When it comes to the character of Batman, there’s a fascinating dichotomy in play: the question of identity. Is the man behind the mask Bruce Wayne, or, in his heart, does he think of himself as Batman? Yes, this debate also happens in connection to Superman, but that’s clearly a different dynamic, and yes, it’s also been addressed in previous Batman-related media, such as this scene from the animated series “Batman Beyond”:
It’s a complicated question, and one that director Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield,” “War for the Planet of the Apes”) has, understandably, spent quite some time thinking about.
Reeves is slated to direct the next “Batman” film, currently set to return DCEU star Ben Affleck as the role of the Caped Crusader, and is also a producer on the upcoming Mark-Paul Gosselaar-starring genre drama “The Passage,” premiering soon on Fox.
IndieWire, at the Television Critics Association press tour, asked Reeves what he thought when it came to Batman’s identity — specifically, is the real person is Batman, or is the real person Bruce Wayne?
“Gosh, that’s a tough question,” he said. “I think that it’s interesting, because one of the things that I’ve found interesting, just as we’re working on the story, is looking back at Jekyll and Hyde, and the idea of your shadow-self, and the idea of, we are all multiple things. It’s different aspects of who we are, and I think there are times when maybe the surface of Bruce is not really who he is, but that’s his disguise. There are times when Batman’s the disguise, but there are times when his true essence comes out, because by being veiled, a kind of instinctual side comes out that’s very pure.”
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He added, “It’s not an easy question to answer, in that I think that we are all made up of so many different aspects of ourselves that make the whole. I don’t know if you could ever reduce anyone to one part of what they express. That’s what’s fun about his character, is that there’s a very bright light that shines on his shadow side. The idea of all of that is incredibly exciting. It’s part of what makes it fun for me to work on.”
Following the release of “Justice League,” the next “Batman” film is currently set to start shooting in early 2019.