After several changes to the release schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “The Batman” finally rolled out the red carpet for its world premiere at Lincoln Center in New York on Tuesday night. Although Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz and other stars were in attendance, a key contributor to the evening was missing. Matt Reeves, the director behind the new DC adaptation, was unable to attend the event after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
After the cast was introduced onstage, Reeves explained his absence during a live video call ahead of the film’s screening.
“We were doing the film tour and doing the press tour. Despite double vaccination and a booster, I caught COVID,” Reeves said, sending a wave of disappointment through the crowd. “The good news is that I’m healthy, I’m fine. But I’m not with you. It’s heartbreaking for me because this movie means so much to me. It’s been a five-year journey for me and I’m so thrilled that we’re sharing it with you tonight.
Matt Reeves appears via video message at ‘The Batman’ premiere to say he can’t attend in person because he has contracted COVID. pic.twitter.com/aaJjy6ffwm
—Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) March 1, 2022
“I want to thank from the bottom of my heart the incredible team we made this film with. They are such incredible craftsmen, artists… [It’s] the best team we have ever worked with. I know there are so many of you tonight. I’m so sad I’m not here with you,” Reeves continued, before continuing with a joke. “I would like to thank each and every one of you, name by name, even though they informed me that this movie we made is quite long.”
The premiere itself remained COVID-sensitive, with seats left empty between audience members.
“The Batman” will begin its theatrical run with previews Thursday night. Warner Bros. tentpole Already targeting a massive opening weekend, with analysts predicting a three-day haul of between $100 million and $125 million.
In Variety reviewer of ‘The Batman’, Chief Film Critic Peter Debruge praised the blockbuster, saying that “Reeves electrifies the dense, ultra-dark procedurals with an added level of excitement that justifies the relatively demanding running time of the movie”.