The Batman Director Explains Why He Loves Penguin and Catwoman From Batman Returns

It's hard to express just how excited fans are about The Batman, Matt Reeves' take on the DC Comics mythos. The star-studded blockbuster will feature a wide array of Gotham-set villains and antagonists, including Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), The Penguin (Colin Farrell), and The Riddler (Paul Dano). Although those characters have certainly shared the screen several times before, it sounds like Reeves will be bringing a unique, but reverential approach to the ensemble of villains. In a recent interview with Nerdist, Reeves spoke about his work directing and co-writing The Batman, and revealed the fondness that he has for another Batman blockbuster, 1992's Batman Returns.

"I love Batman Returns. Michelle Pfeiffer was incredible," Reeves revealed. "I love it, I love it so much. It's so incredible and she's so incredible in it. I just think it's such a beautiful movie. I love the Penguin stuff when he's going down the sewers as the baby. It's just like, wow. This is the beautiful thing about Tim Burton at his best in that way that he's got that connection into the fantastical that feels very, very personal."

While it's unclear exactly how things will shake out with The Batman, it might be safe to assume there will be an homage or two to Batman Returns somewhere in the film. Reeves has also been outspoken about his love for the 1960s Batman TV series, something that has already bled into the film's design for the Batmobile.

"I was a bit of a fan of Batman comics, and comics generally, growing up," Jeffrey Wright, who stars in the film as Commissioner Jim Gordon, explained in an interview last month. "But I was a lunatic Adam West Batman fan. And Matt Reeves, who is directing the movie, was as well. And we were talking about it and he said, "In my mind, that wasn't camp." Now, this is not to say that we're doing an Adam West Batman in any respect. But that for me was my early dive into the Batman cosmos. Matt and I agree it wasn't camp for us, it was deadly serious for an 8-year-old kid. Deadly serious with the most tricked-out heroic technology and bells and whistles this side of James Bond. If you look back at it within context, man, it was as Batman as anything. The pastel tones harken back to the original Bob Kane/Bill Finger stuff. That was my early and much-appreciated introduction into Gotham."

The Batman will also star Robert Pattinson as the titular caped crusader, with John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Real, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.


The Batman is set to be released on June 25, 2021.