The DC Extended Universe had a bit of a reprieve with Wonder Woman. Up until that point, Warner Bros. films were not really well told movies that left a mixed reception with audiences, and they were mostly panned by critics.
Despite that, the casting has been pretty spot on, and it turned out grear with hiring a director like Patty Jenkins with a strong vision for a film. Ben Affleck was surprisingly fantastic as Batman in the much maligned Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and everyone thought he would write and direct his own Batman spinoff film. However, he stepped down from directing duties, which — despite internet backlash — I think was a smart decision, since I’d rather him focus on playing the role rather than stretch himself thin.
That also opened up the door for War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves to step into the director’s chair. In an interview with New Trailer Buzz (via THR), Reeves noted a similarity between the simian lead of his new film and Batman. Here’s what he said:
“I see a parallel emotionally between Caesar and Batman, in that they’re both tortured and trying to sort of grapple within themselves to try and do the right thing in a very imperfect and, to some degree, corrupt world. It’s really that emotionality that I’m interested in.”
Reeves also went on to describe what he plans to do with the upcoming solo film that will focus on the Dark Knight:
“In all of [my] films, what I try to do, in an almost Hitchcockian sense, is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become that character, and you emphasize with that point of view. There’s a chance to do an almost noir-driven detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way, that will hopefully connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart.”
My editor posed a rhetorical question that I might as well tackle: “Aren’t nearly all Batman films since 1989 noir-driven?” The answer is no, no they aren’t. Tim Burton’s films had far more of a Victorian gothic aesthetic, while Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy was closer to thrillers. They may have had some noir elements, but none of them were true detective stories. And you never get the feeling that Batman is the world’s greatest detective. No one knows what Joel Schumacher was doing with his two films.
One of the things I’ve been asking for from a Batman movie for years is a detective film with a film-noir like aesthetic. Batman: The Animated Series probably had what I’ve always thought of as the perfect tone for Batman, whigh blended action with good old detective work, all in a noir aesthetic. Hopefully, Reeves is watching those old Bruce Timm episodes for inspiration.