With production shut down on The Batman, filmmaker Matt Reeves has a lot more free time on his hands as he awaits for the coronavirus quarantine to end and get back to work with Robert Pattinson on the next DC Comics movie. But this also affords the director an opportunity to connect with fans and reveal new details about his unique take on the Caped Crusader ahead of its (as of now) June 2021 release date. Reeves has the daunting task of taking a unique angle on Batman after the character has appeared in three different iterations on the big screen with five major actors playing the role.
But Reeves wouldn't have accepted the gig unless he had a new approach, and the filmmaker spoke with Nerdist's Rosie Knight recently about the importance to make The Batman stand apart from other takes on the character.
"I thought, ‘Well, there’s been some terrific Batman movies,’ and I don’t want to be part of a long line of Batman movies where this is just another one," explained Reeves. "I feel like they’ve been really distinctive. The best ones have been incredible. What Nolan did was incredible. What Tim Burton did was really singular."
Reeves understands that it's hard to top what's been done before, especially when it comes Christopher Nolan's award-winning film The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger's approach to the Joker.
"The Dark Knight is so incredible and I think that Heath Ledger’s performance and their conception of the Joker in that movie is indelible. And the battle that he engaged with, you know, with Batman/Bruce is incredible," Reeves explained. "But the thing you take away from it more than anything is that conception, specifically, I think of the Joker. That movie is so much about how it’s a horrifying thing to stare into the abyss, that idea of that level of nihilism. The whole idea that there was nothing you could do because even in the destruction of him, you were fulfilling his aims. It was just a terrifying notion that speaks to an aspect of human nature and that was really profound.”
The established history is part of the reason that informed Reeves' take on Bruce Wayne and Batman, and the filmmaker explained he wanted to explore a version of the character that hasn't been portrayed yet.
“I just felt like well, what I’d love to do is to get a version of this Batman character where he’s not yet fully formed," Reeves said. "Where there’s something to do in this context with who that guy would be in this world today, and to ground him in all of these broken ways. Because at the end of the day, this guy is doing all of this to deal with trauma in his past.”
The Batman is currently scheduled to premiere in theaters on June 25, 2021.