In a wide-ranging interview to promote his new sci-fi series Tales from the Loop, Matt Reeves opened up about his plans to give The Batman a “humanist bent” as the film chronicles Robert Pattinson‘s further descent into becoming the Dark Knight.
While discussing how “humanism” is a necessary component of his filmmaking and that he can’t operate without “emotionally” understanding the stories he tells on camera, like his well-received take on the Planet of the Apes, Reeves revealed to Nerdist how he plans to examine Batman’s origin even though the film reportedly takes place during the second year of the Caped Crusader’s war on crime.
“I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is. Like this guy, he’s majorly struggling, and this is how he’s trying to rise above that struggle,” Reeves explained. “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.”
Reeves said his story will also focus on the corruption in Gotham City, which he says is a theme that always feels “current.” But if you’re expecting Reeves’ new vision to skew more towards Christopher Nolan’s more grounded take on Batman, Reeves wants to ensure that his entries in the franchise are “distinctive” and not “just another one” on the list. In fact, he specifically cites Tim Burton’s Batman Returns as a major influence, and Reeves can’t help but gush over the ’90s classic.
“I just think it’s such a beautiful movie,” Reeves tells Nerdist. “I love the Penguin stuff when he’s going down the sewers as the baby. It’s just like, wow. This is the beautiful thing about Tim Burton at his best in that way that he’s got that connection into the fantastical that feels very, very personal.”
Batman Returns is an interesting choice for Reeves to single out. Just like the Burton sequel, The Batman will also feature Catwoman and the Penguin (played by Zoe Kravitz and Colin Ferrell, respectively). Unfortunately, it could be a while until we see Reeves’ take on the classic villains. The Batman has been delayed indefinitely during the global health crisis, and that makes the chances of the film hitting its June 2021 release date somewhat unlikely.