The day many DC fans have been waiting for is almost here: the release of The Batman. The upcoming film will see Robert Pattinson take on the legacy of The Dark Knight as he goes up against Paul Dano's The Riddler, whose crusade against Gotham City's corruption terrorizes the city. Directing is Matt Reeves, who has now been attached since 2017 before the studio even decided who was going to be its Caped Crusader.
Most may know Reeves' work on the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy starring Andy Serkis, and the filmmaker also helmed the 2008 horror-found footage movie Cloverfield. When he was brought aboard the project, many fans were immediately sure he'd be the perfect fit.
Based on early reactions and reviews, it seems that intuition wasn't misplaced. Given how successful The Batman is posed to be, can fans of the genre expect to see him take on an MCU film? Sadly, the odds don't look so great.
The Batman Director Won't Visit the MCU
In an interview with Variety, The Batman director Matt Reeves revealed that he doesn't believe he'd ever work on an MCU project—but not out of dislike of Marvel Studios' projects.
Reeves revealed that while he has "such respect for [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige and also for the [Marvel] filmmakers," the lack of complete creative freedom in the MCU would hamper his filmmaking abilities:
“I have such respect for Kevin Feige and also for the [Marvel] filmmakers... but to be honest with you, I just don’t know how I would make my way through that. There has to be some level of discovery for me, where I have some freedom to find my way. If I have to come into something that’s already set too firmly, then I think I would get lost. And I don’t think they would be happy with me either.”
The director went on to claim that in today's age that "if you're going to make a movie [for theaters]," it won't be something which "isn't [a] recognizable IP:"
“The industry has changed so dramatically that if you’re going to make a movie that’s going to be in movie theaters, you’re not making anything that isn’t recognizable IP... that’s just where the audience has gone. I’m not saying that I’m happy about that. I’m just saying it is what it is.”
Robert Pattinson, the man under the cowl in the upcoming film, chimed in, saying that Reeves is "very methodical" but that "once you realize his rhythm," everything clicks:
“He’s very methodical... does a lot of takes. As first, you obviously think you’re doing something wrong. But once you realize his rhythm, he’s editing the entire movie, every single take. He doesn’t really do an enormous amount of coverage. Very specific angles, but a lot of takes.”
No Reeves MCU Movie
Ironically, Matt Reeves claimed that movies these days are only recognizable IPs. Sure, there are plenty of Spider-Man and Batman movies, but audiences never knew who the Guardians of the Galaxy were.
In 2021, two of Marvel Studios' mainstay films were Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals, both of which were completely unknown IPs for the general audience and even many hardcore fans. Even its next Disney+ project, Moon Knight, fits into that category. DC's recent smash hit television show Peacemaker is entirely based on a character arguably more obscure than any of Marvel's slate.
So, while his perception of what's being made these days may be a little off, it's obviously not wrong of Reeves not to have a desire to dip his feet in that pool. It's also plenty understandable as to why he might be hesitant to become part of the system which is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Though given all of the issues the DCEU has faced, Justice League in particular, it is strange that Reeves decided to trust Warner Bros. out of everyone to help him get his creative freedom translated into a new Batman tale for the ages.
The Batman hits theaters on March 4, 2022.