level crime in the city. A mob boss, with friends in high places, and enemies on every corner, Falcone is not the kind of man you want to cross.
Falcone is given a more substantial role in The Batman as the secondary villain, and is played by John Turturro. He actually plays a big part in the chaotic tangle of lies and deceit at the heart of the story. You may know Turturro from roles in Coen Brothers’ movies like The Big Lebowski, and a recurring role in the Transformers franchise.
Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson
Much of The Batman focuses on exposing the corrupt underbelly of Gotham, and how easy its officials are to pay off. That’s certainly the case for district attorney Gil Colson, who is on Falcone’s payroll and subsequently becomes a target for the Riddler. He appears at a funeral with a bomb attached to him, and is ruthlessly killed when he fails to answer a riddle.
The actor behind the ill-fated character is Peter Sarsgaard. He’s best known as a character actor, appearing in films as disparate as Boys Don’t Cry, Black Mass, Garden State, and earlier DC movie Green Lantern.
Well, that’s your who’s who guide to the key players in Gotham City for The Batman. For more character-driven discussion, check out our guides to the best Fast and Furious characters, or the best Star Wars characters.
Alternatively, look to the future with our guides to The Batman 2 release date and DC Studios’ new release slate, which is subtitled Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters. Don’t forget about all the other new movies coming out in 2023, too.