As pointed out by our friends over at Slashfilm, director Matt Reeves sat in on a Television Critics Association panel earlier today, and you know what that means: people asked him what the hell's going on with his Batman solo film, The Batman.
Usually such circumstances result in the filmmaker offering up a few non-commital bon mots about their ongoing creative process, but in this case Reeves actually unloaded a number of genuinely interesting tidbits. For starters, here's what he had to say about the state of the film's screenplay, and when it might shoot:
“We are working on getting our draft [in] the next couple weeks. Right now, my head is totally into the script. Right now, I’m going to be leaving here to go back to work on the script ... What we’ve talked about is hopefully [shooting] in the spring or early summer, something like that.”
As for whether or not Ben Affleck (who was just announced as the director of Fox's McDonald's Monopoly Heist movie) will return to don Batman's iconic cowl, Reeves apparently said he was still in touch with the actor, but wasn't very forthcoming beyond that:
“There are ways in which all of this connects to DC, to the DC universe as well. We’re one piece of many pieces so I don’t want to comment on that except to say that I’m focused very specifically on this aspect of the DC world.”
Hmm. Okay, then. Can you elaborate on that a bit?
“From the beginning, what I had always spoken about with Warner Brothers and what I was excited about was being in the Batuniverse and really doing something within that sphere. That was always what it was going to be so in that way it hasn’t changed a lot since I first met with them. It’s very much the same thrust if that makes sense. A lot of things have happened since then but the movie, and why I’m excited about it, is it continues to be the same inspirations and excitement of what we talked about in the beginning.”
To us, that sounds a lot like Reeves trying to say - without explicitly doing so - that The Batman will be separate from the events established in other recent DC films, much in the same way that Todd Phillips' forthcoming Joker movie will incorporate some existing Batman mythology, but probably not mythology that's specific to Snyder's corner of the DC universe.
The other big rumor Reeves addressed was whether or not The Batman would be an origin story ... specifically, one based on Frank Miller's classic Year One. On this point, Reeves was very clear:
“We’re not doing any particular [comic]. Year One is one of the many comic books that I love. We are definitely not doing Year One. It’s just exciting to be focused very specifically on a tale that is defining for him and very personal to him. Obviously we’re not doing an origin tale or anything like that. We’re doing a story that is definitively Batman though and trying to tell a story that’s emotional and yet is really about him being the world’s greatest detective and all the things that for me, since I was a kid, made me love Batman.”
Far as we're concerned, this is great news! Year One is obviously a fantastic piece of work, but Batman's origin story has been done to death. Focusing on Batman's detective skills is another step in the right direction, an angle that many fans feel has been underplayed in previous Bat-films. Our man is the world's greatest detective - let him detect some stuff! Anything else you can tell us, sir?
“I’ve talked about making it a very point of view noir-driven definitive Batman story in which he is investigating a particular case and that takes us out into the world of Gotham. I went on a deep dive again revisiting all my favorite comics. Those all inform by osmosis. There’s no continuation of the Nolan films. It’s very much trying to find a way to do this as something that for me is going to be definitively Batman and new and cool.”
OK, now we're talking: this is a Batman movie that's not necessarily beholden to the Snyder films, incorporates more of Batman's detective skills, and it's working with a "noir-driven" narrative? This is precisely what we want out of the next Batman movie, and with Reeves at the helm there's every reason to believe this thing will kick large amounts of ass. We're all-in for this, and can't wait to see what he does with the property.
Stay tuned for more on Matt Reeves' The Batman as it becomes available.