The Batman is just over the horizon and the world waits with bated breath for the latest adventure from DC's Dark Knight. The Matt Reeves-directed epic stars Robert Pattinson and looks to be a new take on the character that, while looking unique to itself, does wear its inspirations on its sleeves. The film does see Bruce Wayne go up against Gotham's biggest baddies early on in his crime-fighting career, but it will not serve as an origin for the character.
At this point, Batman's origin is well-trodden territory, with nearly every iteration of the character on the big screen experiencing his tragic backstory. The only other comic character to have seen his origin at the movie theater this many times has to be a certain wall-crawler over at Marvel.
But it seems the trend of seeing the death of Martha and Thomas Wayne on-screen may be coming to an end, at least that is what some recent quotes from The Batman's director indicate.
Not Another Batman Origin Story
The Batman director Matt Reeves revealed that the upcoming DC film will not be a retelling of the Caped Crusader's origin story.
Reeves told Esquire that "[fans] have seen [that origin] so many times" and "[they] knew they couldn't do that." Despite this film being the first in what could be a new Batman franchise, the filmmaker noted that "it’s been done too much" so it's time to do something different.
This is not unlike Marvel Studios' strategy for the introduction of the MCU's Spider-Man, which hopped over Peter Parker's Spider bite origin after audiences had already seen the story told twice in Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spidey franchises.
Clutch Your Pearls, Martha
While this likely means The Batman won't outright show the first days of Bruce Wayne as the Dark Knight or the tragic death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, that doesn't mean Reeves and co. are not incorporating those elements into the film's greater canon.
It is evident from released footage from the upcoming film that those grim origins still happened in this universe, but that doesn't mean fans need to see it. Take Marvel Studios' Tom Holland-led Spider-Man films as an example. Audiences know the origin of the character, so there was no need to show Holland's Peter Parker actually getting bitten by the radioactive arachnid.
Then, from this assumed knowledge, the filmmakers can play with expectations and introduce elements from that greater canon to surprise longtime fans (i.e. Aunt May giving the "With great responsibility" speech in Spider-Man: No Way Home). So that means fans can understand where this Bruce is in his Batman journey - or at least assume where he is - and Warner can pull out surprises here and there as this story warrants.
That is not to say that Reeves is going to pull a fast one on audiences. While he may not show the specifics of how Robert Pattinson's Bruce becomes the Bat. As mentioned above, Bruce's tragic backstory is on full display in The Batman. This is a man that has gone through some heavy stuff and is coping by beating the hell out of Gotham's most vile criminals.
It can be assumed that this lasting rage is coming from the death of his parents, and that will likely be the case. But how that death affects the world of The Batman can be played with by not relying on retreading story beats most are going to know coming in.
The Batman swoops into theaters on March 4, 2022.