Matt Reeves says he's actively working to finish his script for The Batman within the next few weeks. However, contrary to recent rumors surrounding the project, his screenplay is not based on Frank Miller's famous 1987 comic book story arc about the early days of the Caped Crusader (aka. Batman: Year One).
In the eighteen months since Reeves officially boarded The Batman as its writer/director in February 2017, very little concrete information has actually been confirmed about the movie. It's still not known if Ben Affleck will be reprising his Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League role as Bruce Wayne in the film (or not), much less what the story is or who the main villain will be (though there are rumors aplenty concerning both). That's already beginning to change, now that Reeves is being a bit more open about the project - by revealing which comics it will not be re-imagining, and saying that he plans to start filming his DC movie in 2019.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association panel for the Fox sci-fi/horror TV series The Passage (which he is executive producing), Reeves revealed to the press that he hopes to begin production on The Batman by "the spring or early summer" next year. He further revealed that his current script draft is very close to being completed. Per /Film:
“We are working on getting our draft [in] the next couple weeks. Right now, my head is totally into the script. Right now, I’m going to be leaving here to go back to work on the script.”
Reeves went on to clarify that Year One is "one of the many comic books that I love [but we] are definitely not doing Year One". Rather, he described his vision for The Batman as being a movie that zeroes in on the crime-fighter's skills as a detective, while also fleshing out the noir backdrop of Gotham City in a way that live-action Batman films past have not. As such, his approach to the Bat-verse will differ significantly from those of storytellers like Batman V Superman helmsman Zack Snyder and Dark Knight film trilogy architect Chris Nolan:
“I’ve talked about making it a very point of view noir-driven definitive Batman story in which he is investigating a particular case and that takes us out into the world of Gotham. I went on a deep dive again revisiting all my favorite comics. Those all inform by osmosis. There’s no continuation of the Nolan films. It’s very much trying to find a way to do this as something that for me is going to be definitively Batman and new and cool.”
It's worth noting that just because The Batman isn't strictly an origin story a la Year One, that doesn't mean it won't explore the origins of Affleck's Batman in some regard. There are very much ways for Reeves to interweave flashbacks to the character's past, while at the same time telling a compelling story about Affleck's more experienced and competent Caped Crusader in the present, without simply rehashing what directors before him have done. Either way, it's good to get some clarity on what the story will not be, along with the update on the project's current production timeline.
We will bring you more details on The Batman as they become available.
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