The Batman director Matt Reeves wants to bring a Hitchcockian sense of perspective to his much-discussed Caped Crusader movie. As the man tasked with making the next solo Batman movie, Reeves has a lot on his shoulders. Not only does he have the tough task of creating a Batman movie in an era of hyper-scrutiny and in the wake of the somewhat less-than-beloved Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, he also has the pressure of living up to the well-regarded Batman films created by Christopher Nolan.
Thankfully, it sounds like Reeves already has a pretty good idea of what he wants The Batman to be, and his vision of the movie sounds different in some ways than anything anyone else has attempted in the Batman realm.
In an interview with CNET, Reeves talked about his approach to storytelling and how he wants to bring the audience into the world of Batman. In his discussion Reeves brought up the name “Alfred Hitchcock,” always a gutsy move for a filmmaker. Reeves said:
“For me, point of view is really important. I want to make sure you are experiencing something from the perspective of the main character in the story. I’m a huge Hitchcock fan – I like the idea of being immersed in that perspective.”
As the acknowledged all-time master of suspense, Hitchcock perfected the techniques involved in getting an audience to identify with his characters, sometimes even using these tricks to manipulate the viewer into sympathizing with the villain (most notably in Psycho where he made you feel for the crazed mother-obsessed killer Norman Bates). In movies like Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho, Hitchcock used point-of-view to take the audience deeper into the experience of the film, making them feel like they were right there living the agonizing suspense of the moment.
Which isn’t to say that Reeves is planning to direct The Batman as though it were a suspense film. What he clearly means is that he wants the audience to identify with Batman and not simply see him as a mysterious shadowy figure going about his Caped Crusader business. As Reeves explains: “Movies for me are about empathy. The idea is to make you, the audience, feel what the character feels.”
If there was one legitimate knock against the Nolan Batman films it was that they were somewhat cold and impersonal, presenting cinematic spectacle and action without much of a human heart. The same criticism could arguably be leveled against Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman, though in the case of that film, storytelling confusion was possibly a worse issue than lack of emotion. In all the cinematic history of Batman, it could be argued that the character has never come to life as someone viewers really empathize with, but it looks like Reeves wants to rectify that situation with inspiration from one of the masters of cinema.
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