Matt Reeves initially turned down The Batman because he wanted to direct from his own script rather than the one penned by Ben Affleck.
The Justice League actor originally wrote a script for a standalone Batman movie that he intended to star in and direct, but he ultimately stepped away from the project due to personal reasons.
Warner Bros. officials turned to Reeves and initially wanted him to direct using Affleck’s script, and while it was “a totally valid take” on the movie, it wasn’t the Batman story he wanted to tell so he turned the job down.
“I just knew that when I read it this particular script was not the way I’d want to do it,” Reeves explained to Esquire Middle East. “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 understood what I was going to do with it, so that I know where to put the camera, so that I know what to tell the actors, so that I know what the story should be.
“(I told film executives), ‘So what I’d love to do, if you’re interested, is 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.'”
Reeves also told studio bosses that “you’re not going to want me to direct this movie” because he wouldn’t be able to work on the story with his co-writer Peter Craig until he’d finished making his 2017 film War for the Planet of the Apes. However, to his “utter shock and surprise”, they agreed to wait for him.
While Reeves was putting the finishing touches to the final Apes film, Affleck dropped out of the project as an actor too, so he was able to write his script with a blank slate and cast Robert Pattinson in the lead role.
The Batman is set to be released in March.
– Cover Media