Matt Reeves Talks The Batman & Gotham PD TV Series During DC FanDome
Matt Reeves stopped by DC FanDome and dropped a lot of info about The Batman which is sure to delight fans of the character. The director also hinted at the plotline surrounding HBO Max’s own Gotham City series, which will take place during Batman’s first year on the job and will be told from the point of view of a dirty cop and center on the “battle for his soul” as the story dives into the “corrupt police department and the corrupt inner workings of the city.”
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Reeves moved at a rapid pace — he is clearly passionate about this project — so, here were some of his major talking points regarding The Batman:
- Reeves: “Paul Dano plays a version of the Riddler that no one has ever seen before. I think it’s gonna blow people’s minds.”
- Pattinson reached out to Christian Bale for advice and The Dark Knight star told him to make sure the suit allowed him to, ahem, stay comfortable.
- Reeves didn’t want people recognizing Gotham City, so he shot the film in Liverpool and enhanced it with CGI to give it a different look.
- Reeves: “Selina isn’t Catwoman yet, that’s part of the journey. Oz isn’t the kingpin that he’ll become. Riddler is just emerging for the first time. Andy [Serkis] is playing a version of Alfred we’ve never seen before. And [Jeffrey] Wright is playing a version of Gordon we’ve never seen.”
- Reeves: “The thing about Robert Pattinson is he’s an incredible actor. He’s also this tremendous fan of Batman just as I am. It’s been great to share this excitement with him. He looks like Batman but has the soul of someone who could play Batman.”
- Reeves explained that this Batman is not yet the beacon of hope for the city. “He’s still early in the trajectory, and they’re afraid of him. The public is afraid. That’s one of the things he will confront in the story.”
- The biggest difference from other Batmans is that Pattinson’s caped crusader makes mistakes and is still growing. “For me what was exciting was not doing that (the origin) but instead to meet him in the criminological evolution of Batman. To see him making mistakes, that he’s flawed. To make the audience feel how he feels.”
- Reeves: “I’d say we spent easily a year to do the Batsuit and then to get into the Batmobile and that, of course, that part’s a dream.”
- Reeves wanted to make a story that felt like it would happen in real life and drew comparisons to Chinatown and Taxi Driver.
- Reeves: “I personally love Affleck as Batman. I thought he was amazing. I’m really excited for the new cut Zack has of Justice League. I can’t wait to see that.”
- The production has only shot 25-30% of the movie so far.
- Reeves said that HBO Max’s Gotham City PD series will take the story back to Year One and is set before the film: “The idea is we go back to Year One. Year One is the beginning, it’s the first appearance of this masked vigilante that unsettles the city.” The series is meant to dive deeper into the corrupt police department: “You start to see the story through the point of view of these corrupt cops and one in particular. The story is actually a battle for his soul. He’s a cop over generations and the history of corruption in Gotham is enormous and goes back many years.”
Starring alongside Robert Pattinson’s Batman/Bruce Wayne is Zoë Kravitz (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Mad Max: Fury Road) as Selina Kyle; Paul Dano (Love & Mercy, 12 Years a Slave) as Edward Nashton; Jeffrey Wright (the Hunger Games films) as the GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro (the Transformers films) as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard (The Magnificent Seven, Black Mass) as Gotham D.A. Gil Colson; Jayme Lawson (Farewell Amor) as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; with Andy Serkis (the Planet of the Apes films, Black Panther) as Alfred; and Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Dumbo) as Oswald Cobblepot. Twins Max and Charlie Carver have also joined the movie in “sizable roles.”
During DC FanDome, Reeves confirmed the movie will focus on Bruce Wayne’s second year as Batman, and, per Walter Hamada, that the film is set in a different universe separate from the Justice League DCEU characters. Reeves also revealed that the movie is a detective story that follows a series of murders that open up the history of corruption in Gotham and how Bruce’s family is linked.
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Reeves and Dylan Clark (the Planet of the Apes films) are producing the film, with Simon Emanuel, Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada, and Chantal Nong Vo serving as executive producers.
The Batman opens in theaters on October 1, 2021.