‘The Batman’ Is Not Based on ‘Year One’ or Any Particular Comic

Matt Reeves’ in-the-works The Batman will not be an adaptation of origin tale Year One or any specific comic book, but will instead tell a noir-driven detective story that is “definitively Batman.”

“We’re not doing any particular [comic book],” Reeves told press Thursday during a Television Critics Association panel promoting small-screen drama The Passage.

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. Obviously we’re not doing an origin tale or anything like that. 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.”

Reeves’ comments debunk reports that surfaced last week claiming The Batman would be based on Year One, which detailed Bruce Wayne’s earliest steps as Gotham City’s self-appointed Dark Knight defender. A lifelong Batman fan, Reeves said his take on the character will be informed by decades of stories but will not adapt any one comic book.

“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,” Reeves said. “I went on a deep dive again revisiting all my favorite comics. Those all inform by osmosis. There’s no continuation of the [Christopher] 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.”

Reeves, who frequently engages with curious fans on social media, previously named his favorite Batman stories on Twitter, hinting at specific influences on his “noir-driven detective” tale.

The War for the Planet of the Apes filmmaker singled out Frank Miller and Dave Mazzucchelli’s Year One, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sales’ The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, and Darwyn Cooke’s Batman: Ego as some of his favorite comics.

Reeves then pointed to artist Neal Adams — who helped redefine the character back into a shadowy, moody detective with writer Dennis O’Neil following the character’s camp years — and the works of original Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, who told stories that were typically darker and detective-driven in nature.

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Studio Warner Bros. has yet to stake a release date for The Batman.

Additional reporting by Scott Huver.