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Matt Reeves Worried Audiences Wouldn’t Follow The Batman’s Complex Detective Story

There is a lot about The Batman that makes it stand out from every other big-screen outing for the DC superhero. The fantastical elements of the likes of Batman & Robin are gone, the tech-savvy gadgets are mostly gone, and instead, we have a DC detective story that sends the Caped Crusader back to his roots. With the first impressions of the movie suggesting this is going to be the biggest and best Batman movie to date, everything is going the right way for Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson, but Reeves recently revealed that he was not sure if the detective story would be too complex for audiences to follow.

Director Matt Reeves sat down to talk to Collider about the movie, and in particular, spoke about how the initial screenings took him by surprise. Still in the middle of editing when the first test runs were taking place, Reeves expected to have to cut a lot more of the movie to make the storyline clearer, but his doubts proved to be for nothing when audiences were more excited about the detective story aspect than the car chases and fight scenes. He said:


“The first version of this movie that I screened; the movie has a very ambitious, complex narrative. So, by the time we got to a place where we had to start testing, I was not all the way through the cut of the movie. There was so much of the movie yet to be touched and it was really long. I mean, not to say that the movie does not have length now, but it was longer than what I intended. I was terrified because I thought, oh my gosh, we’re showing this, before I’m ready, to an audience and in terms of a Batman movie, it’s a very complex detective story narrative. Are they going to be able to follow anything? What I actually found, which was amazing, was how much they loved that aspect. That was the biggest relief. I was thinking, okay, why did I do this? Why did I decide to make this kind of story? And what the first test screening told me was the audience wanted this, that we had the Batmobile chases, we had all the things. You can not make a Batman movie without giving the baseline things that people want from a Batman movie. But I knew we were challenging the audience in this side of the world’s greatest detective side, because it was going to be a very complex narrative and it turned out they love that part of it. It was one of the things that tested best. So that part was a great thing to learn, which was that, actually, the audience would be excited about this version of the movie and that only continued to get better as we continued to test. ”

The Batman Is Coming to Remind Everyone Who the Bat Really Is

Warner Bros. Pictures / Alan Chou / BossLogic

For a long time, Batman has been seen as a crime fighter who takes on the worst Gotham has to offer with a combination of gimmicks and fist-fights, but The Batman is putting the Dark Knight back in his rightful place as the world’s greatest detective as he finds himself in a battle of wits with Paul Dano’s Riddler, while also facing down the criminal underworld of Gotham.

While the trailers have given plenty of action, they have also shown Pattinson’s Batman working alongside Jim Gordon to solve the cases, something that Batman has rarely done on screen in the past, usually turning up to answer the Bat Signal and leaving Gordon standing alone on a rooftop soon afterward. All of this leads to The Batman completely changing the landscape of the foreseeable future of Batman, and with spin-offs and sequels aplenty to come from this particular iteration, it is going to be interesting to see how that develops in the coming years.

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