‘The Batman’ Will Bring Some Horror Elements To The Table

by Thomas Tuna

The World’s Greatest Detective is about to get down and dirty. And scary.

Expectations have been running wild for years now over Matt Reeves’ The Batman, and now, a recent interview with the director has piqued interest among horror fans as well. In the interview with Moviemaker Magazine, Reeves makes his boldest statement to date about the tone of the film, saying it is “almost a horror movie.”

The Batman–directed by Reeves from a screenplay he wrote with Peter Craig–has been described as “an edgy, action-packed thriller that depicts Batman in his early years, struggling to balance rage with righteousness.” The young Dark Knight is shown as a “disillusioned, desperate vigilante (who is) no better than the ruthless serial killer he’s hunting.”

And that serial killer is Edward Nashton, also known as the Riddler. According to Reeves, “the premise of the movie is that the Riddler is molded in an almost Zodiac Killer sort of mode, and he’s killing very prominent figures in Gotham. And, in the wake of the murders, he reveals the ways in which these people were not everything they said they were.”

And there, Reeves added, is where the World’s Greatest Detective gets down to his best work. “Just like Woodward and Bernstein,” he said, “you’ve got Lt. Gordon and Batman trying to follow the clues and make sense of this thing in a classic detective story way.”

Star Robert Pattinson seemed to fully embrace the edginess and noir feeling Reeves was trying to convey. “In the first meeting, Reeves was saying we want to lean into the ‘world’s greatest detective aspect,’ and be a detective noir movie,” Pattinson said. “And I read the script, and it is. It’s a detective movie.”

The Batman character has come a long way from the Adam West-led campy TV series of the ’60s, and appeared to have peaked with Christopher Nolan’s recent “Dark Knight Trilogy”. But this interpretation of the DC Comics character–which was originally conceived as a feared “creature of the night” anti-hero–seems to have a solid foundation with Reeves at the helm.

The Batman stars Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright as Lt. James Gordon, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/the Penguin and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.

The film–headed to theaters March 4 (and to HBO Max April 19)–is rated PG-13 for “strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language and some suggestive material.”

The DC Comics character of The Batman–created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger–debuted in Detective Comics No27 back in 1939. The character received his own comic–Batman–in 1940, in which he was depicted as a ruthless vigilante who frequently maimed, or even killed, criminals.

Keep reading Horror News Network for any updates on The Batman.


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