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How Matt Reeves Used VR To Pull Off The Batman's Most Iconic Shots

Tomorrow, Matt Reeves' take on the world's most psychologically troubled superhero, "The Batman," will finally arrive in theaters. In it, Robert Pattinson's Batman takes on both Paul Dano's the Riddler and Colin Farrell's the Penguin. Like most Batman movies, that means plenty of adrenalin-fueled action sequences.

Practically every Batman film has at least one Batmobile chase. It's often one of the most iconic moments in the film, and each director has the challenge of putting their own unique spin on it. In "The Dark Knight," Christopher Nolan used practical effects to create the classic truck flip scene, when Batman uses cables to overturn the Joker's 18-wheeler in the streets of Gotham.

In "The Batman," the Caped Crusader chases the Penguin through the city. The chase ends when the Penguin's vehicle flips over. In one shot shown in many of the trailers, an upside-down Penguin watches through the rain as Batman walks towards him.

Like any Batmobile chase, this is an expensive and crucial sequence involving extensive prep work. Here's how Matt Reeves was able to use cutting-edge technology to plan it all out and get one of the most memorable shots in the movie.

Matt Reeves designed most of his shots in virtual reality before filming them

Reeves talked about the Batmobile chase during an interview with Rotten Tomatoes.

First, he explained that designing his shots starts well before they ever go to set.

"You know, I start at the script stage, trying to write in shots," Reeves said. "Because I'm figuring out how to make the movie. I mean, when I'm sort of writing I consider the process like to be in the dark room, sort of on hands and knees, looking for things that you grab onto that suddenly resonate, and you start putting them together until the story forms. And so I start by trying to write the shots."

Once the framework is in place, Reeves' team designs the sets in virtual reality. "So I was able to go into the sets before we ever shot, and made all of these shots you're seeing, the shots you're talking about, in VR," Reeves continued. "So much of this stuff, when you're doing a Batmobile chase, that's a very highly technical crazy act. And so like the upside down shot, that was a shot I found in VR. And I was like, 'Oh that would be really cool.' And all of the shots are almost always guided by this idea of subjectivity, of putting you into a character's point of view."

Reeves went on to say that there's always doubt over whether the shots they create actually will resonate with the audience in the way they're intended to, but that he was pleased with the reaction so far. 

"The Batman" premieres on March 4, 2022.