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‘The Batman’: fan releases real live bat during screening of DC film

“If you are uncomfortable being in the dark with a bat, please remove yourself now," staff at the Austin, Texas cinema told customers

By Will Richards

Zoe Kravitz and Robert Pattinson in 'The Batman'
Zoe Kravitz and Robert Pattinson in 'The Batman' (Picture: Press)

Fans of ‘The Batman‘ were surprised at the weekend (March 5) when a cinema-goer released a real live bat during a screening.

Fans were watching the new DC film, which sees Robert Pattinson make his debut as the caped crusader, at The Moviehouse & Eatery by Cinépolis in Austin, Texas on Saturday night.

As footage shared to social media shows, a filmgoer released a live bat – seemingly as a prank – into the theatre as the film was being showed.

In footage, cinema staff can be heard telling attendees: “We will use the projector to turn that light off [on the screen] and I’m gonna turn all these lights off and try and get it to go into this lighted area [exit],” they said.

“If you are uncomfortable being in the dark with a bat, please remove yourself now.”

Watch footage of the bizarre occurrence below.

“Local animal control was immediately contacted, and they have been overseeing the situation to ensure guest, associate and animal safety,” Cinépolis spokesperson Annelise Holyoaks subsequently told CBS Austin. “To ensure a prank like this does not again occur, we’ve added additional security and are checking all bags upon guest entry.”

The first reviews for ‘The Batman’, which stars Robert Pattinson in the title role, have begun to roll in across the last week, and whilst they have been largely positive – with the film holding an 87% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing – some critics have suggested that the marathon runtime was unwarranted. Director Matt Reeves has since responded to criticism of the blockbuster’s three-hour runtime.

The caped crusader’s latest big-screen outing, which was released on Friday (March 4), is 176 minutes long. This makes it the third longest superhero film of the modern era, behind ‘Avengers: Endgame’, at 181 minutes, and ‘Zach Snyder’s Justice League’, which ran 242 minutes, although the latter was a director’s cut intended for hardcore fans and not given a wide theatrical release.

In an interview with The New York Times, Reeves, who directed from a script he co-wrote with Peter Craig, said: “Once you see the movie, I think that ceases to be an issue. It’s immersive, it takes you along and it keeps you engrossed.” He went on to add “by the way, it was once longer.”

‘The Batman’ heralds the beginning of DC Comics’ long-awaited reboot of the franchise, one that got off to a faltering start when both ‘Justice League’ and ‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’, in which Ben Affleck played Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego, were met with a lukewarm reception by critics and fans alike.

Affleck had been slated to take on the role, as well as co-write and direct, in a standalone Batman film, but left the project in January 2017. Pattinson beat the likes of Nicholas Hoult and Aaron Taylor-Johnson to the part. He has called ‘The Batman’ “sad” and described his iteration of the superhero as a “weirdo”; Reeves apparently based him in part on Kurt Cobain.