The Batman director Matt Reeves reveals why he passed on Ben Affleck’s original script.
Well before Matt Reeves was brought on board to reinvent The Dark Knight, Ben Affleck was set to write and direct a film based on his Batman, which existed in the larger DC Extended Universe. Affleck eventually retired from the role and bid farewell to directorial duties, handing the baton over to Cloverfield director Matt Reeves.
Speaking with Esquire, Matt Reeves revealed that Warner Bros. had originally asked him to adapt Ben Affleck’s original script, which was co-written with Geoff Johns. Affleck’s script would have seen Batman taking on Deathstroke, alongside a variety of villains. Reeves gave the intended script his stamp of approval but discussed how it wasn’t what he was interested in making.
“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.”
Matt Reeves continued by discussing how he wanted to explore a more personal take on Batman and compared Ben Affleck’s script to James Bond.
“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.”
Here is the synopsis for The Batman:
Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies — Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) — amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as the titular hero, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, with Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin.
The Batman will hit theaters on March 4, 2022. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for all the latest news surrounding the upcoming film!