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A dude who sneaks around the dark corners of a major metropolitan city, beating people up while dressed as a giant bat would probably be cause for alarm in our world. Not a very comforting image, is it?
Director Matt Reeves hopes to capture a bit of that uneasiness in The Batman, his upcoming reboot centered around DC's Caped Crusader. The Batman. "This movie, I think, is probably the scariest Batman that's been done," the filmmaker, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mattson Tomlin, teased to Total Film. "Because the idea of what Batman's doing — it's scary."
Inspired by seminal comic book stories like Frank Miller's Year One, the film takes place in the early days of Bruce Wayne's crime-fighting career. For this latest cinematic revival, Robert Pattinson steps into the boots of the Dark Knight to take down the Riddler (Paul Dano), who torments the brooding vigilante via a mounting pile of corpses accompanied by cryptic messages.
"It's a detective story, it's an action movie and it's a psychological thriller," added Reeves, who found himself inspired by the Zodiac (a serial killer who tormented California's Bay Area in the 1960s and '70s via a series of coded messages sent to newspapers) when it came to the central and "very scary" antagonist.
Speaking at the second annual DC FanDome back in October, the director stated that his overall goal was to shy away from previous interpretations by presenting a more grounded take on the character.
“I felt that we’d seen lots of origin stories," he explained. "We’d seen things go further and further into fantasy and I felt, ‘Well, one place we haven’t been is grounding it the way that Year One does. To come right into a young Batman — not be an origin tale, but refer to his origins and shake him to his core.'"
“For some reason, Batman just always stood out,” added Pattinson. "It’s one of the major characters of the 20th century and so many people connect to him on such a deep level and for so many different reasons. The first conversation I had with Matt about it, I just knew there was something radically different from anything we’d seen in Batman movies before.”
The Batman swoops into theaters everywhere on March 4, 2022.
Two spinoff television projects — one about the Gotham City Police Department and one about Colin Farrell's Penguin — are both in active development at HBO Max. In addition to executive producing both shows, Reeves has teamed back up with his Cloverfield collaborator and longtime childhood friend J.J. Abrams for a Batman animated series that also boasts the involvement of Bruce Timm (a co-creator on the critically-acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series).