Recently, news of Robert Pattinson cast in Matt Reeves’ The Batman film has sent the internet into theorizing overload, with fans of the Dark Knight eagerly taking to online forums and social media to postulate what the film could possibly be about. With small nuggets of information emerging to add fuel to the fire, there are only a few concrete pieces of evidence we know to be true.
Originally, former Batman star Ben Affleck was supposed to write, direct, and lead the film, but he dropped out long ago when WB studio wanted to go in a different direction. Reeves stepped in to do script rewrites, and center the film on Batman in his ‘30s. Whether or not it will be an origin story, or simply take place during the early years of Batman’s crime-fighting days, has yet to be verified. Here are 10 theories fans of the Caped Crusader hope are true about The Batman, currently in production.
10 PATTINSON HAS THE TALENT TO HANDLE THE ROLE
Though Robert Pattinson is often (still) heavily associated with the Twilight series of films, in the years that have followed his involvement with them, he has built up a respectable filmography that includes independent films, quirky comedies, and heavy dramas. He seems to gravitate towards movies that have smart scripts, complex storylines, and a strong cast.
Though opinions have been divided on whether or not he has the right attributes to take on the role of a young Batman, there’s no denying the variety of his work. It’s a high profile role that will either make or break his career, and will come down to his assessment and ultimate interpretation of the character and script.
9 JEREMY IRONS AND J.K. SIMMONS RETURN
As fraught with obstacles as Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League were, problems in the storyline and script were helped by a very credible supporting cast. Jeremy Irons played the role of Batman’s butler, Alfred, as a capable, action-oriented pseudo-partner to his employer that was the most involved of any of the previous Alfreds in Batman’s missions.
J.K. Simmons performed admirably as a no-nonsense Commissioner Gordon, previously played so memorably by Gary Oldman in the Christopher Nolan Batman Begins trilogy. Fans of these great character actors would love to have them reprise their roles, if even for continuity’s sake.
8 MATT REEVES HAS HIS OWN VISION FOR GOTHAM
Each director that has set out to make a Batman film has brought their own vision of Gotham City to the franchise. Tim Burton’s Gotham from his first two films had his characteristic dark and whimsical touch, equal parts reality and fantasy. The Joel Schumacher Batman films painted Gotham in a gaudy, technicolor explosion of over-the-top comic book saturation.
Christopher Nolan’s Gotham was the most realistic and the most gritty, a perfect backdrop for his version of Batman, who was very much rooted in the modern world we live in as opposed to an abstract comic book construct. Fans hope Matt Reeves will either bring his own aesthetic to the famous metropolis, or combine the best elements of the other directors.
7 IT WILL EXPLORE A DIFFERENT PART OF BATMAN'S MYTHOS
Batman is known for being a complex character; more of an anti-hero than a superhero in the strictest sense, he has no superpowers, and fights crime out of a sense of moral obligation and as an emotional salve for the pain caused from seeing his parents murdered in front of him as a child.
Different Batman movies have chosen to focus on different aspects of his mythos; his origins, his psychological neurosis, his fighting abilities, and his emotional state. Fans postulate that Reeves will choose to focus on a different aspect of his personality and personal history, and highlight what we haven’t already seen in Batman films before.
6 IT WILL HEAVILY FOCUS ON BATMAN'S DETECTIVE SKILLS
Aside from being a gifted inventor, billionaire, martial artist, and pillar of moral integrity, Batman is known as the “World’s Greatest Detective”. This aspect of his persona doesn’t get showcased as much as fans think it should, considering how much detective work features in the Batman comics.
Recently, in the Arkham series of video games, Batman has been allowed to explore his powers of observation and deductive reasoning, looking for clues and solving puzzles just as often as he fights criminals with his brute strength. Batman is one of the smartest superheroes in the DCU, and based off of comments from Reeves, there’s a good chance that will come through in his film.
5 IT WILL BE A FILM NOIR
Matt Reeves has described The Batman to be something of a film noir, with a heavy emphasis on the mood of that genre of films from the ‘40s and ‘50s. The style is characterized by dimly lit cinematography, and an overall sense of pessimism, fatalism, and dread. Film noirs often feature an overall sense of menace, even if the threat isn’t perceptible on screen, and only communicated by the characters.
The United States has a long history of detective films having the “film noir” vibe, and since Batman is purported to be the “World’s Greatest Detective”, it’s appropriate if Reeves plans to delve deep into that aspect of his persona.
4 IT WILL TAKE PLACE IN A SPECIFIC TIME PERIOD
In Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne and Alfred have a conversation about how fighting crime for over twenty years in Gotham has made Batman jaded and cynical, with Batman delivering the famous line, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” This made fans think The Batman would either be an origin story film, or take place during that previously mentioned twenty year period.
Other Batman films have already dealt with Batman determining how to fight crime, building his first Batsuit, and developing a rapport with Alfred as they construct the Batcave. Fans may not be inclined to go through that again, instead wanting to see a young Batman already at his peak fighting crime with skill and vigor.
3 IT WILL USE ELEMENTS FROM BEN AFFLECK'S SCRIPT
Prior to Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, rumors were circulating that the only reason Ben Affleck chose to star as the Caped Crusader was because Warner Brothers would then allow him to write, direct, and star in his own stand-alone film afterwards. Clearly, that isn’t happening, but fans are still hopeful some elements of his script will make it into the Reeves film.
Jay Olivia, storyboard artist for most of the DCEU films, stated on Twitter that the script for Affleck’s Batman movie was the best he’d ever read. He said the story was kick ass and would have pleased any fans of the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, it looks like Matt Reeves completely rewrote the script.
2 IT WILL REFERENCE TERRY MCGINNIS FROM BATMAN BEYOND
Many Batman fans have a special place in their hearts for Batman Beyond, one of the most popular animated Batman series about Terry McGinnis, the young man who takes up the Batman mantle after an aging Bruce Wayne decides to retire. It takes place in a futuristic Gotham City, where new technologically advanced threats require a new Batman.
With Ben Affleck portraying a more mature Batman in his late 40s, fans thought the next logical step would be to have a younger Batman opposite an older Bruce Wayne, possibly allowing Affleck’s Batman and Pattinson’s Batman to exist in the same story in the same timeline. Sadly this theory seems the most implausible at this point, with Affleck definitely not returning to the role.
1 IT WON'T SOLELY FOCUS ON PENGUIN AND CATWOMAN
Recently, rumors have been circulating that The Batman will focus on Catwoman and The Penguin as the main villains, a choice that has upset some fans who were looking forward to seeing other antagonists of the franchise on screen. Catwoman has already been heavily featured in both Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton’s Batman movies, along with The Penguin.
Fans that were hoping to see villains such as Clay Face, or better versions of The Riddler and Scarecrow, will no doubt be disappointed that the film will retread familiar ground when it comes to Batman’s foes. They’re hoping the rumors aren’t true, and that new villains will emerge to take on The Bat in his early years protecting Gotham City.