'The Batman' could have a touch of Hitchcock, director says

Fresh off "War for the Planet of the Apes", Matt Reeves looks ahead to helming the first solo outing for Ben Affleck's caped crusader.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Matt Reeves will direct Ben Affleck in "The Batman".

The Dark Knight may be taking lessons from the Master of Suspense. Matt Reeves, director of Ben Affleck 's superhero solo outing "The Batman ", has named Alfred Hitchcock as a possible influence.

I asked Reeves what he would take into "The Batman" from his current film "War for the Planet of the Apes", and that's when he dropped the legendary director's name.

"For me, point of view is really important," Reeves said. "I want to make sure you are experiencing something from the perspective of the main character in the story. I'm a huge Hitchcock fan -- I like the idea of being immersed in that perspective."

Watch this: 'The Batman' could have a Hitchcock influence

British director Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense behind "Psycho", "Vertigo" and countless other classics, used innovative camera techniques to draw you into the psychological state of his characters. It remains to be seen how Reeves intends to immerse you into the perspective of a troubled billionaire who dresses up in latex to beat up criminals -- but just imagine if Hitchcock had made a Batman movie! Cary Grant as Bruce Wayne anybody?

"Movies for me are about empathy," Reeves continued. "The idea is to make you, the audience, feel what the character feels." His latest movie "War for the Planet of the Apes", the hotly-tipped third in the surprisingly good simian series, does that astonishingly well. There are barely a handful of human speaking parts in the film as the ape characters firmly take over the lead roles, to powerful emotional effect.

"War for the Planet of the Apes" is in theatres from 11 August in the UK and 14 August in the US.

Now that "War" is done, Reeves can turn his attention to DC's Dark Knight. Affleck will play the caped crusader once again following "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", "Suicide Squad" and the forthcoming "Justice League". He was originally set to co-write and direct too, but suggested Reeves as a possible replacement when he decided all those jobs would be a bit much to take on even his mighty chin.

"The Batman" is set to star Joe Manganiello as the villainous Deathstroke, JK Simmons as dogged cop Commissioner Gordon, and Jeremy Irons as Batman's trusty butler Alfred. The release date hasn't been confirmed yet.

Discussing his approach to the film, Reeves admitted, "We're just starting", which suggests the movie could still go through big changes.

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