‘The Batman’: Matt Reeves Explains How Catwoman, Penguin and The Riddler Factor into the Plot

     August 22, 2020

We not only got our first good look at the exciting upcoming film The Batman during the DC FanDome event, we also got some brand new information about what to expect from the movie. The stunning teaser trailer previewed a detective story, with Robert Pattinson’s Batman trying to solve a series of crimes done by Paul Dano’s The Riddler (at least it appears they were done by The Riddler). But we also know the film features Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone. So how do all these villains factor into the plot?

While rumors swirled that the plot might involve the characters locked up in Arkham Asylum (which was planned for Ben Affleck’s movie), that’s not the direction writer/director Matt Reeves is taking this one. During the DC FanDome panel, he stressed that The Batman is a mystery thriller that follows Batman trying to solve a series of crimes, and through those crimes he comes into contact with these various villains – and along the way, we’ll essentially see their origin stories a bit:

“It’s actually in a weird way the origins of a lot of our Rogues Gallery characters. Selina isn’t Catwoman yet, that’s actually part of the journey. Oz is not yet the kingpin that he’s going to become, he’s The Penguin and in fact doesn’t like being called The Penguin. And The Riddler is just emerging for the first time.”

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Image via Warner Bros.

Reeves explained that the script that he co-wrote with Mattson Tomlin threads these characters together through a single mystery that snowballs as it moves forward:

“How all these characters connect was for me one of the challenges but also one of the exciting things about the creation of the story, which is that in going on this urge and compulsion to solve this series of crimes, you touch on all of  these iterations of  the beginnings of these characters. The whole movie is like a snowball rolling. You can just feel the momentum building and building.”

The War for the Planet of the Apes filmmaker also talked about balancing expectations for the comics versions of these characters versus bringing something fresh and exciting to the screen:

“Paul Dano plays a version of The Riddler that no one has ever seen before. He’s such an incredibly creative actor, so what he’s doing I think is going to blow peoples’ minds. And then to have Zoe Kravitz, her iteration of Selina Kyle – to me that’s incredibly exciting. You have an iteration that you’ve never seen of what she’s doing, but it touches on all of these iconic things that people know from the comics. It’s always about trying to square what you know with what also is new, and that is really part of the exciting process of making a Batman movie which is to find a way to make it your own, and to find a way for the actors to make it their own, and yet still connect all of these things so people go, ‘Oh that’s my Selina. I know who that is.’”

The trailer absolutely freaking ruled, and everything Reeves is saying here sounds great. Instead of seeing Batman bounce from place-to-place, it sounds like we may finally see an honest-to-goodness detective story, with characters organically threaded throughout. Inject it directly into my veins.

Click here to catch up on all the big news that broke at DC FanDome. The Batman opens in theaters on October 1, 2021.

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Image via Warner Bros.

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