Even before Matt Reeves’ The Batman went on a production hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, we still didn’t know all that much about the movie other than that Robert Pattinson was set to play Bruce Wayne, Zoe Kravitz was set to play Selina Kyle and at some point there was going to be a rather slick Batmobile zooming its way through the latest incarnation of Gotham city.
In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, though, Jeffrey Wright—the film’s Commissioner Gordon—explained that he sees The Batman as a story that’s going to pull the whole of Batman’s mythos into a new modern era.
“My take is—the way I explain what we’re doing is, like with any film, we’re working together to create a mood, to create an idea, a setting, a tone,” Wright said. “This is the next evolution since 1939 when these stories began.”
Just what Wright means by “evolution” in this context isn’t clear, and to be fair he could just be referring to the fact that The Batman’s Gotham will be the first to properly take centre stage within the current incarnation of DC’s still somewhat nascent cinematic universe.
But considering that The Batman is something of a reboot for the franchise that marks Warner Bros. pivoting away from the Batfleck era (while still retaining versions of characters like Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, who first appeared in the studio’s earlier cape movies), it’s interesting to consider what the next step in Gotham’s cinematic evolution might be like. Pattinson’s spoken candidly about his need to find a way to embody the Batman role in a way that sets it apart from all of its previous iterations, and curiously, Wright hinted at the idea that one of the most significant embodiments of this Batman’s distinctness is his ride.
“I read the script for the Batmobile and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s it,’” Wright told THR. “(Bruce Wayne) created the most badass muscle car you could imagine, but it’s grounded in Gotham. It’s grounded in Americana.”
The Batmobile becoming a high tech muscle car isn’t necessarily indicative of The Batman being a radically different take on the Dark Knight’s presence and approach to justice. But if there are more details to the texture and shape of the movie’s depiction of Gotham, its heroes, and its deranged villains, The Batman might just end up breathing new life into this part of DC’s on-screen portfolio.