If you’re a fan of the Batman universe, you might be excited by the news that Robert Pattinson, the actor who plays the Dark Knight in the big-screen adaptation, is set to reprise his role as the caped crusader in a standalone spinoff called The Batman. Directed by Matt Reeves and written by Kelly Marcel, the as-yet-untitled project will see Pattinson suit up once more and take on the role first portrayed by George Clooney in Batman & Robin. It also stars Diane Lane and Will Smith as the parents of Harvey Bullock, the character played by Clooney. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, talks with Reeves and Pattinson are already underway to hammer out a 2019 release date.
Pattinson’s Vision Unique
While it’s exciting to see the actor revisit the role that made him famous, it’s also important to keep things in perspective. The Batman character has always been known to be quite the opposite of realistic. With his iconic domed helmet, spiky hair, and exaggerated features, the character is often described as a cartoonish figure. This is not meant to offend or take anything away from the importance of the character in pop culture. It’s just that, historically, the films have often been considered a light-hearted parody of the superhero genre or, at the very least, a romp.
However, The Batman will be a bit different from the other films in the series. Not only does it feature a lead actor in his prime, but it will also diverge from the typical campy humor of the other movies in the franchise.
If you’re curious as to how someone new will approach the material, then simply put, check out the director’s previous efforts. While he hasn’t made a direct sequel to Batman & Robin, the critically panned The Batman vs. Dracula, he did rework the source material from Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. The result was an extremely faithful adaptation that added a substantial amount of depth to the lore.
What’s more, Matt Reeves actually started his Hollywood career as a screenwriter for the 2004 film adaption of Saw V, so he knows exactly how to write a screenplay and how to direct a film.
With John Wick coming soon and the recent success of Nashville, it seems that the director is more than eager to tackle serious material. Not only will The Batman be a departure from the campy humor of previous entries in the series, but it will also give him the opportunity to shine in his own right.
An important factor to consider about The Batman is the role of the villain, who is set to debut in the movie. According to the THR, the film will feature the Riddler as the main antagonist. If that doesn’t pique your interest, then perhaps the Court of the Goddess Irina, who uses ancient magic to orchestrate chaos in Batman vs. Dracula, will?
One of the most interesting aspects of The Batman is how it will integrate contemporary culture into its fictional framework. As mentioned, the movie will mix live-action with animation, utilizing characters and settings from today’s world and applying them to an imaginary universe.
This is most noticeable in the designs for Commissioner Gordon’s police box and the Batmobile. The former is a direct homage to Stephen King’s 2019 novel, The Dark Tower. The latter, though, takes on a life of its own and becomes a fully-fledged depiction of a 20th century car. It’s also important to recognize the contributions of other comic book writers and artists who have helped flesh out the Batman universe.
The reason for this is that, in creating The Batman, designers and artists from the Batman comic book series made a direct contribution to the storyline. This allows the project to not only pay homage to the source material but also expand on it in a way that would not have been possible had this been a film solely based on existing material.
If you thought that Matt Reeves’ previous film, The Batman vs. Dracula, was the end of the line for George Clooney and the Batman franchise, then think again. According to the THR, Clooney has one last role to play before he hangs up the cape and becomes the big baddie of The Batman. Essentially, the actor will play one of his favorite comic book characters, Mr. Fix-it. As the name would suggest, the character is a master of taking on tough jobs and fixing them with ease. Naturally, this makes him the ideal person to tackle the role of the Joker in the upcoming Joker.
While it’s great that we’ll get to see more of Clooney as the Batman, it’s also important to keep things in perspective. As previously stated, the Batman character has always been described as a cartoonish figure, which is not meant to take anything away from Clooney’s incredible talent. It’s just that, historically, the Hollywood superstar has often been associated with mature material. After taking a few years off, it looks like we’ll get to see more of Clooney on the big screen, but in a completely different capacity.