The Batman (2021)

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Giacchino on composing:
“I felt total freedom to do whatever I want. Matt always agreed, this is our Batman, this is our vision. In the same way that I always loved, what I still do about Batman comics and graphic novels is that each of these artist, each of these authors they take their own crack at what they want this to be. It’s their version of Batman.

I love it when I see a graphic novel of Batman in the 1800s. To me that is cool. I love that. I’m not the kind of person that says Batman must always be this. It’s like no, why? It can be whatever the artist wants to be and it has over the years done that, many times over. I love the idea of taking something and just kind of doing our version of it.”

“Matt and I love it, we watch it, we have a lot of fun with it, which makes us feel like kids again. I did go over and record that for that. We recorded a bunch of other music as well for it, a bunch of themes and things that nobody has heard yet. But they’ll all be popping up as the film gets underway again and starts getting back to production, and life gets back to normal, hopefully soon.”
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Reeves on making a Batman film and talks about Burton and Nolan's Batman films:
"I thought, 'Well, there’s been some terrific Batman movies,' and I don’t want to be part of a long line of Batman movies where this is just another one," the filmmaker explained. "I feel like they’ve been really distinctive. The best ones have been incredible. What Nolan did was incredible. What Tim Burton did was really singular."
"I love Batman Returns. Michelle Pfeiffer was incredible. I love it, I love it so much. It’s so incredible and she’s so incredible in it. I just think it’s such a beautiful movie. I love the Penguin stuff when he’s going down the sewers as the baby. It’s just like, wow. This is the beautiful thing about Tim Burton at his best in that way that he’s got that connection into the fantastical that feels very, very personal.

"The Dark Knight is so incredible and I think that Heath Ledger’s performance and their conception of the Joker in that movie is indelible. And the battle that he engaged with, you know, with Batman/Bruce is incredible. But the thing you take away from it more than anything is that conception, specifically, I think of the Joker. That movie is so much about how it’s a horrifying thing to stare into the abyss, that idea of that level of nihilism. The whole idea that there was nothing you could do because even in the destruction of him, you were fulfilling his aims. It was just a terrifying notion that speaks to an aspect of human nature and that was really profound."

"I just felt like well, what I’d love to do is to get a version of this Batman character where he’s not yet fully formed," he added. "Where there’s something to do in this context with who that guy would be in this world today, and to ground him in all of these broken ways. Because at the end of the day, this guy is doing all of this to deal with trauma in his past."
On his take:
"I’m going to pitch the version of Batman that I would do, which is going to have a humanist bent," he explained, reflecting on the build up to him landing the job. "And who knows if they’ll have any interest? If they don’t, then I won’t do it. And that’ll be okay. I was really lucky that they said yes.”

As for how that "humanist bent" will affect The Batman, Reeves elaborated on his place for the hero.

"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."

"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," Reeves continued. "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."
On the process now during the Coronavirus shutdown:
"We’re not officially editing right now," he confirmed. "We’ve actually shot a quarter of the movie and I have been pouring through dailies, looking at takes, and what’s to come."

Shooting was expected to move from London to Liverpool before the UK was put on lockdown, but Reeves believes that when work does resume, it will be in the UK. Asked by the trade whether his movie pays homage to Frank Miller's Batman: Year One or the Flying Graysons, he understandably responded with a laugh, and stated: "I can’t give you the answers to any of that."

While Reeves is looking through those dailies, he confirmed that he has no plans to make any major changes to The Batman. "It took me two years to work on that story, and it’s a very specific mystery noir that’s been really thought-out by me and my partners."

One thing he is reconsidering is, "the tone of things. It happens any time you shoot anything. The unexpected — happy accidents and things you didn’t quite expect: That is the lightning in a bottle for something that is alive. I would say that the changes really have to do with ‘Oh, seeing the tone of this’ with these scenes we haven’t done which connect to that part of the storyline."

"It feels like there might be an opportunity to explore some of that unexpected tone that we found," the filmmaker continued. "With these movies, you never have enough prep time, because they’re so complex and so enormous in so many ways. It also gives me a moment to think about the larger sequences that have yet to come up and how I want to realize those."

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"Because at the end of the day, this guy is doing all of this to deal with trauma in his past."
Too bad to hear this. I was hoping for a Batman that isn't dealing with any past trauma, but instead had overcome it.

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taopaipai wrote:
April 10th, 2020, 10:55 pm
"Because at the end of the day, this guy is doing all of this to deal with trauma in his past."
Too bad to hear this. I was hoping for a Batman that isn't dealing with any past trauma, but instead had overcome it.
Batman overcame his trauma? Why did nobody tell me!

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He dealt with the trauma as a child, and by the time he became an adult he had put it behind him to become the Batman. I would rather see this than yet another Batman haunted by the past or struggling psychologically or whatever.

Maybe instead have a Batman that actually enjoys being the Batman and working towards a brighter future.

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taopaipai wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 2:59 am
He dealt with the trauma as a child, and by the time he became an adult he had put it behind him to become the Batman. I would rather see this than yet another Batman haunted by the past or struggling psychologically or whatever.

Maybe instead have a Batman that actually enjoys being the Batman and working towards a brighter future.
But there are other superheroes who do that, so... I mean, there are possibly several ways to interpret a character like Batman, but as a screenwriter (or any sort of writer) you have to really dissect a character and think about the motivation, the past, the present, etc... the facts are that Batman:

1) took up "crime fighting" after his parents died - think of it as a sort of "revenge act"
2) is violent - beating up criminals with his bare hands
3) intelligent - meaning that his emotional intelligence is probably quite high, too

These point to a character with ambiguous methods and motivation - someone who is supposedly intelligent and smart, but also chooses the way of the fist, and is probably just angry deep inside. All these point to a character who is probably hiding something from himself, lying to himself in a way, because the "detective" part is quite in contrast with the "fighter" part of him. And this all stems from the fact that the development of his Batman persona was a direct answer to the death of his parents, so... tons of psychological implications. And as a filmmaker you can't really overlook this, rather you have to work these in some way. You can choose which aspects of the character to emphasize, but you can't get rid of these factors. For example, saying that you could have a Batman who is "final", who finally dealt with the death of his parents, put it past behind him and is now simply "enjoying" making Gotham better sounds like something that is, by definition, un-Batman.

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That's very well put!

Also sounds like Reeves has a thorough understanding of not only Bruce/Batman but also what Burton and Nolan's films did for the character.

I recently saw the screen tests of Bale and co from Nolan's trilogy again and boy I can't wait to see Pattinsons and Kravitz's screen tests years from now lol

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If Batman had overcome his trauma he wouldn't be Batman for the rest of his life.

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DHOPW42 wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 4:39 am
For example, saying that you could have a Batman who is "final", who finally dealt with the death of his parents, put it past behind him and is now simply "enjoying" making Gotham better sounds like something that is, by definition, un-Batman.
There's nothing "un-Batman" about it. Quite the opposite. A Batman who has moved on from his childhood trauma in order to fight crime and do good in the world is the very essence of Batman. Not some deeply angry and psychologically troubled guy, but someone who has worked through his anger to become a healthy-minded individual. Of course he's not perfect, but that's just superheroes in general. Most of how you describe his methods could be applied to any of those characters.

As stated, a filmmaker can choose which aspects of a character to emphasize. I think that the emphasis on Batman's childhood trauma and the psychological implications of his persona has been done more than enough. I think that Reeves should have instead shifted into another direction for what is supposedly a new take on the character on film.

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taopaipai wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 8:56 am
DHOPW42 wrote:
April 11th, 2020, 4:39 am
For example, saying that you could have a Batman who is "final", who finally dealt with the death of his parents, put it past behind him and is now simply "enjoying" making Gotham better sounds like something that is, by definition, un-Batman.
There's nothing "un-Batman" about it. Quite the opposite. A Batman who has moved on from his childhood trauma in order to fight crime and do good in the world is the very essence of Batman. Not some deeply angry and psychologically troubled guy, but someone who has worked through his anger to become a healthy-minded individual.
But if he would do that, wouldn't he just retire the Batman persona and devote his enormous wealth to transform Gotham with modern infrastructure, jobs, investments, charities, etc...?

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