A recent interview with Esquire has comments from Matt Reeves on Affleck’s script and getting to make his version of The Batman. If you recall, the original plan for this movie way back was for Ben Affleck to direct himself in The Batman using a script he had written. Reeves give us some ideas of what kind of movie was in that script. However ultimately it was not what Reeves wanted to do. He rejected the chance to make that movie and instead pitched his own vague idea. To his surprise WB decided they wanted his version of The Batman movie more, and several years later here we are.
“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 explains.
Even as the countdown clock was on for him to turn in Apes, he decided to go to Warner Bros. in person to respectfully tell them no.
“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,” Reeves says.
A New Pitch
“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 them.
Before they got too excited, he dropped the kicker, intended to scare them away for good.
“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.’”
Of Course we all know Affleck had some personal trouble and it seems the idea of being Batman and making this movie just slipped away from him. Luckily Reeves pitch was there to fill that void.
“We had no idea what was going on,” Dylan Clark, Reeves’ long-time producing partner, tells us. “Ben is a friend of mine, and I love Ben, but I didn’t know exactly about those things were happening in his personal life. [We didn’t find out] until much later.”
Luckily Reeves pitch was there to fill that void.
“I hadn’t worked out the story. I had this north star of a guiding principle. Then the fact that there was this moment of transition, out of that came an opportunity to say, ok, what if we didn’t do another origin tale? What if, instead, we went to the imperfect Batman of his early days?”
Reeves goes on to discuss his ideas for the film a little more, but I’m not sure any fans want to know too many details with the movie only a matter of weeks from theatres. But now we have an understanding of what Affleck’s movie fell away, why Reeves was hired and then why it took years to actually get to the point of shooting the movie.
What do you think of the comments of Matt Reeves on Affleck’s script and getting to make his version of The Batman? Sound off below as always.