Trading in his bat ears for a fedora?
Fresh off his hiring as the director for The Batman, Matt Reeves has revealed his intentions to take the franchise in a slightly different direction.
In an interview with New Trailer Buzz, the filmmaker, who helmed War For the Planet of the Apes, opened up about his plans for the series’ most recent reboot: “There’s a chance to do an almost noir-driven detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way,” said Reeves. It’s an interesting take on a series that has alternated between campy action and gritty realism, with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder’s depiction in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice leaning toward the latter.
Batman is sometimes referred to as the “world’s greatest detective,” which could be a factor, and Reeves also cites Alfred Hitchcock’s filmic style as an inspiration. The director even compared Batman (who will be played by Ben Affleck, as in Dawn of Justice) to Caesar, the central character from the Planet of the Apes trilogy: “I see a parallel emotionally between Caesar and Batman, in that they’re both tortured and trying to sort of grapple within themselves to try and do the right thing in a very imperfect and, to some degree, corrupt world.”
Joe Mangianello (True Blood) has been tabbed to play Slade Wilson — aka Deathstroke — in the film, and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) will portray Commissioner Gordon. Jeremy Irons will reprise his role as Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler and confidant. The film does not yet have a release date.
A directorial decision
At this point, keeping track of the activity around the director’s chair for The Batman is enough to give fans whiplash.
Just a few days after Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves had reportedly parted ways with The Batman, the filmmaker is now officially attached to helm the troubled movie. Warner Bros. Pictures announced his involvement this week, capping a month of shake-ups that involved original director, star, and co-writer Ben Affleck stepping down from his director role, Reeves joining the project, and then Reeves temporarily leaving the film when talks broke down with studio.
Reeves will now take over the director’s chair on The Batman after the abrupt departure of Affleck, and both the director and studio issued statements regarding the future of The Batman.
“We are thrilled to have Matt Reeves taking the helm of Batman, the crown jewel of our DC slate,” said Toby Emmerich., president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “Matt’s deep roots in genre films and his evolution into an emotional, world-building director make him the perfect filmmaker to guide the Dark Knight through this next journey.”
“I have loved the Batman story since I was a child,” said Reeves in his own statement accompanying the announcement. “He is such an iconic and compelling character, and one that resonates with me deeply. I am incredibly honored and excited to be working with Warner Bros. to bring an epic and emotional new take on the Caped Crusader to the big screen.”
Reeves’ attachment to The Batman removes one film from the list of Warner Bros. Pictures’ prominent upcoming superhero movies that were still missing directors. The Flash remains without a director after Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa were each hired, then subsequently exited the project due to creative differences. Rumors have also recently begun circulating that Affleck could be losing interest in The Batman entirely after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice dramatically underperformed at the box office and was savaged by critics.
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