THE BATMAN | Reeves Reveals Interesting Details During Director’s Commentary

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I’m not a fan of Apple products.

I’ve never had an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or ANYTHING Apple.  OK, I once had an iPod back in the day (Remember when those were cool?) and still have, but don’t use, an iTunes account.

So when I found out that Matt Reeves’ director’s commentary on THE BATMAN was an Apple-exclusive, I was super bummed out!

While I enjoyed all of the bonus features that came with the standard Blu-ray/DVD/Digital release (Read my review HERE!), a director’s commentary on the entire film from Matt Reeves was something that I really, Really, REALLY wanted to check out.

Therefore, I had to do what I had to do…

Yes, I broke down and tried to access it on Apple TV+ on my smart TV by way of Movies Anywhere via the digital code on the Blu-ray Warner Bros. previously provided me. But here’s the rub…

None of the bonus features were available on Apple TV+ by going this route!

As I’ve said many times, I may be able to run a website, edit a podcast, and do basic editing on a video, but I am in no way a streaming TV guru.  So it was on to “Plan B”…

My youngest college student offspring, Jake, is an Apple fan — well, at least he has an iPhone and an active iTunes account.  So I had him “purchase” THE BATMAN on his account (Who do y’all think paid for it…like everything else with him!) and I then did a switcharoo on Apple TV+ by logging into his account. (Which was a GD MF’n process and one of MANY reasons I hate Apple!)

And voila, I could now watch THE BATMAN along with Matt Reeves’ commentary!

ALSO CHECK OUT | BOF’s Everything About THE BATMAN Page

Speaking of which — and this is the main part of this article — here are some of the highlights that stuck out to me as I watched/listened…

  • When Reeves was writing that great opening scene with Batman, he had the “practicality” of actually being Batman.  Like, how does he actually look for crime?  So he came up with the idea that Bruce walks the streets at night amongst “the element” without wearing his Batsuit…because, you know, he couldn’t do that as Batman.  Thus, “The Drifter” was created. And the fact that it was Halloween night was a nod to THE LONG HALLOWEEN.
  • Speaking of “The Drifter” incarnation of Batman/Bruce Wayne, it was inspired by BATMAN: YEAR ONE — which I found pretty obvious from the first time I saw the film.
  • Paul Dano suggested wrapping his head in cellophane while playing The Riddler, but the actor found out immediately that it was hot AF.  Reeves told Dano they could jettison (no pun intended) the clingwrap, but the actor stayed with it!
  • The journal that Bruce keeps throughout the film was inspired by DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, (and apparently not directly YEAR ONE) where Dr. Jekyll keeps a log of his experiments. “He’s sort of addicted to this activity,” MR said.  “Being Batman is really him just trying to make meaning of his life, and so while it sounds very heroic in a certain way it’s actually personally driven.”
  • Reeves said that while this Batman is young, he was intent on not doing an origin film.  He wanted to tell a story where Batman has an arc, not a villain.  “Batman himself, not Bruce becoming Batman, but Batman has an awakening and has to change.”
  • Who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne?  Reeves wanted — and wants it to be going forward — ambiguous.  Says MR: “There’s obviously the Joe Chill version from the comics, but there’s also this version, which I love, that they’ll never quite know who killed his parents and that that mystery will haunt him forever, and that nothing will bring us to the bottom of it. And I thought this was an opportunity to present some potential possibilities and that his father’s own corruption may have been one of the factors that led to their murders, and that was something that never occurred to Bruce.”
  • Reeves said they did 50 — FIFTY — different takes on The Batman/Riddler Arkham interrogation scene!  Also — and this is something that I frankly didn’t notice until listening to MR’s commentary — but it’s brilliant.  There’s a “tug of war” represented musically by way of The Riddler’s theme and Batman’s theme during that scene. Says MR: “When Batman realizes he’s missed something and he didn’t solve it, the music switches back around and it becomes The Riddler’s theme again.”
  • Yes, John Turturro’s Falcone did indeed have scars on his face before Selina scratched him. It was actually Zoe Kravitz’s idea for Selina to scratch him in the same place as her mother did when Falcone killed her years prior.  (Zoe had a lot of good ideas while shooting the movie, based on Reeves’ commentary.)
  • This Batman has a “no guns, no killing” creed, but he damn near went against it at the end of THE BATMAN when he beat the living shit out of that last Riddler follower. Reeves:  “He wants to believe that he wouldn’t kill, and yet at the same time he comes so close so many times throughout this scene, he’s in so many ways so recklessly close to the edge. And some of it is even luck, how close he is to committing murder really. And here I think if Gordon didn’t come and stop him, he would have killed this guy absolutely. That’s how out of control he is, and Gordon kind of brings him to his senses. In fact, he’s in a state right now where he is just in pure instinct. This is like the comic EGO.”
  • Reeves on Bruce’s epiphany that Batman being “vengeance” had to change going forward: “I wanted this idea of him putting the message of vengeance out into the city to have an effect. Now he realizes in some certain way, that he’s very implicated in this and everything that’s happened in the city, everything that’s happened here is in large part connected to the message he put out about being vengeance and that he has to change and do more.”

Of course, there’s A LOT more Reeves had to say about his film and I highly recommend that you find a way to listen to his commentary…I just hope you don’t have to jump through all the self-made hoops I had to deal with to check it out!  One more thing…

There’s a 99.9% chance that Mr. Reeves’ THE BATMAN commentary will be the main topic on the next (Episode 68) BOF Social Hour Podcast.

#BOFTCBBill “Jett” Ramey


 

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Lifelong Batman fan Bill "Jett" Ramey is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Batman-On-Film.com. His passions include Dallas Cowboys football, Elvis Presley, Rock music, cold beer, dive bars, the University of Texas Longhorns, and of course, Batman. He resides in the great state of Texas with his lovely wife ("Announcer Rachel") and his .5 Boston Terrier.