“The Batman” Will Not Be an Origin Story
Director Matt Reeves stated in April 2020 that fans should not expect to see a young, orphaned Bruce Wayne find his calling in “The Batman.” In fact, the film is not an origin story at all.
“The thing I related to in the Batman story is that he isn’t a superhero in the traditional sense,” Reeves explained. “If he has a superpower, it’s the ability to endure…He’s a very alive character, and to tell a version of Batman that wasn’t about how he became Batman, but the early days of being Batman…to see it in new ways, that was a way to do something that hasn’t been done.”
Reeves’ cinematic influences for “The Batman” include “Chinatown,” “The French Connection,” and “Taxi Driver.” The “War for the Planet of the Apes” director co-wrote the script with Mattson Tomlin, and “The Batman” features cinematography from Oscar-nominated DP Greig Fraser, who also shot Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming “Dune,” as well as “Lion” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
Reeves pitched “The Batman” as a “very psychological” exploration of the corruption behind Gotham City. “I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is,” Reeves said to Nerdist in April 2020. “Like this guy, he’s majorly struggling, and this is how he’s trying to rise above that struggle. But that doesn’t mean that he even fully understands, you know. It’s that whole idea of the shadow self and what’s driving you, and how much of that you can incorporate, and how much of it you’re doing that you’re unaware of.”
The intersection of politics, crime and crumbling trust in government also felt timely to the director. “I think it always does. There’s almost no time when you can’t do a story about corruption,” Reeves concluded. “But today, it still seems incredibly resonant and maybe, from my perspective, maybe more so than maybe at other times.”