Of all the superheroes in the known universe, the one whose origin story basically doesn’t have to be repeated is Batman. Literally, any working stiff with even a passing knowledge of comic books knows Batman’s origin, and it has been recreated on screen so many times, it’s basically become a running joke. It’s so overused, and yet integral to the myth of the character, that Todd Phillips even had to include the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne in his standalone Joker movie. So yeah, it’s been done to death (pun intended).
Which is why Matt Reeves essentially is saying that he didn’t need his upcoming The Batman to redo Bruce Wayne’s origin story (thank the Lord), but he explain that the roots of that origin still will inform the story he’s telling with Robert Pattinson. Reeves opened up about his movie with Nerdist and explained:
I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is. Like this guy, he’s majorly struggling, and this is how he’s trying to rise above that struggle. But that doesn’t mean that he even fully understands, you know. It’s that whole idea of the shadow self and what’s driving you, and how much of that you can incorporate, and how much of it you’re doing that you’re unaware of.
You really can’t do Batman without making him a brooding, suffering hero. The reason that billionaire Bruce Wayne suits up every evening and attacks criminals is because he’s driven by his guilt. You can’t chuck that to the wind and make your version of Batman a happy-go-lucky wisecracker. You have to acknowledge the tragedy in his past that led to the creation of the hero we are following on screen.
But it likely means that we don’t have to go through the beats of the origin, the way that numerous films – from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to Batman Begins – already have. Matt Reeves doesn’t confirm it, but it sounds like his The Batman will just pick up with Robert Pattinson already in the suit, though still in his early days as Gotham’s protector.
When discussing how The Batman can still be relevant to our modern age, Reeves went on to say:
There’s something in there that feels very psychological, very emotional, and it felt like there was a way of exploring that along with the corruption in this place, Gotham. That feels very current. I think it always does. There’s almost no time when you can’t do a story about corruption. But today, it still seems incredibly resonant and maybe, from my perspective, maybe more so than maybe at other time.