There’s no doubt of how Christopher Nolan has made quite an impact on storytelling, and director Matt Reeves is quick to point out just how much of an impact he’ll have on his Caped Crusader, The Batman.
Nolan made everyone forget the other three Batman movies with his Dark Knight trilogy (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises) which was headed up by Christian Bale before Ben Affleck took over the suit.
Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy marked a new beginning in not only the comic book genre but in recreating the superhero genre film in general. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises proved that big-budget comic book movies can be more than just dumb entertainment filled with big stars mugging for the camera and that huge payday.
Nolan elevated the genre to a point where both a director’s personal vision and the studio’s requirements molded into something that everyone could enjoy. And since then, the director’s iconic style has clearly influenced the now-booming comic book genre in more ways than one.
The latest big screen version of the Caped Crusader – played by Ben Affleck in the ever-expanding DC Extended Cinematic Universe – is luckily trying to set itself apart from Nolan’s vision. However, that doesn’t mean his acclaimed trilogy is being overlooked for a brand-new formula. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League director Zack Snyder previously revealed how he drew inspiration from Nolan’s trilogy, and now it seems another filmmaker has gone down a similar route.
War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is attached to helm the upcoming solo movie about the Caped Crusader, titled The Batman. The film has already had some development issues, but now it seems like it may finally be on track. One reassuring aspect of The Batman, however, is Reeves’ genuine respect and admiration for Nolan. In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, Reeves revealed how Nolan found ways to expand the genre without hindering the big-budget nature of the films.
“What I love that [Nolan] did was that he took the genre seriously,” Reeves told us.
“What studios are willing to make at the moment is a very, very narrow band of films. What I discovered is that this genre has the potential to be about something more. You can use the metaphors of the genre to talk about [a lot].
“I think that the metaphors of both of the franchises [Batman and Apes] enable you to tell stories that have deep emotional resonance. That’s actually what excites me about it. It’s interesting because I was obsessed with both as a child, and yet there is something potentially very adult about what you can explore under the cover of that fantasy. That is what draws me to it, and that’s what I’m excited about.”
Reeves went on to discuss how Nolan managed to keep his personal style across all three films – which is especially tough since most studio movies don’t always see the merit in maintaining that aspect.
“I think the other thing that I really admire in what [Nolan] did was knowing what it is to make a big studio film,” Reeves concludes, “which often can fall into that sense of committee filmmaking where there’s an anonymity to the point of view of the film.
“One of the reasons I was drawn to [The Batman] is that I had a similar obsession to Batman when I was younger that I had with the Apes series, which I was obsessed with. 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. It’s really that emotionality that I’m interested.”
“In all of my films, what I try to do, in an almost Hitchcockian sense, is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become that character, and you emphasize with that point of view. 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, that hopefully is going to connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart.”
There’s still a lot of unknowns at this point about The Batman. There have been rumors galore about various characters possibly appearing, script rewrites, amongst others. What fans can relax about is definitely having someone as smart as Reeves behind the camera. His phenomenal work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, not to mention the aforementioned upcoming sequel, it’s clear he has a keen eye for how to produce a blockbuster that’s more than just summer entertainment. Let’s hope Warner Bros. lets him maintain that refreshing mentality.
The Batman is currently without a release date, but we’re hearing to expect it in 2019, meaning that shooting should get underway this year.