Well, I wasn’t expecting this today. But hey, who doesn’t love a pleasant surprise?
Over the course of the last 10 months, I’ve published several key reports about Matt Reeves’ plans for The Batman, and today he confirmed most of the more crucial elements of those reports. Today we’re going to focus on a fresh wave of quotes from the man himself and how they correlate with what I’ve been sharing.
These quotes are all courtesy of Slash Film, who documented all of them as he spoke at a panel for the Television Critics Association.
“There are ways in which all of this connects to DC, to the DC universe as well. We’re one piece of many pieces so I don’t want to comment on that except to say that I’m focused very specifically on this aspect of the DC world.”
“From the beginning, what I had always spoken about with Warner Brothers and what I was excited about was being in the Bat Universe and really doing something within that sphere.”
Last November, while many were focusing simply on the idea that Ben Affleck was leaving the franchise, I made sure to explain that if Affleck did leave, the film would still be connected to the DCU. I explained that they’d bring in another actor (at the time, the front runner was Jake Gyllenhaal) and sort of pull a Val Kilmer by having him play the same Batman, without rebooting.
At that time, Reeves was open to an actor in his mid to late 30s, but as things progressed, it became clear he wanted to go younger.
Also, in THIS REPORT, I outlined the unique way the film may (or may not) connect to what we’ve seen before, which explains why he’s so vague in that above quote.
“I’ve talked about making it a very point of view noir-driven definitive Batman story in which he is investigating a particular case and that takes us out into the world of Gotham.”
“We’re not doing any particular [comic]. Year One is one of the many comic books that I love. We are definitely not doing Year One. It’s just exciting to be focused very specifically on a tale that is defining for him and very personal to him.”
“I went on a deep dive again revisiting all my favorite comics. Those all inform by osmosis. There’s no continuation of the Nolan films. It’s very much trying to find a way to do this as something that for me is going to be definitively Batman and new and cool.”
I pretty much said all of that verbatim in THIS REPORT. After many folks misunderstood what I’d reported the previous day, I wrote a follow-up to clarify what so many had seemingly missed the first time around.
“Obviously we’re not doing an origin tale or anything like that.”
I made that clear in the same report. It’s not an origin, and never was going to be.
“We are working on getting our draft [in] the next couple weeks. Right now, my head is totally into the script. Right now, I’m going to be leaving here to go back to work on the script.”
In THIS REPORT, I mentioned that August was going to be a big month for this production. I’d heard that folks in a certain department at Warner Bros. were expecting a major update and, reading between the lines, I said it’s likely to be the month the studio gets a full draft of his script.
“What we’ve talked about is hopefully in the spring or early summer, something like that.”
In that same report, I said that from everything I’ve gathered I’d say the film should start in the summer.
“That was always what it was going to be so in that way it hasn’t changed a lot since I first met with them. It’s very much the same thrust if that makes sense. A lot of things have happened since then but the movie, and why I’m excited about it, is it continues to be the same inspirations and excitement of what we talked about in the beginning.”
This coincides with that report as well, as I pointed out that there have definitely been some changes since he took the job last year. Here, he’s acknowledging that things have definitely changed and evolved (like the age of his Batman) but that the core inspiration and overall goal remains the same.
Is Ben Affleck In Or Out?
Slash Film didn’t include a direct quote from Reeves on this, but similar to how the coverage on this topic has been all over the place, it would appear even Reeves is somewhat non-committal and unsure how to express what Affleck’s deal is. The site characterizes it like this, as they paraphrase his remarks:
“Reeves said he was still speaking with Affleck, but was coy about who might play the caped crusader in the film.
“After the connected movies from Man of Steel through Justice League, DC announced plans to focus on more individual movies. That also gives Affleck an out, but Reeves’ suggestion that there’s a way to have Affleck involved, without ruling out recasting a younger Batman, is intriguing.”
As you can clearly see, there’s no clean cut decision here or anything clear to report. When the director of a film can’t come out and say, “Yeah, the guy who’s currently established as this character will obviously the star of my movie about that same character,” that tells you everything you need to know about why there’s been so much uncertainty about Affleck’s future in the last year and a half.
On my end, I’ve mainly reported that Affleck’s time as Batman is up, because that’s what I’ve heard. But in June, I did leave the door open a tad because I’d heard of some renewed talks between WB/DC and Affleck. I even suggested in that article, as I did on my podcast last year, that they could have Affleck there at at the start and end of the film, narrating this noir detective tale from his younger days.
And if that were the case, then that means he’s both in and out, because while he’d technically be in the film he wouldn’t be the actor we actually follow for this story about a younger Batman.
Regardless, it still seems like Affleck’s involvement is up in the air. On a personal side note, I’m still hoping they find a way to keep him on, even in the limited capacity I described above.
Now Just Get Hyped!
This next direct quote from Reeves isn’t confirmation of anything. It’s just really cool, and the main reason why you should be super pumped about his The Batman plans.
“We’re doing a story that is definitively Batman though and trying to tell a story that’s emotional and yet is really about him being the world’s greatest detective and all the things that for me, since I was a kid, made me love Batman.”
Thanks to all who’ve stuck by me and put stock in what I share with you. Just like anyone, I won’t always be accurate, and there will be times I try to connect disparate dots in the wrong order, but longtime followers know I always do my best to relay the word on the street and the results of my own investigations. It’s cool to see so many things I’ve reported from Batman’s corner of the cinematic DC Universe lately get confirmed, and I hope you’ll join me for future deep dives on these DC topics that mean so much to me.
Be sure to make Revenge of The Fans a regular destination, and to subscribe to both The Fanboy Podcast and The Revengers Podcast on your podcast app of choice. I’ll be recording Episode 68 of The Fanboy tonight, and it should be a doozy!
Thanks for reading!