On the surface, it does not seem like there could be much overlap between Matt Reeves' earlier take on Planet of the Apes, and the director's upcoming The Batman movie. One is a mediation on what it means to be human and the pecking order of Man with respect to the rest of the animal kingdom, while the other is about a rich guy who dresses up like a Bat to hunt criminals. But in a recent interview, Reeves revealed the similarity between the two franchises that drew him to them.
"The way I loved Apes is the way that I loved Batman, actually. The only two franchises that might have been something I would have connected with, amazingly, are the ones I was approached by. That's been a very special thing. I can't say that about almost any other franchise, that they would have been the right fit for me. My thing about it, on both of them, is that I had a particular take that, for me, was personal."
"I feel like if I can't approach something through a perspective that resonates with me on some personal level, I don't know where to put the camera, and I don't know how to talk to the actors. I also felt like there have been some great Batman movies, and I didn't want to just do a Batman movie. I wanted to do a Batman movie that could be different.
So Matt Reeves took on the task of directing films in both the franchises with a desire to tell a story that was important to him personally, instead of trying to fit his style to match their narratives as established by previous films in the series. That was what the filmmaker did with Planet of the Apes, and that was his intention when making his pitch for The Batman.
"I pitched them what I would do, and I said, look, I appreciate that you want me to do a Batman movie, but I don't want to just do a Batman movie; I want to do a Batman movie that has a chance to be something different, and humanist, and can use the metaphors of the genre. It's the same reason I did the Apes movies. Those movies were incredibly personal to me, despite the fact that they were what they were."
"So I made my pitch for what it would be, and to my great pleasure, it turned out that they were totally open to that. I took a tremendously long time working with my partners on writing that script, and they waited. And when I turned it in, they wanted to make it. I've been incredibly fortunate that they've been so open to it being different. And one of the exciting things about it is that it drew an incredibly interesting and talented number of actors to want to be involved in it. To me, that's been the dream."
In the past Reeves has compared Caesar, the monkey protagonist of the new Apes trilogy, to Bruce Wayne, citing their internal struggles in an imperfect world. Both characters start out their respective stories as innocents until a personal tragedy forces them on the path to violence, which they come to believe is the only way to ensure justice. Considering Reeves' success with Ceasar in turning a monkey into a 3-dimensional, deeply tragic heroic figure, one can only imagine what he will do with one of the most complex superheroes in fiction. This comes from The Daily Beast.