Matt Reeves has been telling Esquire Middle East why he turned down the script that Ben Affleck co-wrote for a Batman movie and decided to go with a younger version of the character, played by Robert Pattinson, which stands apart from the DCEU.
After appearing in ensemble movies Batman vs Superman and Justice League, it was very much mooted that Ben Affleck would write and direct a Batman movie for himself to star in. It got as far as a script co-written with Geoff Johns, before Affleck stepped away from directing duties and then later, the character altogether.
During this process, director Matt Reeves was in post-production on War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) and dodging calls from Warner Bros, who wanted to talk to him about the caped crusader. They wanted him to direct Affleck and Johns’ script.
“I read a script that they had that was a totally valid take on the movie. It was very action driven. It was very deeply connected to the DCEU, with other major characters from other movies and other comics popping up. I just knew that when I read it, this particular script was not the way I’d want to do it,” Reeves explains.
Reeves continues; “I said look, I think maybe I’m not the person for this. And I explained to them why I love this character. I told them that there have been so many great movies, but if I were to do this, I’d have to make it personal…so that I know what the story should be. This take, I told them, pointing at the script, is a totally valid and exciting take. It is almost James Bond-ian, but it wasn’t something that I quite related to.”
“I’d like to get involved and find a way to take the story and make it very, very personal and get to the place I want him to be, to make it a Batman story and give him the arc, and have the story rock him to his core.”
As we now know, Affleck ending up stepping away entirely, meaning that Reeves had a blank slate to create the version of the character and story that he wanted.
If you want to brush up on your Batmen before the release of Reeves’ Batman movie in March, check out our guide on how to watch the Batman movies in order.