Director Matt Reeves has been working on The Batman for quite some time, but similar to his colleague and friend J.J. Abrams, he’s kept so much of what he’s planning a secret that we sometimes wonder, “Is anything going on with this movie? Where are the updates? He’s had the job for two years!”
And it’s because of his very tight lips that anything the man has to say about the project is instantly newsworthy.
We last heard from Reeves, in an official capacity, last August. But now in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he’s opened up some more about The Batman– even confirming that that’s the film’s working title.
The first thing of note here are his comments about the approach he’s taking towards the character and the story:
“What’s exciting about Batman is how it relates to now and also how personal it can be.
“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”
This correlates with previous comments he’s made, but also lends credence to a report of mine from late December, about how far into the “noir detective” feel he’s going for with The Batman. At the time, I shared that it’s going to be more about his psychology and work as a detective; We’d get to go into his head as he unravels a mystery in a story that would be less of an action movie than we’re accustomed to from the Dark Knight’s previous exploits.
He also confirms that there will be multiple villains in the film- which is something I’ve been reporting since last July– and that casting will begin soon:
“There will be a Rogues Gallery. The casting process will begin shortly. We’re starting to put together our battle plan. I’m doing another pass on the script and we’ll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things.”
Reeves also confirmed a report of ours from October that said the film is likely to arrive in 2021, but that there’s no rush:
“We haven’t been dated. I wouldn’t commit to this, but we’re thinking the movie would probably be for 2021, late spring or summer. Warner Bros. has been incredibly supportive and given me a lot of time and shared the same passion that I do for this story.”
Lastly, he also touches on his film’s relationship to the greater shared DC Universe- a very frequent topic amongst fans:
“Right now, I’m involved in The Batman. What it will be called ultimately, I don’t know. Aquaman is going to be very different from the Todd Phillips Joker movie, and that’s going to be different from Shazam and Harley Quinn. Warners believes they don’t have to try to develop a giant slate that has to have all the plans for how it’s going to connect. What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters.”
This falls in line with what I’ve discussed across several episodes of The Fanboy Podcast, that it’s going to be very hard to pin down if this one is “in continuity” or not, because the studio has really given Reeves free reign to do as he pleases, so there’s a sense that the film will stand on its own with the possibility left open that it could reconnect with the rest of the DC universe down the line.
Also of note is that THR points out that Reeves keeps a certain New Yorker comic strip featuring Batman up in his office to, as he claims, remind him to make it as “internal and emotional” as he can.
I’m planning a follow-up report for tomorrow (Thursday), discussing this, last night’s Batman tweet, and other DC Whispers floating around. Stay tuned, Bat fans!