In the short space of just over 21 years, DC’s Batman will be receiving its third recasting and redesign, with Matt Reeves’ The Batman set to hit cinemas in early 2022. Starring Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader and co-starring Colin Farrell as Penguin, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, and Andy Serkis, The Batman is set to be one of the most anticipated films of the year.
In an interview at ComicCon in the summer of 2021, director Matt Reeves made reference to Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One as a primary source of inspiration, stating: “I felt that we’ve seen lots of origin stories. It seems things go further and further into fantasy, and I thought, well, one place we haven’t been is grounding it in the way that Year One does”.
Continuing, Reeves adds, “You can have it be very practical, but I also thought it could be the most emotional Batman movie ever made”.
Featuring a far darker take on the classic villain The Riddler, more so than the lime green version that we saw from Jim Carrey in Tim Burton’s Batman Forever, Reeves’ film looks to be embracing the gothic, grungy underworld of Gotham’s underbelly, inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight.
Also inspired by Frank Miller’s comic Batman: Year One, Nolan’s Batman was worlds away from the candy-coloured dreamworld created by Joel Schumacher for the previous Batman instalment, Batman & Robin, operating in a dark, industrial Gotham riddled with crime. As such, Christopher Nolan’s iteration of the title character, played by Christian Bale, is himself troubled and brooding, plagued by the death of his parents.
The iconic superhero films from Christopher Nolan have no doubt inspired Matt Reeves’ most recent interpretation, with the Dark Knight director speaking to Josh Horowitz and the Happy Sad Confused! podcast about the upcoming film. Asked by Horowitz if he is excited about Reeves’ new film, Nolan replies: “I mean, first and foremost, a couple of things excite me. Matt Reeves is a great filmmaker, that right there, but having worked with Rob [Pattinson], he can do anything, he’s just one of the greats. For him, putting his talent to that, I think that’s something fans should be looking forward to”.
Christopher Nolan went on to describe his very first meeting with Paul Levitz, the former head of DC comics where he would discuss the dos and don’ts of a brand new Batman adaptation. As Nolan continues, “One of the things he said was that ‘Batman, of all of the characters, more so than Superman, Batman is the one who really benefits from different interpretations and different interpretations that change over time both in comics and then indeed in the movies”.
While we wait for the latest interpretation of the Batman story from Matt Reeves, let’s hope it proves as revolutionary as Christopher Nolan’s take and doesn’t fall on the side of parody like Batman & Robin. If the brand new trailer’s anything to go on, we’ve got little to worry about.