"The Batman" is still in cinemas this week and fans and nerds have so much to talk about, take apart and discuss with this new iteration from Matt Reeves. Two weeks ago, I focused more on Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz) being the heart of the film and her relationship with Batman. We've got more from the "The Batman's" press circuit. Today we'll zoom in on how this Batman has been different from recent screen versions and how this universe might move forward.
This is a 'Year Two' Batman story leaning heavily on the detective side of this iconic character. The traditional playboy image is absent and what you get is a recluse who still carries around the trauma of his parents' murder. He hasn't gotten over it and he takes on the persona of the Batman to cope with the tragedy and deal with the pain of being 10 years old and having to take on the "Wayne mantle."
By becoming Batman, Bruce Wayne gets to escape himself.
In the words of Matt Reeves, "He's sort of addicted to putting on the suit because as soon as he puts that on, he goes into a primal state where he can eliminate the baggage of this past and have super heightened senses in the present. And it's a relief as much as anything else.
"I think the idea of being Batman, honestly, it's not altruistic. It's a desperate attempt to make meaning. In some way the faces of everyone you come up against, they're the faces of the killers of your family."
In this film, Batman gets involved in a murder mystery that rocks him to his core.
"His power is in being anonymous, so the idea that suddenly someone is shining a light on him is very unsettling to him. This killer at each crime scene leaves notes for the Batman, what does that mean? So it starts to get sort of under his skin, and you start to see him be unmoored psychologically."
Reeves has cited the Batman book Long Halloween, the supervillain Calendar Man as well as Zodiac and Mindhunter among the influences for this film. As the audience follows the details of the crime, Batman hits the paths of these other characters.
"It is the origin story of every Rogues Gallery character that you've come across. So like Selina Kyle is not yet Catwoman, and The Penguin is not yet The Kingpin. And the character that you're referring to is not yet the character that you're referring to. But it is in fact him."
Of course Reeves gave this interview in February at one of the early screenings and you had someone referred to in the credits as "The Unseen Prisoner" played by Barry Keoghan. Jump on Google today and you'll see it's The Joker.
Vanessa Armstrong of SYFY Wire had a great observation and mentioned one of the things she liked about this adaptation is "it pulled from the comics how all of Batman's nemeses exists because Batman exists."
"I think we all did read the comics. And as I did that, it was that idea that kept coming through — this idea of what it is to project this image of vengeance, this idea of being a masked vigilante into the city, that it could have effects that were not intended and he's trying to figure out why, after two years, crime is not going down. It never occurred to him that he could be at least part of it — that did absolutely come from the comics."
It looks like the world has responded quite positively to "The Batman." Two sequels to complete a trilogy has been green lit, HBO ordered a spin-off Penguin series and an Arkham Asylum series.