There are few superhero characters that are as massively popular and iconic as DC's Batman. And because Gotham's defender is so beloved, there have been plenty of silver and small screen adaptations of his crime fighting adventures. Ben Affleck's Batman is the current reigning hero, with his grounded and dark performance being applauded as one of the highlights of Zack Snyder's divisive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Matt Reeves will be directing Batman's first DCEU solo movie, tentatively titled The Batman, and is apparently a major fan of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. Why? Because he was able to craft a superhero movie that was wholly his vision.
What I love that [Nolan] did was that he took the genre seriously. What studios are willing to make at the moment is a very, very narrow band of films. What I discovered is that this genre has the potential to be about something more. You can use the metaphors of the genre to talk about [a lot]. I think the other thing that I really admire in what [Nolan] did was knowing what it is to make a big studio film, which often can fall into that sense of committee filmmaking where there's an anonymity to the point of view of the film. What I admire in what [Nolan] does is that, despite being a filmmaker in an enormous system, his perspective comes through. That to me was very exciting, it's always exciting when you see a film of his because of that. That's what I feel like I've been trying to do, it's trying to allow a perspective to come through despite the fact that we're in this very large studio movie world.
Matt Reeves makes some really interesting points here. And he just may have nailed down the reason why so many DCEU and MCU directors have dropped out of their projects in the past few years.
Superhero movies have become the most profitable and viral genre in film, so the stakes are extremely high. And because each film is part of a larger shared universe, there are a ton of hands and minds apart of every major decision. And while this results in massive franchises that have rabid fans and make oodles of money, it can sometimes stifle the creative choice of their director. As such, we've seen plenty of directors depart their projects due to creative differences. The Flash, Ant-Man, and even Wonder Woman have lost directors due to this issue.
But Christopher Nolan crafted a trilogy of films that was free from the red tape of shared universes, which seems to inspire Matt Reeves as he continues developing his Batman solo film. And it certainly seems possible to gain this level of control. Patty Jenkins managed to create a capsulated film in Wonder Woman that was unaffected by the greater DCEU, so perhaps Reeves can do the same.
You can catch War for the Planet of the Apes on July 14, 2017. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.