Talking with Matt Reeves about The Batman

The Batman is one of the most anticipated films of 2022 and recently I was invited to a virtual roundtable event where I was able to speak with the movies director/writer, Matt Reeves.

I was joined by journalists from all over the world and was enjoying listening to the in-depth answers about his directing methods, the cast and why The Batman is such a unique superhero film. I could have listened to his passionate words all day but before long it was my turn to speak with him about his creation.

I had a notebook filled with questions for this interview but I knew that time was limited so many got scrapped, changed and trimmed. Below is the audio transcription of my time with Matt Reeves and I hope you get to know a bit more about the director of this film and know that this film, and this beloved character, has been left in very safe hands.

Luke Bugg: Hello Mr Reeves, I’m Luke Bugg The Geek Of Steel from the UK.

Matt Reeves: Hi, oh cool.

L.B: I can’t wait to see this film and watch the audiences react to it.

M.R: That, by the way, is really fun. When we did our testing, it was the first time we put it in front of an audience and it was such a thrill to see people, you know.  We haven’t been to the movies in such a long time. To get people back to see this thing; it’s such a big screen experience and people’s reactions, like, seeing them cheer and react and scream – it’s why we go to the movies.

L.B: I would love to know what Batman means to you. He means something different to everybody, but what does he mean to you?

M.R Well. I think for me in this story, I think what I was looking toward was trying to find the personal way in. The character has meant something to me, like literally. Batman ’66, you know their Adam West series, it came out the year I was born, so as a kid I was obsessed with Batman and I didn’t see any of the campiness in that, I just thought he was super cool. There he was, he had the car – I loved the car, I loved the cowl, I loved all that stuff and of course I still love all those things. I love the outward shell of coolness that he has, but I think as a filmmaker what drew me in to the character was his human qualities. The fact that he really is doing what he’s doing, not in some kind of purely altruistic way.

I mean obviously you are meant to admire him in some degree, to put himself at risk but you realise that ultimately the real reason he is doing that is to make sense of his life. It’s kind of like he is still coping with what happened to him when he was ten and is still in many ways stuck in that and will never get over it and so I think that aspect of his character, watching someone who is dealing with their brokenness to try and find meaning and then finding these ways to transcend all of that. I think that is what the character means to me and I think it’s what people get excited about. 

This idea of seeing someone who you can relate to and goes through a struggle that you can connect to and yet somehow he has marshalled all of these resources to become this great mythic figure; that’s a pretty special character and I’d say really that it’s that aspect that mattered to me the most in the making of this and a big part of why I wanted Rob to play the character, because in looking at all the movies when I was writing, I was trying to find somebody in the age range.

I was like “okay, who is somebody in their early thirties?” because I wanted this to be a year two Batman and I had followed Rob’s work for a long time. When I saw the Safdie brothers’ movie “Good Time”, in the movie Rob has a kind of forceful, kinetic desperate drive, like he’s like a force of nature. I saw that and I loved that but the other thing that I felt from him was that his vulnerability was really present at the same time. You could see that under there, this guy was vulnerable and that was part of what was pushing him and driving him. Something about that just said to me well that’s the version of this character that I want to see, and I just became obsessed with the idea of him being him, he had no idea! In my mind I was writing the character for him and it turned out I was really lucky because it turned out that he happened to love Batman and wanted to play him. 

L.B: A perfect answer. Thank you.

The Batman is out in cinemas from the 4th of March.

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