Matt Reeves teases 'very emotional' Batman story, pays tribute to Christopher Nolan

Tom Butler
UK Movies Editor
Ben Affleck’s Batman is set for an emotional ride in Matt Reeves DCEU movie (Warner Bros.)

Sad Affleck may just be about to get even sadder.

Matt Reeves says he intends to tell a moving story in ‘The Batman’ drawing comparisons between the Dark Knight and Caesar, the lead character in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot trilogy.

“It’s my hope to tell a very emotional Batman story,” Reeves told Yahoo Movies while promoting ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’, “and I do see a very strong parallel between [Batman and Caesar] because they’re both damaged characters who are grappling to the do the right thing in a very imperfect world. A world that’s filled with all of the corruption that is human.”

After ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is unleashed in cinemas on 11 July, director Matt Reeves will get to work on ‘The Batman’ with production scheduled to take place in 2018.

Matt Reeves also directed ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (20th Century Fox)

The ‘Cloverfield’ director was handed the reins to Ben Affleck’s first solo Batman film after Affleck decided against directing it himself earlier this year. Reeves recently teased ‘The Batman’ will be a Hitchcockian“noir-driven, detective version of Batman”, although it’s not yet clear who will be the film’s main villain.

Joe Manganiello was originally in the frame to play Deathstroke, but production was pushed back for the script to be rewritten “from the ground up”, so everything remains in flux.

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Beyond Hitchcock, Reeves admits he’s also been inspired by Christopher Nolan’s approach to genre filmmaking.

“What I love that [Nolan] did was that he took the genre seriously,” Reeves told us.

“What studios are willing to make at the moment is a very, very narrow band of films. What I discovered is that this genre has the potential to be about something more. You can use the metaphors of the genre to talk about [a lot].

Affleck’s Batman will next be seen in ‘Justice League’ (Warner Bros.)

“I think that the metaphors of both of the franchises [Batman and Apes] enable you to tell stories that have deep emotional resonance. That’s actually what excites me about it. It’s interesting because I was obsessed with both as a child, and yet there is something potentially very adult about what you can explore under the cover of that fantasy. That is what draws me to it, and that’s what I’m excited about.”

All the films in Nolan’s Batman trilogy – ‘Batman Begins’, ‘The Dark Knight’, and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ – transcended the superhero genre touching on themes of grief, terrorism, chaos, and redemption, something that Reeves’ two ‘Apes’ movies also manage in the sci-fi realm.

“I think the other thing that I really admire in what [Nolan] did was knowing what it is to make a big studio film,” Reeves concludes, “which often can fall into that sense of committee filmmaking where there’s an anonymity to the point of view of the film.

A closer look at Batman in ‘Justice League’ (Warner Bros.)

“What I admire in what [Nolan] does is that, despite being a filmmaker in an enormous system, his perspective comes through. That to me was very exciting, it’s always exciting when you see a film of his because of that. That’s what I feel like I’ve been trying to do, it’s trying to allow a perspective to come through despite the fact that we’re in this very large studio movie world.”

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ swings into cinemas on 11 July.

*Editors note: This article originally suggested Mark Bomback was rewriting the ‘The Batman’ script with Matt Reeves. This has since been edited until official confirmation*

Watch a Andy Serkis transform into Caesar in this incredible new ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ clip below…


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