Director Matt Reeves has thought about The Batman being the first film in a possible trilogy of solo Batman movies. Thanks to his impressive filmography, Reeves has emerged as a fan-favorite choice to take over at the helm of The Batman, after Ben Affleck unexpectedly left as director of the project several months ago. And following Affleck’s debut turn as The Dark Knight in last year’s Batman V Superman — which many critics and fans generally agreed was the best part of the critically-maligned film — there’s a hefty amount of anticipation and expectations surrounding The Batman right now, especially from those who were disappointed by Dawn of Justice.
Fortunately, it didn’t take long before Warner Bros. signed Reeves on as Affleck’s replacement after he orginally left as director, and ever since then, both Affleck and Reeves have been on the receiving end of a fairly consistent stream of The Batman-related questions.
With Reeves participating in the press tour for his latest film, War for the Planet of the Apes as well, those questions have only increased. So while recently speaking with Fandango, Reeves was asked about his overall vision for The Batman, and if he’s thought at all about the film possibly being just one installment in a possible trilogy of solo Batman films:
“I have ideas about an arc, but really, the important thing is just to start… you have to start with one. You know, you have to start with a story that begins something. And I would be lying if I could tell you that the arcs of Apes was already planned out, because it simply wasn’t; it’s one of those things where that character was so potent, and the possibility was embedded from the beginning, but exactly how you’ve got from A to Z is not something that existed.”
Reeves was also quick to add that when he originally was approached to direct 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, neither he nor the studio saw the film as being just the second installment in a fully-fledged trilogy:
“In fact, when I came in on Dawn, the story that I wanted to tell was different from the story that they had even presented me,” he said. “And so, there are these broad ideas, I think, that sort of came to mind as Rise was created, of how that story could be told, but they weren’t explicitly laid-out. And when Mark and I began Dawn, we knew what our goals were, but we didn’t know how we were gonna get there, and I would say that that more relates to the way that I see a Batman story, is a kind of ambition for a series of stories, but really the most important thing is gonna be to tell a vital first story.”
This is a logical route for Reeves to take when approaching The Batman when considering that he’s just now finishing his work on War for the Planet of the Apes, which is the final installment in what has turned out to be one of the best contemporary film trilogies. It’s also no surprise that Reeves was quick to stop himself from saying anything too concrete about his plans, since he’s only just now starting work on The Batman, and there’s no telling if he’ll even want to make more films in the franchise a couple years from now, when it’s finally released in theaters.
At the same time, Reeves hasn’t been afraid of teasing the overall tone or his ambitions for the film, saying previously that The Batman will be more like a detective noir than previous live-action outings have been, with inspiration being taken from the work of Alfred Hitchcock. That sounds tonally and conceptually different on almost every level than what Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was, and in order for The Batman to truly succeed, it’ll have to not only work off of the example of what The Dark Knight did right with the character, but also find its own unique approach to bringing The Batman to life. Thankfully, it appears as though Reeves is well aware of what he needs to accomplish with this particular DCEU title.
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