The Batman Director Matt Reeves Explains Why the Movie Needs to Be "The World's Greatest Detective" Story

Matt Reeves' The Batman is just a few months from release and the eagerly anticipated film is set to be a take on the iconic DC Comics character unlike what we've seen before. Reeves' genre-bending film will very much be a "World's Greatest Detective" story and now the filmmaker is explaining why it's necessary. In an interview with Movie Maker, Reeves explained that being a detective is at the very center of who Batman is from the character's very creation.

"I wanted to do a story in which the corruption of Gotham was one of the most important aspects of the story, because Gotham is a sick place. Bruce is desperate to try and make a change," Reeves said. "He's still stuck, to be honest, emotionally stunted at being 10 years old, because that's a trauma you don't get past—witnessing your parents murder in this place. He's looking to create meaning, right? This is the only meaning he can find. … I think he imagines that if he can do this, somehow he can reverse what's happened, which will never be reversed. This is a very human impulse, right? To try and relive something and remake it."

Reeves went on to talk about how Batman was originally created as a character similar to the noir, hard charging detectives that were popular at the time the character first debuted in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939 and, Batman in particular, would eventually be described in comics as the World's Greatest Detective. For Reeves, making The Batman a detective story is just in line with who Batman is.

"The idea of a place that is corrupt, and you try to swim against the tide in order to fight against it and make a difference, is quintessential Batman," Reeves said. "And at the center of those noir stories is almost always the detective, right? And that's why he is the world's greatest detective. And so, this story is, in addition to being almost a horror movie, a thriller, and an action movie, at its core, it's also very much a detective story. It's very narrative."

Robert Pattinson, who plays the titular character in the film also expressed how impressed he was that the film really does deliver on the "world's greatest detective" element.

"In the first meeting, he was saying, we want to lean into the 'world's greatest detective aspect,' and be a detective noir movie," he said. "And, you know, normally when directors say that they just do like a mood board, and it's just about the imagery. But I read the script, and it is! It's a detective movie. It happens all the time in the graphic novels, but it's always kind of on the backburner in the movies."

Directed by Reeves, in addition to Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, The Batman stars Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Kravitz as Catwoman, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Real, Barry Keoghan as Officer Stanley Merkel, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.

The Batman is set to open in theaters on Friday, March 4th.