OPINION: With The Batman, Matt Reeves Should Get Weird Instead Of Following Christopher Nolan's Lead

Batman is one of the most popular comic book heroes in the world. The first Tim Burton Batman film was one of the first modern mega-blockbusters, and Christopher Nolan's arguably kickstarted the modern age of superhero movies with his super-grounded take on the Dark Knight. Now, Matt Reeves' The Batman is nearly here, and we've been promised another grounded take on the character. With such an aesthetically similar take on the character, it's hard not to feel like ol' Bats is getting stuck in a rut, though, and that Reeves is going to paint himself into the same corner that Nolan did. Grounding Batman doesn't necessarily make him more interesting, but it definitely limits him--there's a whole side of Gotham that Nolan never explored, and right now it doesn't look like Reeves will either.

There's something about Batman that seems to appeal to directors. You rarely hear so-called serious directors--the last people you'd expect to make a Batman flick--making a big deal about picking up a superhero movie, but it keeps happening with Batman; Christopher Nolan, Ben Affleck (for a time), and now Matt Reeves. The question of who is directing the next Batman has become a major piece of news awaited by the fan community. When it comes to the latest film, it's easy to find quotes of Reeves talking about how grounded his movie is, and that's at the core of this. Other heroes fire lasers out of their eyes and hands, they're immortal, they can literally punch time, the concept. Batman is just a regular billionaire--as if there is such a thing--even compared to Tony Stark. Tony can fly into space and make unlimited clean power sources. Batman has a car and a grappling hook.

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When it comes to the best-loved storylines in comics, Batman covers an outsized area of that list with stories like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One, The Long Halloween, Court of Owls, and more. He's a favorite of comic legends like Alan Moore and Jim Lee, and many of these all-timer storylines are totally plausible once you can get past the part about the rich guy wearing an animal cape.

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