For Matt Reeves, nearly every live-action Batman film to date has lacked one crucial piece that is essential to the iconic DC character: his noirish detective skills. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the War for the Planet of the Apes director revealed his plans for what is currently titled The Batman.
"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale," he said. "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. 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."
There's no set theatrical release for the film or any confirmation that Ben Affleck will reprise the role of Bruce Wayne, but the fact that Reeves is willing to talk about it in such depth is a very good sign. If Affleck returns, it's very likely that Jeremy Irons and J.K. Simmons will return as Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner Gordon, respectively.
Whether or not those two characters come back, you can still expect a number of classic bad guys to show their ugly mugs.
"There will be a Rogues Gallery," Reeves added. "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."
He also admitted that The Batman title is subject to change and provided his guess of a tentative release window — late spring/early summer of 2021. Moreover, the filmmaker confirmed that Warner Bros. (which owns DC just as Disney owns Marvel) is shifting its cinematic superhero model toward making quality films instead of building a massive shared universe.
"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," he finished. "What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters."