Matt Reeves Wants The Batman To Be "The Most Emotional Batman Movie Ever Made"

Fans tend to have a very specific shortlist of items they expect to see in Batman movies, items that don't really apply as much to other comic book adaptations: a great Bat-suit, a pervasive sense of self-serious grittiness, and a high degree of faithfulness to the comics, to name just a few. "Emotion" doesn't usually seem to rank at the top of these demands, but that's exactly what director Matt Reeves is committed to delivering with "The Batman."

Shaking Things Up

These days, the question of how to differentiate one live-action iteration of Batman from the next is a difficult one. It's made more complicated by outside factors, such as the universal acceptance of Christopher Nolan's trilogy and the rather more mixed reception to Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck's version. That seems to have also been a chief concern in Reeves' mind when taking on directing duties for "The Batman," leading to the inspired casting of Robert Pattinson as a much younger Bruce Wayne and a particularly dark atmosphere and aesthetic that's more reminiscent of "Seven" than any Frank Miller graphic novel. Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, Warner Bros. played a featurette during CinemaCon (an exclusive event held for the benefit of theater owners) which featured brief glimpses of new footage from "The Batman" and some accompanying words by Matt Reeves himself, further explaining what sets his Batman apart from others.

"I felt that we've seen lots of origin stories. It seems things go further and further into fantasy, and I thought, well, one place we haven't been is grounding it in the way that Year One does, to come right in to a young Batman, not being an origin tale, but referring to his origins and shaking him to his core. You can have it be very practical, but I also thought it could be the most emotional Batman movie ever made."

The instinct to try and steer clear of more origin stories for the Caped Crusader definitely isn't a wrong one, as there's a very strong likelihood that audiences would collectively rebel if we have to sit through another ominous depiction of the Waynes getting murdered in a random Gotham alleyway. But telling the story of Batman's early years seems rife with potential, especially coming off the Snyder movies that featured a much more established and jaded Batman. Neither Nolan or Snyder's DC movies were lacking in emotion, but Reeves' previous movies (especially his excellent "War for the Planet of the Apes") tells me he's operating by a more interesting and visceral definition of the word.

Pattinson also makes an appearance in the clip, adding further context to just how unique Reeves' film will be.

"For some reason, Batman has always stood out as one of the major characters of the 20th century, and so many people connect with it on such a deep level for so many different reasons. From the first conversation I had with Matt about it, I just knew that there was something radically different [here]."

As for the footage itself, descriptions remain vague and little more revealing than what we saw in the trailer that was released a year ago during the DC FanDome event. Entertainment Weekly describes it as "...the film's gloomy aesthetic is in full force as we see bits and pieces of a rainy Gotham thrown into chaos. Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne broods along the city streets. We get quick glimpses of Andy Serkis' Alfred, Batman beating up foes, explosions, police officers, and more chaos."

Not much to go on, admittedly, but then again we still have quite a wait in front of us.

"The Batman" is currently set to release in theaters on March 4, 2022.