Don't Expect The Villains To Take Center Stage In The Batman 2

Great news for all DC fans! It seems Matt Reeves is in the kitchen again, and today he had a few updates to share about the sequel to last year's "The Batman," a film that successfully managed to breathe fresh air into a character pop culture has known and loved for decades.

Luckily, despite the fact that the hierarchy of power at DC Studios has drastically shifted with James Gunn and Peter Safran's co-leadership and major rebranding plans (which led to the cancellation of Henry Cavill's return as Superman as well as the shelving of Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Woman 3"), it looks like Reeves' largely disconnected interpretation of the caped crusader is safe from the chopping block.

In an exclusive interview with Collider this week, Reeves revealed that he and his screenwriting collaborator, Mattson Tomlin, are deep into the writing process for the second "The Batman" film. Even though most filmmakers tend to have the impulse to make a bigger and flashier film with each consecutive sequel, Reeves, however, has other priorities. Just like the original film — Reeves' number one goal is continuing Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne as a character and exploring his internality rather than over-stuffing the screenplay with a Rogues Gallery of villains.

"To me, the thing that I really feel is that I also believe that Rob [Pattinson] is so special in the role." Reeves explained. "My goal has always been to do these point-of-view stories that allow the character to always be the emotional center of the story. Because a lot of times what happens is after you do the first one, then suddenly other Rogues Gallery characters come in, and they kind of take over, and then Batman takes a backseat sort of character-wise, or emotionally."

Reeves' Batman is about Bruce Wayne's psychology

Typically, discussion on comic book films is almost always centered around what's coming up next or how pieces will connect to a larger universe — but Matt Reeves is keeping his cards close to his chest. I'd argue this is for good reason, as teasing villains or establishing a larger universe out of his vision of Gotham doesn't seem to be the priority for him. 2022's "The Batman" showed Pattinson's Bruce Wayne as a relatively young and new vigilante who's only been Batman for two years.

Though it gave us Colin Farrell's The Penguin, Paul Dano's The Riddler, and Barry Keoghan's The Joker in one film, it also did so with a tremendous amount of restraint — especially for a film with nearly 3-hour runtime. These villains' presences in Reeves' adaptation are merely secondary to the explorations of Batman as a cultural figure versus the psychological torment that comes with choosing a life of vengeance. Yes, "The Batman" is a superhero movie, but it was, more importantly, a character study that had as much to say about the darkness of our protagonist as it does about the villains he fights. The first film was a great jumping-off point for these themes, and we'd hope that the second film should follow through and take these ideas to the next level.

That's not to say spin-offs are entirely off the table. "The Penguin" series on HBO is expected to start shooting later this year, which will certainly bring us more insight into the criminal underbelly of Reeves' Gotham. Will it tie into "The Batman 2" or plant important seeds for the future of this franchise? That remains to be seen. For now, we can rest easy that "The Batman 2" will remain a Bruce Wayne movie.