'The Batman' Will Be A Noir-Inspired Detective Tale With A Rogues Gallery Of Villains

Matt Reeves just provided the most detailed breakdown of his The Batman, which will be the first stand-alone Batman film since 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. While the filmmaker didn't give away specifics (no word on if Ben Affleck is still involved, although at this point it's probably safe to assume he's not), he did describe what type of movie he's going to be making. In addition to that, Reeves also confirmed that The Batman will have a full rogues gallery of villains, not just one bad guy.

It feels like The Batman has been in the works seemingly forever. In 2015, word broke that Ben Affleck, who had recently assumed the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight, would both direct and star in a standalone Bat-film. Affleck could never get a handle on the script, however, and the project eventually fell into the hands of Matt Reeves in 2017. Reeves has been steadily working on the film ever since, giving out little updates here and there. Now, in an interview with THR, the filmmaker has provided the most detailed summation of the project so far.

"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale," Reeves says. "It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and that's not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been."

Batman's detective skills have mostly been overlooked in the movies, although Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy had few scenes here and there of Batman engaging in some minor detective work. The Batman will apparently take things even further. In regards to the detective aspect, Reeves adds: "I'd love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it's going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation."

The Batman comics have some of the most famous villains in history. So which of them might we end up seeing in The Batman? Reeves doesn't give specifics, but he does indicate it's going to be more than one:

"There will be a Rogues Gallery. The casting process will begin shortly. We're starting to put together our battle plan. I'm doing another pass on the script and we'll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things."

Beyond that, Reeves confirms that Warner Bros. is moving away from the shared universe idea, and is going to focus on one movie at a time. "Aquaman is going to be very different from the Todd Phillips Joker movie, and that's going to be different from Shazam and Harley Quinn," Reeves says. "Warners believes they don't have to try to develop a giant slate that has to have all the plans for how it's going to connect. What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters."

This all sounds promising, and I'd love to see Reeves knock this out of the park. When done right, Batman can be compelling as hell. When done wrong, well, then we end up with Justice League.

Reeves also says that an official release date hasn't been locked down yet, but there's a chance that it might end up somewhere in "late spring or summer" of 2021.