Writer-director Matt Reeves explained that while his take on the Dark Knight is definitely gritty — and reportedly inspired by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide — the film was always meant to appeal to a wide range of audiences.
“In my mind, the movie was always going to be a gritty, edgy, noir, thrilling spectacle that was PG-13,” Reeves told Den of Geek. “That was always what it was, but I always knew that we’d be pushing the limits of what that could be, and so we didn’t really have to cut anything. The promotional materials that you’re seeing, they’re fully reflective of the tone of the movie.”
DC fans also shouldn’t be holding their breath for a #ReevesCut anytime soon.
“There isn’t some special cut of this movie where it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, here’s the R rating that you’ve been desperately wanting,'” Reeves said. “I didn’t have to suddenly start drastically cutting the movie or anything like that.”
IndieWire has reached out to Warner Bros. for additional comment.
In comparison, “Zack Synder’s Justice League” landed an R rating at HBO Max, while fellow DC installments “Birds of Prey,” “Joker,” and “The Suicide Squad” all were rated R.
“I’m happy we got the rating because I want people to be able to come to see the movie,” Reeves said. “But as far as people being excited about the tone that they’ve been seeing in the promotion materials, that is totally faithful for the tone of the movie.”
Reeves previously noted that the cinematic influences for “The Batman” include “Chinatown,” “The French Connection,” and “Taxi Driver,” all R-rated classics. The “Planet of the Apes” director likened the Batman franchise to the James Bond, with more PG-13 films, during an interview with Moviemaker Magazine.
“Batman is an amazing myth that has endured for over 80 years,” Reeves said. “He’s like James Bond, I guess, in a certain way, right? But there’s also something very relatable to the pain that he’s gone through. And so that, for me, was how you ground it — those aspects are part of the story. And this story emphasizes those things. This story pulls those things out.”
“The Batman” premieres March 4 in theaters.