Is Matt Reeves’ Batman based on a DC Comics story?

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Before Marvel and DC movies dominated the box office — and now, streaming too — their characters’ stories were first told in the comic books. Superheroes like Batman and Wonder Woman wouldn’t be where they are today if the comics hadn’t paved the way for their success in other media. Indeed, Batman got his start in a comic book published in the late 1930s before making the leap to television and, more famously now, to movies. More than eight decades have passed, and the character has once again been reimagined for film for fans old and new. Robert Pattinson has become the latest actor to play the Caped Crusader in The Batman.

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The Batman was intended by director Matt Reeves to be the start of a new Batman shared universe, with talks of a sequel already underway ahead of the film’s world premiere. Reeves is, in fact, one of many directors — from Tim Burton to Christopher Nolan — who have come up with a new DC superhero-centric movie franchise. With so many Batman movies released before The Batman, the most immediate question that comes to mind is: are there really more Batman stories left to tell? The answer is definitely yes as the character has some of the greatest storylines in comics that have yet to make it to the big screen. This raises another question: is Matt Reeves The Batman based on a specific DC Comics storyline? Here is the answer.

Related: Matt Reeves Worried Public Wouldn’t Follow Batman’s Complex Detective Story

Is the Batman based on a comic book?


Batman-first year
DC Comics

While director Matt Reeves has cited the Batman comics as the primary influences on The Batmanthe film was not directly based on a specific DC comic book storyline; The Batman was never intended to be a complete adaptation of a previous Batman story. However, one of the comic arcs that inspired The Batman was Frank Miller’s “Year One” in the late 80s. The events of Batman: Year One took place during Bruce Wayne’s first crime-fighting year. He wasn’t yet the seasoned, seasoned superhero that most people recognize in him. Taking on Gotham’s criminal underworld was always going to be a difficult task, and Bruce wondered if he was ready to become Batman. Gotham City Police Detective James Gordon was a central character in the comic arc. Both Bruce Wayne and James Gordon were aware of the darkness brewing in their town and were determined to do whatever they could to stop it.


Similar to Batman: Year One, the Batman in Reeves’ film is young and less experienced. But the film’s Bruce Wayne is in his second year of crime-fighting, not his first. Both First year bow and The Batman feature Selina Kyle’s debut as Catwoman. The tone of First year was seen as more grounded and realistic, which was definitely what Reeves was looking for in his first Batman movie. “The Batman Box Set”, a collection of the film’s comedic influences, is set for release in March 2022, which contains First year, The Long Halloweenand Ego and other tails. Reeves revealed that they were part of his favorite batman stories. The Long Halloween continued the story of First year and, like the film, told the story of a killer who tested Batman’s detective skills. AT DC FandomeReeves compared Bruce Wayne’s exploration of the psyche in The Batman to the Ego comic books:


There’s also a lot of stuff that’s driven by the parts of himself that he doesn’t know yet, and so I would say that kind of psychological union, that kind of version is very much related to that vision of Darwyn Cooke . Ego.

Related: Comics 101: Debunking the Riddler

What else is inspired by The Batman?


The Batman-2
Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Films

Several real people have inspired the characters of The Batman. After discovering parallels between the real and never-identified “Zodiac Killer” and the Riddler, Matt Reeves decided to use The Riddler in his Batman movie. In The Batmantwo characters were named District Attorney Gil Colson and Mayor Don Mitchell Jr. They share the surnames of John N. Mitchell and Charles Colson, who were involved in the real-life Watergate scandal depicted in the 1970s film, All the President’s Men. Even Batman himself was inspired by a real person. While writing the film’s first act, Matt Reeves listened to Nirvana’s song, “Something in the Way”, which was later used in the film’s main trailer. Previous cinematic portrayals of Batman had Bruce Wayne acting like a playboy in public. In Reeves’ film, Bruce has become more of a social recluse. Reeves linked Bruce Wayne to music legend Kurt Cobain, who was the frontman of Nirvana. On the connection between Wayne and Cobain, Reeves told Empire;


Rather than making Bruce Wayne the playboy version we’ve seen before, there’s another version that went through great tragedy and became a recluse. So I started making that connection to Gus Van Sant’s Last Days, and the idea that this fictionalized version of Kurt Cobain is in this kind of decaying mansion.

Batman has been called the “World’s Greatest Detective” in DC Comics, but the movies haven’t focused so much on the detective side. In one interview with The Hollywood ReporterMatt Reeves describes The Batman as an “almost noir cop version of Batman”. The film managed to mix detective elements with psychological thriller, superhero, horror and action genres. Moviemaker shared this Matt Reeves was influenced by 70s movies which were part of his childhood. The Batman and Catwoman dynamic has been compared to the relationship between Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda in Klute (1971). Meanwhile, Chinese district (1974) and All the President’s Men (1976) provided Reeves with ideas on how to portray corruption in Gotham. Another DC movie, Todd Phillips Joker (2019) which starred Joaquin Phoenix, was heavily inspired by 70s films such as Martin Scorsese Taxi driver.

Matt Reeves also expressed his appreciation for filmmaker and “master of suspense”, Alfred Hitchcock. Reaves said CBS;

For me, perspective is really important. I want to make sure you experience something from the point of view of the main character in the story. I’m a huge Hitchcock fan – I like the idea of ​​being immersed in that perspective. For me, movies are about empathy. The idea is to make you, the audience, feel what the character is feeling.

Reeves previously directed two underrated criminals Planet of the Apes movies. They focused on the idea of ​​”empathy” that Reeves was talking about and explored the relationships between characters who were on opposite sides. Reeves finished Caesar’s story and moved on to telling Bruce Wayne’s. But he brought with him the dark, gritty tone of his Apes films, as well as actor Andy Serkis and composer Michael Giacchino.



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