The Batman director Matt Reeves has revealed that he passed on the chance to direct a Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie. The director said the original script was ‘deeply’ connected to the DCEU, and was almost ‘James Bondian’.
During an interview with Esquire Middle East, the 55-year-old filmmaker explained why Affleck’s Batman film wasn’t quite what he had in mind when asked if he’d like to take on the Caped Crusader.
“I read a script that they had that was a totally valid take on the movie,” he said. “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 wasn’t the way I’d want to do it.”
That script, it turns out, was the one penned by Ben Affleck in which he would have starred, reprising the DCEU’s version of Batman with his own solo film. But Reeves turned it down.
“I said look, I think maybe I’m not the person for this,” he revealed. “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.”
Ultimately, it looks as though Reeves won them over with his new vision, eventually casting Robert Pattinson as his very own Dark Knight. The Batman instead delves into the early days of Bruce Wayne’s crime-fighting career, which has since been revealed as a much grimier and grittier take.
Reeves reveals that Ben Affleck’s take, while exciting, wasn’t a film he wanted to make: “This take, I told them, pointing at the script, is a totally valid and exciting take,” he said. “It is almost James Bond-ian, but it wasn’t something that I quite related to.”
The Batman – New Images and Posters
Thank you, Warner Bros. allowed Reeves to continue with his own vision. Penning the script himself alongside Peter Craig, it seems there’s a grittier story to tell – at least, if the recent trailer is anything to go by. Inspired by the Zodiac Killer murders, this new Batman movie edges more towards horror and detective story than previous films.
Robert Pattinson stars as The Batman alongside Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, and Paul Dano as The Riddler.
The Batman is directed by Matt Reeves, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Peter Craig
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.