Matt Reeves talks story, villain & release details of his noir Batman movie
Warner Bros. is about to start ramping up development on The Batman, with a recent report that shooting could start around November of this year. Now the film’s writer/director Matt Reeves has spoken to THR about his plans for the film, which includes a more noir Batman doing real detective work, as well as an extensive rogues gallery!
“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” Reeves confirmed. “It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation… There will be a Rogues Gallery. The casting process will begin shortly. We’re starting to put together our battle plan. I’m doing another pass on the script and we’ll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things… We haven’t been dated. I wouldn’t commit to this, but we’re thinking the movie would probably be for 2021, late spring or summer. Warner Bros. has been incredibly supportive and given me a lot of time and shared the same passion that I do for this story.”
As for how The Batman will connect to the wider DCEU, Reeves statements echo those of Wonder Woman filmmaker Patty Jenkins recently about the studio emphasizing solo stories for the time being. He also teases that the film could undergo a title change before it opens 2+ years from now.
“Right now, I’m involved in ‘The Batman,'” teased Reeves. “What it will be called ultimately, I don’t know. ‘Aquaman’ is going to be very different from the Todd Phillips ‘Joker’ movie, and that’s going to be different from’Shazam!’ and ‘Harley Quinn.’ Warners believes they don’t have to try to develop a giant slate that has to have all the plans for how it’s going to connect. What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters.” He also added, “What’s exciting about Batman is how it relates to now and also how personal it can be.”
The film has been in development since 2015 when Affleck had signed on to the DCEU to become the latest iteration of The Dark Knight, with various script drafts by Affleck and Geoff Johns being submitted to the studio. Affleck was attached to direct for a while before stepping down due to being overwhelmed with the project. War for the Planet of the Apes‘ director Matt Reeves signed on to helm about a month after Affleck’s directorial departure with the added caveat he rewrite the script from scratch.
After various reports of the script nearing completion and predicted production starts, it appears Reeves’ script is finally coming close to a conclusion and production set for November. Although many reports peg Affleck as having hung up the cowl, there have also been persistent rumors that he could still portray Batman/Bruce Wayne in bookends to the film while another actor portrays a younger caped crusader from earlier in the timeline. Unbroken‘s Jack O’Connell is one of several options the studio is apparently mulling to take on the role.
Reeves’ story has been described as a character-driven project focusing on Batman’s experiences as the world’s greatest detective, leading many to speculate that while it won’t be an origin story it will require a younger star, making it easier for Affleck to exit the lead role. The 46-year-old actor, who last portrayed Batman in 2017’s Justice League, is still slated to stay on the project as a producer.