Director Matt Reeves was rolling cameras on his new vision of The Batman, finally giving us our first look at the film as it shot around London and Glasgow. But the basic plot of the film has remained a mystery, until now.
Matt Reeves had previously admitted that this Batman take would lean more heavily in Batman Detective mode:
“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.“Matt Reeves via The Hollywood Reporter
Minor spoilers regarding some basic plot points of THE BATMAN below!
As other outlets have reported, the film does take place in present day, and during Batman’s second year of being active. Bruce Wayne is still new to the job, and makes a point not to kill. This Bruce Wayne reads very similarly to the Bruce in Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. Think Christian Bale’s Bruce, but younger. He’s a playboy who’s spending the Wayne fortune all over town.
The Basic Plot
It’s election year in Gotham, and someone is killing off Mayoral candidates one by one, leaving riddles behind each murder. These riddles won’t make it hard for Batman fans to deduce who’s behind them, since we know Paul Dano has been cast as The Riddler.
While many have assumed or hoped that the film is Batman vs a Rogues gallery of villains a la The Long Halloween, this is not the case. While they do borrow some themes from that story, they take several departures from it. In fact, The Riddler is the main villain we follow in this story, with The Batman on a mission to find out who this rogue is.
It is indeed has a very Noir theme. This Batman borrows much more from Sherlock Holmes than any other movie version, and this Batman’s Watson is Captain James Gordon, played by Jeffery Wright. The two are out to solve the case of the Riddler.
The mission allows Reeves to introduce us to a new Gotham City, with crime syndicates including John Turturro’s Falcone, as well as Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle / Catwoman. Kravitz plays another anti-hero version of the character, helping Batman in the film, but in true Selina Kyle fashion, still always looking out for herself.
Colin Farrell plays a character named Os, likely short for Oswald Cobblepot as he’s already been confirmed as The Penguin. However, he’s actually written as a good guy, who’s also in the running for Mayor, and trying to avoid being murdered.
Interestingly enough, Harvey Dent was almost in the film, but removed from the script at the last minute. Both Batgirl & Penguin were also originally in the Birds of Prey script, but similarly pulled last minute.
The film is also filled with action set-pieces, which Matt Reeves has said the current lock-down is helping to give more prep-time to make them even stronger. The core plot is much simpler than fans might be expecting, and the film is really a chance for the actors to create stand-out performances and for Reeves to prove his world building and directing chops to build a Gotham City we want to go back to.
As we previously reported, DC’s plan via the solo Flash, will reset the characters that can appear in a new Justice League, and in-success, they are intending this Batman to be a part of that.
You can also watch Andy’s further analysis over on Popcorned Planet and join us LIVE! Tonight 4/21/20 at 9PM EST to discuss this and more!