We're just a few weeks out from The Batman opening in theaters with the Matt Reeves' helmed film set to give viewers a unique take on the Dark Knight. But while The Batman will be a bit unlike anything before it with the film's serial killer story, the filmmaker did plenty of research in comics to develop his story's tone and, as it turns out, it was during that research that Reeves discovered that he had his own personal connection to some of the stories that helped inspire the film. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Reeves revealed that iconic comics writer Jeph Loeb was his screenwriting teacher at USC and that it was Loeb who told him he should be a writer.
Reeves explained that two of the stories that had influence over his work on The Batman were The Long Halloween and Dark Victory and that he didn't realize until he was digging into things that they were written by Loeb who had once encouraged him.
"It's so weird because I didn't know till I did all of this deep dive that it was literally my screenwriting teacher from USC—the person who told me that I should become a writer—Jeph Loeb, who wrote those stories," Reeves said. "He was very responsible for me pursuing that because when I went to film school, I was very set on being a director. I'd always written what I was doing as a kid and when I was making short films when I was young because I thought these are the means to get to make a movie. And I never really separated the two. And then when I was in [Loeb's] screenwriting class, he said, 'You have to continue pursuing this because this is something I feel you can do.' When I started going through all the comics and I saw that he'd written [them], I was like, 'This is crazy.' And then I loved it."
One of the most popular Batman stories, The Long Halloween is a crime story set early in Bruce Wayne's time as Batman which sees the city at a dangerous tipping point with Gotham's two mob families on the edge of war when things get even worse when a serial killer starts taking out gangsters on different holidays and it falling to Batman to find the killer. It's clear the comic had a good bit of influence over The Batman from just what we know of the film thus far, but that personal connection for Reeves makes things even richer.
The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman along with Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Zoe 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.
According to The Batman's official synopsis, "Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies -- Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) -- amongst the city's corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
"When a killer targets Gotham's elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World's Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator's plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City."
The Batman opens in theaters on March 4th.