While Batman is one of the most popular superheroes in the world, most fans agree they’ve had quite enough of his origin story. Every Batman reboot devotes a great deal of time to showing how the murder of his parents set Bruce Wayne on the path to becoming the Dark Knight. But during the DC FanDome event, director Matt Reeves revealed his movie will not be an origin story, and will instead deal with a fully formed Caped Crusader. This is something that is quite evident in The Batman trailer released over the weekend.
“To me, to tell a version of Batman where, again, it wasn’t about how he became Batman, but it’s about the early days of how he is Batman and he is so far from being perfect and we see him sort of becoming what we all know about him and see it in new ways. I felt like that was a way to do something that hadn’t been done and that was really what I was excited to be able to do in this iteration.”
It makes sense for Matt Reeves not to waste any screentime showing the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents again, since that part of the Batman mythology is already very well known to both hardcore fans and general audiences. But just because the traditional death of Martha and Thomas Wayne is not part of the narrative does not mean the two will have no part to play in The Batman. According to Reeves, a key part of the central mystery of the film deals with the part Bruce’s ancestors had to play in the dissolution of Gotham city into a crime-ridden cesspool.
“The murders start to happen and then the murders begin to describe the history of Gotham in a way that only reinforces what [Batman] knows about Gotham. It opens up a whole new world of corruption that went much farther. But as that story starts to come out, without being an origin tale for him, it ends up being something that touches on his origins. So you start to see that as it starts to describe this epic history of corruption in Gotham, you start to understand, ‘Well, where did [Bruce Wayne’s] family sit in that?”
The idea that Bruce’s parents were not the shining beacons of hope that he imagines them to be has been explored before, in comics and in movies, most recently in Joker, where Thomas Wayne was shown to be a belligerent businessman more interested in keeping his wealth than helping poorer sections of the community.
It seems The Batman will be taking a similar route to exploring the lives of Bruce’s parents. Based on additional remarks by Reeves, the story of how their son became the heroic Batman will also take a darker path.
“[Batman is] not yet the vision of the character that he becomes where he becomes a symbol of hope for the city. He’s early in the trajectory. So, [citizens are] afraid of him, frankly. He’s kind of a growing legend. I think there are some people wondering, ‘Does he exist? How exactly does he exist?’ That legend is building day by day and has been since he made his first appearance about a year and a half ago as we’re in year two. So yeah, the public is afraid of him. I mean, that’s one of the things I think he will confront in the course of the story and that Rob has to deal with in playing the character, which is the idea of how he’s perceived.”
This latest news arrives by way of our friends over at Collider.