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How The Batman Will Be Different From The Dark Knight Trilogy

Fans of Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and all the other heroes in the DC Universe have been riding high thanks to the number of superhero films Warner Bros. has been producing in recent years. However, one downside to the abundance of comic book adaptations is how often fans have to sit through the same story beats for their favorite heroes as the character is rebooted for the umpteenth time.

While that won't be a problem for the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, fans might be a bit apprehensive about Matt Reeves' The Batmanstarring Robert Pattinson. After all, it is the third major reboot of the story of the caped crusader this century — after Ben Affleck's brief tenure as the billionaire-turned-crime-fighter and, more notably, Christopher Nolan's acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy. Those films followed Bruce Wayne's evolution from young orphan to savior of Gotham city, so what new ground will Reeves find to tread?

Thankfully for fans, there are already some indications that the Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director has more than a few new tricks in his utility belt. Let's look at what we know so far about his take on Batman, and how it's shaping up to differentiate itself from the Dark Knight trilogy.

Matt Reeves' The Batman won't dwell on the origin story

One scene that Batman fans can probably draw from memory is the moment that young Bruce Wayne is set on his path to becoming a masked vigilante. That is, of course, the murder of his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne at the hands of a mugger. 

There's still no official word on whether Thomas and Martha's fateful opera departure will be featured in The Batman, but Reeves told Nerdist that he's not necessarily looking to take us back to the beginning in his film. "I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is," said Reeves. "Like this guy, he's majorly struggling, and this is how he's trying to rise above that struggle."

Regardless of how much of Bruce Wayne's backstory we're getting in The Batman, Reeves seems to be indicating that we're not going to spend too much time rehashing the past.

Villains will be front and center in The Batman

The Dark Knight trilogy is aptly named, as the films are very specifically about Batman. Yes, there are a rotating roster of villains and other series staple characters, but the story throughout is pretty focused on the titular dark knight. But with The Batman, it sounds like we're in for a villain-heavy experience.

Reeves has indicated that Batman's foes will play a larger role in the story of his film, saying (via The Hollywood Reporter), "There will be a rogue's gallery." A number of high-profile actors have already been announced to take on Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne — including Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Colin Farrell as Penguin. Reports are that even more villains will be filling out the ranks.

To go along with a movie full of baddies, Reeves' version of the caped crusader will lean heavily on Batman's detective skills. As he dished to THR, "It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale... It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films."

Matt Reeves is creating his own world in The Batman

No matter how many familiar character names may end up on the final cast list, don't expect The Batman to rely on characterization and tropes from previous films. One thing that's becoming very clear about Reeves' movie is that his goal is to produce a unique interpretation of the beloved hero, starting from the ground up.

Speaking to Collider, actor Jeffrey Wright, who will play Police Commissioner James Gordon in The Batman, explained how his take on the classic character fits into Reeves' larger vision. "As far as the films go, the characters, I feel, are very much specific to the interpretation of Gotham," he said. "And so, what I do is going to be very specific to Matt Reeves' vision of Gotham, and it's going to be reflective of what Robert Pattinson's Batman is going to be."

The actor went on to emphasize, "To pluck one character out of the whole, is a forced idea. All of us are working together to create a tone and a language and an energy and a vibe that is specific to our film."

Although we still have a ways to go before getting more details, and even a full cast list, it's already abundantly clear that Matt Reeves' The Batman won't be looking to the hero's film past to make its mark. The Batman is set to fly into theaters on June 25, 2021.