What is The Batman?

Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves deliver on the promise of making the Caped Crusader the World’s Greatest Detective

There’s a question that has been looming over our heads for some time: What is The Batman? As in, what is it trying to do? Batman is a household name, identified by his iconic suits, cool gadgets, and signature Batmobile – but what does Matt Reeves’ The Batman do differently with Robert Pattinson to stand out from previous iterations?

Enter: Matt Reeves. Reeves, who rose to prominence for directing the latter two installments of the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy, signed on to direct The Batman in early 2017. Reeves wanted to strip Batman down to the basics and provide audiences with a true look at the pathos surrounding a vengeful Bruce Wayne. A man who is not the billionaire playboy people assume him to be, but not quite the iconic hero either. In The Batman, Bruce Wayne is somewhere in between. He has already been fighting crime for a year, as Reeves didn’t want the film to be an origin story, but he is also still getting the hang of things. Speaking on the vision he had for the film, Reeves said:

“I’ve seen lots of origin stories. And I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to do an origin story. I want to come right into a young Batman.’ I want to position him along an arc of becoming. This is a guy who has room to improve. He’s still pushing. He can become better. I wanted to take that Batman and have him solve a mystery, something that would not be an origin tale, but would refer to his origins and shake him to his core.”

And where would Batman be without his rouges gallery? To truly showcase Batman as the detective he is, Reeves sought the Riddler as Batman’s perfect foil. Paul Dano was chosen to bring Reeves’ take on the Riddler to life – a terrifying serial killer. Speaking on Batman and Riddler’s relationship in the film, Dano was quoted saying:

“The blurred line between Batman and his villains, to me, has always been very powerful, I think that’s something that Matt (Reeves) really took advantage of here and wasn’t afraid to excavate. The hero/villain thing sounds black-and-white, but there’s a lot of gray. Batman and his villains are all born of this Earth. I think that’s part of what makes them so powerful, and why they’ve tapped into the collective conscience for so long now.” 

Reeves’ vision for The Batman was to create a gritty, noir world where darkness reigns supreme. Batman is not necessarily a “good guy,” but a man trying to be decent in a sea of indecency. “Villains wear masks, but Batman wears a mask, too.” added Dano.

The Riddler sends Batman on a dangerous hunt across Gotham’s underbelly for sinister clues that threaten to destroy his anonymity. As a hero that operates in the shadows, the last thing Batman needs is the spotlight. While Bruce may believe that Batman is his true identity and Bruce Wayne is his mask, he’s going to have to balance both sides of himself to solve a mystery that threatens to unmask the truth about Gotham, and perhaps even himself.

For the first time in cinema’s history – we are about to witness Batman, not only as the iconic superhero, but as the World’s Greatest Detective he has always been. 

The Batman releases at VOX Cinemas on 3 March. Get your tickets now and follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook to stay up to date on the latest movie news and updates.