The Batman has had a tumultuous history to date – originally set to be written and directed by Ben Affleck (who would also star), Matt Reeves took over in 2017 as director, and whether Affleck will still feature in the film is a matter of speculation – but it definitely looks unlikely. Since then, any details have been elusive, but recently Reeves opened up on his take on the Caped Crusader.
While speaking with THR, Reeves said:
“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.”
We saw a bit of Batman’s detective skills in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it sounds like Reeves’ take will delve deeper than we’ve ever seen in a cinematic treatment of the character. Reeves also revealed that The Batman is more or less a working title:
“Right now it’s called The Batman. What it will be called ultimately, I don’t know.”
As for the film’s villains and casting process, Reeves shared that:
“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.”
Of course, Batman has some of the most iconic villains in pop culture – we’ve already seen the Joker and Harley Quinn in action in the DCEU, and it sounds like Reeves’ film will introduce a whole host of their fellow rogues, perhaps including Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke. Exactly who these villains are may become clearer as the casting process begins – though, with Reeves confirming that there’s no fixed date for release (and the likeliest date isn’t till 2021), it may be some time before we get any solid info on the characters or storyline.
Interestingly, Reeves also spoke a bit about the DCEU doing away with a shared universe:
“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 suggests that, going forward, the DCEU will have a lot of room for individual stories in varying styles and tones. We can already see from this interview that the movie will be dissimilar to the upcoming Birds of Prey, for example. It’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities this creative freedom opens up, but it looks like we’ll be waiting a while for more info on The Batman.