The internet was set alight today with the DC Fandome event, and one of the most important parts of this was the presentation of one of 2021’s most anticipated films, Matt Reeves’ The Batman. This bold new take on the legendary DC Comics character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger is getting an overhaul thanks to Reeves nor-inspired direction, and the director has now offered us a new look at the film, and his main lead actor Robert Pattinson as he takes on the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Watch the full teaser trailer for The Batman below:
Watch my full reaction video for The Batman below, and leave a comment on our YouTube channel about what you’re most excited to see about this new take on Batman:
While no official synopsis for The Batman currently exists, director Matt Reeves has confirmed that this version of The Batman is not an origin film, but rather that we will find Bruce Wayne in Year Two of his mission being Batman and having to deal with a series of deranged murders that tie back into Gotham City’s current state of police corruption, along with the history of Gotham City itself.
Talking on the casting and characters involved in The Batman, Reeves said:
“They’re amazing, I mean we have Paul Dano who plays a version of The Riddler that no one has ever seen before, and it’s really something, he’s such an incredibly creative actor and so what he’s doing I think is going to blow people’s minds. And then to have Zoe Kravitz, her iteration of Selina Kyle, like to me that’s incredibly exciting, you have an iteration that you’ve never seen of what she’s doing, but it touches on all of these iconic sort of things that people know from the comic. So it’s always about trying to square what you sort of know, with what also is new and that is really part of I think what the exciting sort of process is about making a Batman movie, which is to find a way to make it your own, and to find a way for the actors to make it their own, and yet still connect to all these things that people also go ‘of that’s my Selina, I know who that is’, and I guess the one thing about the Rogues Gallery is that it actually in a weird way actually is the origins of our Rogues Gallery characters so like Selina isn’t Catwoman yet. That’s actually a part of the journey, Oz is not yet the Kingpin that he’s going to become, he’s the Penguin, and he actually doesn’t like being called The Penguin. And the Riddler is just emerging for the first time, so that’s all incredibly exciting, and then we have like Andy Serkis, who is one of the most beautiful actors, and he is playing an iteration of Alfred that I feel like people have never seen before, which is really exciting to share with people. And then we have an incredible, like for me I just think that Jeffrey Wright is just one of the great actors to be able to work with him in a totally new iteration of Gordon, and then we have the amazing John Turturro who’s going to be a Carmine Falcone who in this iteration you’ve never seen that version before, and how all these characters connect I think for me was one of the challenges, but also exciting things about the creation of the story in going on this sort desire to solve, or the urge or compulsion to solve these series of crimes you touch on all of these iterations of the beginnings of these characters, so that the whole movie is like a snowball roll that you can just feel the momentum building and building, and that’s the attempt.”
Alongside The Batman, Reeves is also working on a new Gotham PD television series for Warner Brothers with acclaimed writer, and Boardwalk Empire creator Terrance Winter, which will dovetail the movie and explore Batman’s impact on Gotham in his first year of vigilante crime fighting.
Along with discussing the narrative and character details of The Batman, Reeves also took some time out to discuss the design of the film, specifically regarding the Bat Suit, and how Robert Pattinson had some very specific things that he wanted included in it.
“We of course have an incredible costume designer in Jacquline Durrand, and the bat suit was designed by Glen Dillion, and they’re geniuses and it’s great to work with them, but one of the things that’s really important being able work with the actors. Like Rob had a very important part in designing the suit in that he had to be able to wear it and be able to fight in it. And one of the things about this bat suit is that it is, it’s very practical, the whole idea is that he’s made it himself, and so we needed to be able to sort of see how it would fit on him in these ways that he could move and also look like it was something that was still evolving and even the idea in the story is that he’s in year two, and wearing it so like he goes out every night looking for trouble so yuou look at his cowl and you actually see that there are gashes in it, and all of that detail was an incredibly exciting dialogue between me and the costume designers, and then having Rob involved. So yeah, the actors have a lot to do, because you always want to have a dialogue with everyone so we can arrive at the thing that feels the most grounded, the most honest and the most character based. One of the big things Rob actually talked to Christian Bale, and Christina Bale was like “just make sure you’re going to be able to releave yourself’, so that was also incredibly important too.”
Reeves also commented on the importance that Gotham City will play in the upcoming Batman film saying “It’s just as is important as the Rogues Gallery, and the nature of this place, and the history of it is critically important to our story, and one of the things I really wanted to do, because it is the center of this story, especially the history of corruption in the city is that I wanted to present it as a way that was really fleshed out. I wanted to present it as an American city that you’d never been too. I mean other versions, y’know obviously the Burton one had very theatrical, beautiful, beautiful sets and Nolan had the version that he created in Batman Begins, and that was a particular thing with parts of Chicago and parts of Pittsburgh, and what we’re trying to do is create a version of ti that you haven’t seen before. So some of the locations that were chosen, the idea was to take there’s like, like we have a Gotham Square, so that’s like Times Square right. But if we shot it in Times Square you’d be like well I guess Gotham is New York, but in our case it’s actually going to be Liverpool. And the ideas to go to Liverpool where there’s all the sort of the foundation of the Gothic Architecture, and add all the more modern structures through CGI, but in a way that when you see the movie you’ll be like ‘hey, where’s that city, where did they shoot’. So the aspect of Gotham and realizing it for me has been one of the great pleasures of getting to mount the movie.”
Reeves also commented on the perception of Batman from the citizens of Gotham as well, and this provided a key insight into the focus of the film, in that Pattinson’s Batman is very much a vigilante and is not seen as a beacon of hope for the people of Gotham, but is rather seen as a symbol of fear by many who are afraid of him, and that he’s very much a growing legend within the city.
In relation to the casting Robert Pattinson in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, Reeves was incredibly open about his reasons for casting the 34-year-old actor in the role, and explained in depth how Pattinson’s acting ability defined his vision for The Batman.
“I mean the thing about Robert Pattinson is that he is an incredible actor. I feel like the work that he’s done in the last, I don’t know six years has been incredible. Like a friend of mine made a movie called Lost City of Z and Rob appeared in that movie and I was like who is that guy? He just had such charisma, and Rob in the movie has this incredible beard, and you’re like who is that, and it’s Rob. And Rob in The Rover. And Rob in Good Time. He’s like a chameleon, he’s just such a gifted actor, and he’s been working on his craft in this really incredible way, and he also happens to be a tremendous, passionate sort of fan of Batman the way that I am, so it was an incredible thing to be able too connect with him and to share excitement about the character and to work with him. I mean he looks like Batman,m but more than anything he has the soul of someone I think that can play a Batman like you’ve never seen before.”
On how Reeves will define his vision for the movie over previous Batman films, the director said:
“I think as we said it’s not an origin tale, and you’re meeting him in the early days and for me what’s really important about this iteration is that y’know a lot of the other stories are very much about how he had to master his fear and master himself to become Batman, and in that Batman state he’s sort of in his best self. And I think for me what was exciting was not doing that, not doing the origin, not doing what we’d seen done so beautifully in other movies, but instead to meet him in the middle of his crimological experiment to see him in the becoming of Batman. And to see him make mistakes as Batman to see him grow, and fail be heroic and do all the things we associate with Batman but in a way that felt very human, and very flawed. The biggest fantasy of course as a kid would of course to be Batman, and so the idea of putting the audience in the shoes of that character and make the audience feel the way that he feels, I think that to me, I hope is what’s different about what we’re doing to try and do it in exactly that sort of manner. And the of course the other things that are from the earlier history of the comics, like him being the world’s greatest detective and how he got there. Y’know those things have been touched on, but I don’t know that they’ve been essential to the plot as they are in this particular Batman. So there’s a lot of things that I hope will be totally different.”
Finally Reeves also discussed the cinematic influences that were present on his vision of The Batman, and from his choices Reeves clearly has a very key vision for how he wants to bring this film to life.
“Well because the movie is a detective story, because it is y’know a thriller in the sort of cop world and because it’s about corruption. We’re treating this Batman story as if this could have happened, and the ideas that, as I said Batman doesn’t have the sort of ability to have super heroic powers, he just has super heroic focus and super heroic drive, and so for me, like a lot of movies, like Chinatown was a key one because Chinatown, Jake Gitties, in investigating that series of crimes that were a part of that story he discovers the depths of corruption that lie at the heart of Los Angeles, and so in that way it’s like a classic noir. And so that’s very much inspired our story, with the series of murders that Batman is investigating are very much in that mode. So Chinatown was a really big one, and that idea, that kind of gritty, flawed, the humanity of it, that was very much inspired by those kinds of movies by like French Connection and other cop movies like that. I’d even say a movie like Taxi Driver, that kind of a place, in very much getting inside of somebody’s head. I guess a lot of really sort-of 1970s street, grounded stories.”
Looking over the teaser trailer it comes across as an incredibly dark, and noir-drenched watch and Reeves is really playing into the underlying darkness of the Batman comic mythos and has really pulled together a hard-edged thriller. There’s a hyper-realism mixed in here, and with the creepy rendition of Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’ attached to the trailer it adds a considerable edge to the trailer.
Pattinson, whom I must admit I was initially concerned about, puts in a terrific performance here as Bruce Wayne/Batman and has a fanatical obsession about him to go out and fight crime on the streets of Gotham. This of course leads us to the presence of The Riddler, who has a psychotic serial killer vibe to him, and who with Paul Dano’s performance will likely leave audiences on edge. The savage combat that we get to see in the film is also a stark reminder of just how serious Reeves and Pattinson are taking this movie and I believe we’ll be in for something incredibly different that will give audiences a solid rush.
The Batman will arrive in cinemas on October 1, 2021.