For a movie about a millionaire who dresses up like a bat to combat a riddle-loving serial killer, it’s still obvious that Matt Reeves’s The Batman is supposed the most “realistic” (you know, comparatively) cinematic take on the Dark Knight so far. That begins by setting the movie at the start of Bruce Wayne’s crimefighting career, before he’s an established superhero with the world’s most tricked-out, AI-controlled car and high-tech gadgets. But it turns out The Batman’s going to go much further than that.
In an interview with Esquire UK, Reeves discussed how the movie will handle the Batmobile and the hero’s Batcave headquarters, which will have their own somewhat grounded origins. For the former, The Batman’s going to lean into Bruce creating it himself—but without all knowledge and technology that he’ll gain throughout his future career: “The Nolan films established the Batmobile as a tank, which was a brilliant idea,” Reeves says. “But I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if this guy is a loner and a gearhead and fashioning these things by himself, taking parts of other cars and kit cars?’ So it’s recognizable as a car this time. But it’s like a muscle car. One that he’s made himself.”
Personally, I’m not sure I would describe the Tumbler from the Dark Knight trilogy as brilliant, but I am a big fan of a young, angry, troubled Bruce Wayne sitting in the Bat-cave, shipping in all sorts of cars, and then kit-bashing them together into the most powerful vehicle he can make while he’s still trying to find his footing (and ethos) as Batman. You can really get a sense of the beast he built in The Batman’s second trailer, where it bursts out of the flames in pursuit of the Penguin.
And speaking of the Batcave, it has its own unique, but similarly grounded, concept. From Reeves: “The new Batcave is based on a secret underground railway that still exists in New York. The idea being that some of these wealthy industrialist families had private train cars at the turn of the century. So the Batcave is actually in the foundation of this tower. It was [another] way of saying, ‘How can we root all these things in things that feel real, but also extraordinary?’”
Man, I am really looking forward to seeing a new Batcave. Like Batman’s origin story, they’ve all roughly felt like the same idea that’s been executed slightly differently—which is fine, as it comes straight out of the comics, but I very much appreciate Reeves’ attempt to shake things up. A Bat-Abandoned-Subway-Tunnel sounds like it has a ton of visual and creative potential, although I may just like the image of seeing Alfred serving tea in a filthy, graffiti-covered subway train.
Goodness knows what else Reeves is doing to other Bat-icons in the movie, but at least we know The Batman will have plenty of time to explore every aspect of Bruce Wayne’s burgeoning career. The film premieres in theaters on March 4.
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