Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman featuring Robert Pattinson in the role of the Dark Knight is already highly anticipated among fans. The film boasts of multiple villains from Batman's rogue's gallery. And yet, according to the project's DP Greig Fraser, the true focus of the script will be the relationship between Batman and his faithful butler Alfred, played by Andy Serkis.
"It is a character-based movie about the characters, about Andy Serkis' character and Robert Pattinson's character. It's a very good script, like all of Matt's scripts it's very good, very well thought out."
Alfred has been a part of every comic, movie, and game adaptation of the Batman mythology, but rarely is he given a major story arc. The relationship between Bruce Wayne and Alfred is far more complex than a standard employer-employee arrangement. Ever since the death of Bruce's parents, Alfred has acted as his father figure, voice of conscience, and keeper of the Dark Knight's most closely-guarded secrets.
Having Alfred play a pivotal role in the narrative would make for a more emotional, character-based study of Batman's journey, which Reeves has stated in the past will be his intent with The Batman. Fraser acknowledged the pressure on the film's team to rise to the expectations of Batman fans around the world, but believes Reeves is the right man for the job.
"We're having a ball making it. We're going our best. It's a lot of pressure. I don't think Matt takes non-pressure movies. To do the American version of Let the Right One In, that's a huge pressure. To do the Apes movies which I think a lot of people have a lot of vested interest in is a lot of pressure. So Batman is a lot of pressure. He's gutsy, he's a gutsy director."
Reeves has already proven his gutsy instincts as a filmmaker with his Planet of the Apes trilogy, in which he was successfully able to imbue non-human lead characters with enough emotion to allow audiences to empathize with and root for them. Fraser is excited to see Reeves bring that same virtuosity to the world of Batman.
"Naturally casting is a big part of it, but it's the work of a very, very good director to have you find emotion in things that are innately unemotional. I'm talking about animals, apes. He did a brilliant job with that. So I'm excited to be working with him currently on Batman."
The Batman tells the tale of the early years of Bruce Wayne's journey as the Caped Crusader, when he was still learning the ropes of being a vigilante. Along with Batman and Alfred, the film is set to feature several established villains from the comics, namely The Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, and Carmine Falcone. Originally scheduled to be released in July of next year, the global lockdown stalled production for a long time, and the movie is now set to be released in theaters on October 1, 2021. This news was first brought to us by Collider.