The Batman Director Explains What He Borrowed From Alfred Hitchcock

When talented, introspective, and well-rounded directors get free rein on big-budget comic book movies, there are no limits to how they might shake up an entire franchise and inject a sense of freshness to characters that audiences may have assumed have nothing new to offer. Batman movies consistently make money and, as a result, will continue to be made on a near-annual basis until the heat death of the universe. That's just the way these things work, and I've accepted that. The least that any of us could ask, however, is that Warner Bros. seek out the most fascinating and opinionated filmmakers around to put their own spin on such well-trod material. That's precisely where "The Batman" comes in, from "War for the Planet of the Apes" director Matt Reeves.

The various inspirations and influences sprinkled throughout footage of "The Batman" have been apparent for anyone to see, running the gamut from the original comic books to acclaimed director David Fincher's work to real-life serial killers (and the books written about them). With almost every passing day, we seem to get more and more insight into the filmmaking process of bringing this newest Batman story to the big screen. Today, we've received yet another look into the classic films and filmmakers that Matt Reeves threw into one big melting pot (not literally, we hope!) that would eventually become "The Batman."

"Very Hitchcockian"

As a character, Batman has always lent himself to adaptations that take the form of dark, gothic stories that take full advantage of the atmosphere and mood afforded by Gotham City and the hero's maniacal rogues' gallery. "The Batman" definitely looks like a faithful translation of all the classic elements fans love, but with the added bonus of taking its cues from film noir. Given the character's roots as a brilliant detective and, unfortunately, the failure of many live-action adaptations to really lean into that quality of the World's Greatest Detective, it simply makes sense to combine Batman with one of Hollywood's richest, darkest, and most naturally investigative genres. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Matt Reeves sheds even more light on how "The Batman" has been influenced by classics like "Chinatown" and the works of Alfred Hitchcock.

"Batman or Bruce is in almost every scene in the movie, which is not the usual way these movies are done. It's a very Hitchcockian kind of point of view where you are wedded to his experience."

This, of course, closely resembles the portrayal of private investigator J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) in "Chinatown," whose constant screen time puts audiences right into his head as he uncovers a large and disturbing conspiracy in the heart of California. The parallels between that kind of story and Reeves' specific approach with Batman are plain to see, and actually line up perfectly with comments that Reeves has made before, when he mentioned back in 2017 that:

"In all of [my] films, what I try to do, in an almost Hitchcockian sense, is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become that character, and you emphasize with that point of view. 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 will hopefully connect you to what's going on inside of his head and inside of his heart."

We're only getting closer and closer to seeing just how well Reeves managed to pull all this off for ourselves. "The Batman" is set for release on March 4, 2022.