Despite debuting in a comic book titled Detective Comics back in 1939, #DC icon #Batman has rarely been utilized for his detective skills on the big screen. With films such as Batman Returns and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, many fans questioned Batman's on-screen characteristics as an action hero, rather than a detective. Batfans have since highlighted this by tallying Batman's bodycount in Youtube videos and comparing Batman's most recent cinematic incarnation to Marvel's notoriously brutal vigilante, Frank Castle. However, that could be about to change.
#MattReeves, the director of the The Batman, hopes to remedy this issue. Reeves has promised that Bruce Wayne will show audiences why he is one of DC universe's smartest heroes, promising a severely under-utilized aspect of the comic book character.
During an interview with New Trailer Buzz, where Reeves was promoting the critically acclaimed War for the Planet of the Apes, the director was asked to give some information regarding The Batman. Since the movie is still in its early stages, Reeves wasn't able to give that much away, but he was more than excited to discuss his overall vision for the project.
Most notably, Reeves revealed his desire to show Batman's detective skills by drawing inspiration from film noir classics.
"In all of my films, what I try to do, in an almost Hitchcockian sense, is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become that character, and you emphasize with that point of view. There’s a chance to do an almost noir-driven, detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way, that hopefully is going to connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart."
Batman Finally Gets His Detective Vision:
Given the several differences between comic books and movies, it's understandable that filmmakers have previously preferred to have big-budget Batman movies with an ass-kicking hero (as opposed to a costumed forensic analyst).
To show that Batman was still a detective, previous movies have given the character access to advanced forensic technology that deduced evidence instantly, thus giving Bruce more time to hunt down the culprits. Although this technique has been successful at times, it does take an important characteristic away from the DC hero. In fact, the best Batman comic books have always showcased his detective skills over his fighting capabilities.
From the very beginning, Batman was influenced by pulpy crime capers and detective stories, which explains his realistic methods and the grounded nature of his supporting characters. Even if Batman softened his war on crime after starting out as a violent gun-wielding vigilante, he still remained an expert detective who could outsmart his adversaries and methodically dismantle their criminal enterprises with relative ease.
In contrast to the movies, the hit TV show Batman: The Animated Series had a healthy balance between action and slow-paced detective work. This in turn made Kevin Conroy's role as Batman the definitive version of the character in the eyes of many fans.
Batman is a strange and somewhat mundane oddity in the fantastical and oftentimes futuristic DC universe, and this distinctive trait should be used to its fullest potential. By going back to the character's roots, Matt Reeves has the potential to create a Batman film like no other.
Ben Affleck's Batman can next be seen in this year's Justice League, which arrives on November 16, 2017.
What do you think of Matt Reeves' noir-influenced approach to "The Batman?" Share your thoughts in the comments below.