'The Batman' Director Matt Reeves Reveals Sources Of Inspiration And Teases Different Interpretations Of Familiar Characters

Batman being recast and reinterpreted onscreen has become as much of a regular thing as having different writers for the character in the comics. This is a point that The Batman Matt Reeves has delved into when discussing the upcoming film. At a virtual panel for DC FanDome, Reeves discussed The Batman, its influences, and the directions that it could take.

“We’re in Year Two,” Reeves explained. Die hard Batman fans are probably familiar with the Batman: Year One storyline by Frank Miller, which was released in 1987 and redefined the early days of Bruce Wayne’s Batman career. According to Reeves, The Batman picks up a year and a half after Batman’s first appearance, and not everyone is sure that he is even real. Though there was later a Batman: Year Two storyline, Reeves’ words point to his film as something that he is trying to make almost completely new while still weaving in elements of the Batman legacy. For him, the excitement is mixing the old and new. He wants to make it his own but also connect some dots in terms of the familiar stuff.

Speaking about the rogues gallery, Reeves indicated that the movie will, in some ways, show the origin of some of Batman’s foes. At this point, the Penguin (Colin Farrell) does not yet like being called the Penguin. According to Reeves, ZoĆ« Kravitz plays a Selina Kyle unlike one that we have seen before, and “Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that nobody has ever seen before.” Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) has been interpreted differently, as well. Furthermore, Reeves believes that Andy Serkis and Jeffrey Wright each add a lot of new, unfamiliar elements to Alfred Pennyworth and Jim Gordon, respectively. From the sounds of it, Reeves is trying to do a whole lot of new.

In terms of influences, Reeves revealed that Darwyn Cooke’s Batman story “Ego” is in influence in terms of the psychological approach to Batman. He also mentioned taking elements from “street grounded stories” of the 1970s. One of these is Chinatown, which involves the investigation of a series of crimes and leads the discovery of the city’s corruption. Another is Taxi Driver, which really gets inside the titular character’s head. Interestingly, this film was also an influence on last year’s Joker. At its heart, The Batman is more of a personal detective story. The detective element has been part of other onscreen interpretations, but it is Reeves’ belief that other films have not made the detective aspect central to the story like The Batman does.

When it came to casting Robert Pattinson as Batman, Reeves was impressed with the actor’s charismatic performance in The Lost City of Z, to the point where he came to view Pattinson as a “chameleon.” Reeves expressed his belief that he and Pattinson both have the same great amount of passion for Batman. Some fans of Batman have been skeptical about whether or not Pattinson has the chops to play Batman. If the trailer (viewable at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLOp_6uPccQ) is any indication, perhaps people will change their tunes about Pattinson’s Batman.

Reeves revealed that only 25-30% of the film has been shot. Watching the trailer, one might not have that impression. It really does look like a trailer for something that has been finished. Hopefully, the rest of production goes down smoothly so that the film can meet its October 2021 release date. If this trailer renews interest in movies about Batman, than The Batman may be guaranteed to be a success. Of course, we will just have to see how history plays out for this one.

Source(s): DC FanDome