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You can expect a dark, noir-driven detective story inspired by Christopher Nolan and Alfred Hitchcock.
Director Matt Reeves is busy promoting War for the Planet of the Apes, but a lot of interviewers seem more interested in asking about his next movie. The Batman is meant to go into production in 2018, with new writers brought in to rewrite Ben Affleck‘s earlier screenplay draft.
Reeves clearly has ambitious hopes for The Batman, describing his vision as “Hitchcockian,” and mentioning plans for a trilogy. Here’s some of what he’s said so far:
He wants to make a “Hitchcockian” noir detective story
Speaking to New Trailer Buzz, Reeves said, “In all of my films, what I try to do, in an almost Hitchcockian sense, is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become the character, and you emphasize with that point of view. I think there’s a chance to do an almost noir-driven, detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way.”
Batman is often described as the World’s Greatest Detective, but recent movies tend to avoid this angle. They’ve been action-focused vigilante stories, with minimal detective work from Bruce Wayne. A noir mystery would be a departure from Affleck’s role in Batman v Superman, but it could be a welcome change from CGI-heavy fight scenes.
He wants to follow in Christopher Nolan’s footsteps
“What I love that [Nolan] did was that he took the genre seriously,” Reeves told Yahoo! Movies. “What studios are willing to make at the moment is a very, very narrow band of films. What I discovered is that this genre has the potential to be about something more.”
He added that he wants to make The Batman “very emotional,” praising Nolan’s ability to retain his artistic vision in a studio setting. Reeves is familiar with Hollywood’s conservative attitude to blockbuster filmmaking, but he does actually have a chance to make an original Batman movie. For better or worse (mostly worse), Warner Bros. allows its DC Comics directors more creative leeway than Marvel Studios does with the MCU.
He enjoys Batman’s darker side
Speaking to the Los Angeles Daily News, Reeves shared his view of Batman’s characterization. “[Bruce Wayne] is a tortured soul who is grappling with his past and trying to find a way to be in a world that has a lot that’s wrong with it and trying to find a way to reconcile all of that.”
This interpretation isn’t hugely surprising, but it will be a disappointment to some. Batman is a fundamentally tragic and screwed-up character, but his recent films have been overwhelmingly dark, humorless and violent. Batman: The Animated Series still has a passionate fan-following because it balanced that darkness with humor and warmth, a storytelling choice that made Wonder Woman much more popular than either of Zack Snyder‘s dark-and-gritty DC movies.
The Batman was delayed after Ben Affleck stepped down as writer and director, but Warner Bros. hopes to start filming next year.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.