Director Matt Reeves is currently on the publicity circuit for War for the Planet of the Apes, and so it’s perhaps inevitable that he’s also starting to be asked about his next big project: the Ben Affleck-starring solo DC movie The Batman.
Speaking to New Trailer Buzz, Reeves used words that are sure to appeal to Bat-fans looking for a version of the character in line with the character’s generally-accepted 1980s peak:
I think 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 is hopefully going to connect you to what’s going inside of his head, and inside of his heart.
I see a parallel, emotionally, between [Planet of the Apes’] Caesar and Batman in that they’re both characters who are tortured and trying to sort of grapple within themselves to find a way to do the right thing in a very imperfect, and to some degree corrupt, world.
Across the many screen interpretations we’ve had of Batman, the “detective” element has largely been missing – despite the character making his debut, and still starring, in a book titled Detective Comics. While the Christopher Nolan films arguably brought in a Year One-inspired noir element in places, they too lacked this major attribute (with their version of “detective work” largely consisting of shouting questions in people’s faces).
Affleck’s Batman, too, stumbled through a largely straightforward investigation of the “White Portugese” in an unedifying Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice subplot. But we’d hold out hope that noir elements could work quite effectively with this older, more tired and melancholic version of the character.
Bat-fans looking for further encouragement, meanwhile, might be advised to check out the critical reception so far being meted out to War for the Planet of the Apes – at the time of writing, it sits at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. We’ve mentioned in the past how we’re not sure if Reeves is the kind of “auteur” normally associated with Batman films, but it could be that he’s just starting to come into his own as a filmmaker at exactly the right time.
The Batman is still early in the production process, with a script rewrite underway; we’re expecting to see it on screens some time around 2019.