While I was taking my week off, an event took place called the DC FanDome. During this event, Warner made a whole bunch of movie and video game announcements. Of these trailers, the one that seemed to be getting the most attention on the socials was the trailer for the Matt Reeves directed, Robert Patterson starring Batman movie.
I’ll put my hands up and admit that the jaded, cynical part of my brain took over and asked the question: “Do we really need another Batman movie already?”
In the time that’s passed since then, I’ll admit that the movie does look interesting, but I’ll still persist that I’m starting to feel pretty Batmaned out. Because it wasn’t just this movie that got announced at the Fandome, we got Gotham Knights; a game set within Gotham and starring all of Batman’s sidekicks, The Snyder Cut of Justice League and a new Flash movie in which Micheal Keaton is reprising his role as Batman.
Batman is a great character, but I just feel like DC’s scope is so narrow in this regard and he becomes so overly represented to the mainstream audiences. Despite the fact that I write a blog about movies and stuff, I really don’t like digging into the whole preview aspect of upcoming movies. Personally, I’d prefer it if I could go into every movie I see totally blind and free of expectation.
But living on the internet makes that near impossible. A situation that ends up being something of a double-edged sword. While my initial reaction to watching the trailer on my phone at work was “another generic-looking batman movie”, upon listening to some podcasts gesticulating about the movie, I’ve warmed on the idea of another Batman “reboot” somewhat.
We live in a world of extreme fandoms right now. And for better or worse, these people take it upon themselves to pick apart every little detail within a trailer to give their own interpretation of what kind of movie this could end up being. Something I’ve never cared to do myself, but when you listen to the Geek Buddies podcast week in and week out regardless, then you’re going to have these predictions in your ear anyway.
Based on everything within this trailer and surrounding it, I understand this is going to be another, darker interpretation of the Batman story. Although a little less grounded in reality than the Nolan movies felt to be. Supposedly, this is going to be the movie that leans into the “world’s greatest detective” aspect of the character more so than any other on-screen interpretation of the character before now.
Although that aspect of the premise is totally lost on me based on that trailer alone. Which is, again, one of my inherent issues with movie trailers. Based on that one alone, it just looks like another Batman movie, and if this one is going to be so different than the others that came before it, then I feel the studio should really be leaning into that aspect of the movie to sell it to the more jaded dickheads like myself.
To date, we’ve had five “eras” of Batman movies, containing 11 movies and seven actors within the role (if you care to count the Adam West, 1966 movie). The two Keaton movies had that very Tim Burtonesque visual style to them, with the following two Schumacher movies going back to the camp of the Adam West series on a larger scale. While technically in the same continuity, these two pairs of movies had very different feels to them.
Then we got The Nolan trilogy, a much grittier, more realistic take on the material that felt like a total departure from the larger than life comic book world the characters spawned from. Movies I feel less enthused about the further I get away from them.
Then, finally, we got the Snyder movies. Coming at the material from a much darker and reactionary direction thanks to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Some of you might disagree with me, but I refuse to believe the MCU wasn’t a major factor in the decision-making process when those Ben Affleck era DC movies came about).
Not to mention the countless animated series and video games that had their own interpretation of the character too. And with so many takes out there, all doing their own, unique thing, then it begs the question: what is The Batman doing differently?
Let’s take a step back for a moment. I’m asking these questions, but we all know that this could end up being the most generic Batman movie ever made and it’ll still be a raging success. The brand of Batman is so massive that everyone is going to see a new Batman movie regardless of it if actually does anything new or not. So my questions fall flat.
But that’s probably unfair of me to say, because by all accounts, Matt Reeves is a very passionate Batman fan. And whatever his interpretation of the character ends up being, will most likely be something worth looking at. The problem comes from those two factors banging against one another. Because Batman is so incredibly mass market, the initial trailer doesn’t need to present itself as anything aside from “generic batman trailer”.
Now, the movie has been one of the unlucky few that found its production halted due to the Covid Lockdown, so it’s certainly possible that the trailer was slapped together using the footage they had available to them, and my jaded feelings are unfounded. But I can’t help but feel some kind of batman burnout. And unless this movie is doing something very different than I’m still waiting to be impressed.
As much as I like Batman and everything, there’s just too much of him right now. DC have this huge swath of characters to pick from and just want to stick with this one. Now wait for everything I say to blow up in my face and this be the best Batman movie ever.