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The Batman Director Matt Reeves on the Problem With Bat-Sequels

How do you make a movie about the Dark Knight where his villains don't steal the spotlight?

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Batman looks at someone with hostile skepticism.
Image: Warner Bros.

We’re a long way from seeing Matt Reeves’ second installment of his Batman trilogy, but the director is already thinking about how to avoid a problem that’s plagued Bat-sequel movies for years: they always seem to focus on the villains instead of Batman himself.

Reeves identified the issue (without naming any names) during an interview with Collider: “To me, the thing that I really feel is that I also believe that Rob [Pattinson] is so special in the role. My goal has always been to do these point-of-view stories that allow the character to always be the emotional center of the story. Because a lot of times what happens is, after you do the first one, then suddenly other Rogues Gallery characters come in, and they kind of take over, and then Batman takes a backseat sort of character-wise, or emotionally.”

It sounds a little foolish if you think of it as “The Batman sequel will focus on Batman,” but Reeves has a point. When you remember the sequels in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, you remember the villains Joker and Bane far more than the role Batman plays in the films. At the very least, they drove the movie forward instead of the titular hero, unlike in Batman Begins and The Batman, which featured Bruce Wayne honing his skills before returning to Gotham City and actively pursuing a serial killer, respectively.


There’s no reason to think Reeves can’t pull this off; he directed both of the sequels to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which continued to focus on Caesar and his journey and were both quite excellent.

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