The road of The Batman to the movie theaters has not been a straight line. Matt Reeves is now opening up about the original Ben Affleck he was asked to direct and how it evolved.
Reeves is currently in the final days of working on The Batman, and that means it’s also time for him to get on the publicity circuit. A new interview is finally giving us a better sense of what the Ben Affleck version of The Batman script was like, and those early days of Matt Reeves talking to the studio about it.
“I read a script that they had that was a totally valid take on the movie. It was very action driven. It was very deeply connected to the DCEU, with other major characters from other movies and other comics popping up. I just knew that when I read it this particular script was not the way I’d want to do it,” Reeves told Esquire.
Reeves was in the process of completing War for the Planet of the Apes, but opted to go to Warner Bros. offices in person and explain his decision.
“I said look, I think maybe I’m not the person for this. And I explained to them why I love this character. I told them that there have been so many great movies, but if I were to do this, I’d have to make it personal, so that I understood what I was going to do with it, so that I know where to put the camera, so that I know what to tell the actors, so that I know what the story should be. This take, I told them, pointing at the script, is a totally valid and exciting take. It is almost James Bond-ian, but it wasn’t something that I quite related to,” said Reeves.
“So what I’d love to do, if you’re interested, is I’d like to get involved and find a way to take the story and make it very, very personal and get to the place I want him to be, to make it a Batman story and give him the arc, and have the story rock him to his core. It wasn’t going to be another origin story, not with Ben already in the character. But that’s what I would do,” Reeves told Warner Bros. executives.
Reeves was sure, however, that they would be scared off as he explained when he could get to it. “I said, but here’s the other thing. This is why I think you’re not going to want me to direct this movie. I can’t even tell you what that story is, for months, because I have to finish this Apes movie. And to my utter shock and surprise, they said, ‘you know what, we really would like you to do this. And we will wait.’”
Joining Robert Pattinson in The Batman will be Paul Dano (The Riddler), Zoe Kravitz (Catwoman), Colin Farrell (The Penguin), John Turturro (Carmine Falcone), Jeffrey Wright (James Gordon), Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth), and more. Matt Reeves serves as both writer and director.
The Batman is scheduled to hit theaters on March 4, 2022, and will arrive on HBO Max on April 19, 2022.