When Warner Bros. coming knocking at the door with the offer of directing a Batman movie, it would seem unlikely that anyone would turn down that opportunity. However, it seems that is just what The Batman director Matt Reeves did during his first talks with the studio about directing what would become Robert Pattinson’s debut as the Dark Knight. Being a fan of the DC hero all his life, it would be a dream come true for Reeves when he was offered the chance to direct the latest Batman movie, but the initial script he was presented with was set in the DCEU, and he didn’t feel like he connected enough to be the right man for the project.
While discussing The Batman with Esquire Middle East, Reeves touched on those first conversations he had about directing the movie, which took place when Warner Bros. was still attempting to give Ben Affleck his solo run out in the Batsuit. At the time, there were no plans for a Robert Pattinson-led movie, and instead, the film would have followed on from the ending of Justice League, with Bruce Wayne having his life pulled apart by Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke. Reeves explained:
“I said look, I think maybe I’m not the person for this. And I explained to them why I love this character. I told them that there have been so many great movies, but if I were to do this, I’d have to make it personal, so that I understood what I was going to do with it, so that I know where to put the camera, so that I know what to tell the actors, so that I know what the story should be.”
While this could have been the end of Reeves’ chance to direct a Batman movie, the film Warner Bros. wanted to make had been coming undone for some time, and instead of taking over the previous script, Reeves set about reinventing it with a completely new take on what was originally planned, and most importantly a story that would sit outside the DCEU movies and be a stand-alone universe.
The Batman Is Distinguished by Its Return to the Caped Crusader’s Noir Roots.
During his numerous film outings, Batman has become more about the flashy gadgets and witty one-liners as about the Gotham billionaire Bruce Wayne becoming a crimefighter standing up to the criminal underbelly of the city. With The Batman, Matt Reeves has stripped away much of the character’s advanced technology and brought him back down to his dark noir roots as “The World’s Greatest Detective.”
There is a lot of mystery about The Batman, which seems to center on the violent delights of The Riddler, and Warner Bros. has so much faith that this version of Batman is going to connect with audiences that they have already begun building a brand new universe around him. There are currently two spin-off series in development, one focusing on Gotham PD and one on Colin Farrell’s The Penguin, and there is already word of at least two sequels to the film also being discussed.
While superhero movies are still growing in popularity and box office return, Warner Bros. has seen a number of Batman-related projects fall flat with audiences and critics, mainly for avoiding exactly what The Batman is doing and taking the character back to his dark and raw roots. Whether it pays off is something we will find out in just over a month’s time when the movie is released on March 4th.
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