February 17th, 2022 / 0 comments


I thought I should put together a master post for the interviews eventuating from the Warner Bros Press Screening Q&A on 10/11 February 2022. I will update this post as and when they surface.

17 February 2022

Geek of Steel: Talking with Matt Reeves about The Batman

The Batman is one of the most anticipated films of 2022 and recently I was invited to a virtual roundtable event where I was able to speak with the movies director/writer, Matt Reeves.

I was joined by journalists from all over the world and was enjoying listening to the in-depth answers about his directing methods, the cast and why The Batman is such a unique superhero film. I could have listened to his passionate words all day but before long it was my turn to speak with him about his creation.

I had a notebook filled with questions for this interview but I knew that time was limited so many got scrapped, changed and trimmed. Below is the audio transcription of my time with Matt Reeves and I hope you get to know a bit more about the director of this film and know that this film, and this beloved character, has been left in very safe hands.


Luke Bugg: Hello Mr Reeves, I’m Luke Bugg The Geek Of Steel from the UK.

Matt Reeves: Hi, oh cool.

L.B: I can’t wait to see this film and watch the audiences react to it.

M.R: That, by the way, is really fun. When we did our testing, it was the first time we put it in front of an audience and it was such a thrill to see people, you know.  We haven’t been to the movies in such a long time. To get people back to see this thing; it’s such a big screen experience and people’s reactions, like, seeing them cheer and react and scream – it’s why we go to the movies.

L.B: I would love to know what Batman means to you. He means something different to everybody, but what does he mean to you?

M.R Well. I think for me in this story, I think what I was looking toward was trying to find the personal way in. The character has meant something to me, like literally. Batman ’66, you know their Adam West series, it came out the year I was born, so as a kid I was obsessed with Batman and I didn’t see any of the campiness in that, I just thought he was super cool. There he was, he had the car – I loved the car, I loved the cowl, I loved all that stuff and of course I still love all those things. I love the outward shell of coolness that he has, but I think as a filmmaker what drew me in to the character was his human qualities. The fact that he really is doing what he’s doing, not in some kind of purely altruistic way.

I mean obviously you are meant to admire him in some degree, to put himself at risk but you realise that ultimately the real reason he is doing that is to make sense of his life. It’s kind of like he is still coping with what happened to him when he was ten and is still in many ways stuck in that and will never get over it and so I think that aspect of his character, watching someone who is dealing with their brokenness to try and find meaning and then finding these ways to transcend all of that. I think that is what the character means to me and I think it’s what people get excited about. 

This idea of seeing someone who you can relate to and goes through a struggle that you can connect to and yet somehow he has marshalled all of these resources to become this great mythic figure; that’s a pretty special character and I’d say really that it’s that aspect that mattered to me the most in the making of this and a big part of why I wanted Rob to play the character, because in looking at all the movies when I was writing, I was trying to find somebody in the age range.

I was like “okay, who is somebody in their early thirties?” because I wanted this to be a year two Batman and I had followed Rob’s work for a long time. When I saw the Safdie brothers’ movie “Good Time”, in the movie Rob has a kind of forceful, kinetic desperate drive, like he’s like a force of nature. I saw that and I loved that but the other thing that I felt from him was that his vulnerability was really present at the same time. You could see that under there, this guy was vulnerable and that was part of what was pushing him and driving him. Something about that just said to me well that’s the version of this character that I want to see, and I just became obsessed with the idea of him being him, he had no idea! In my mind I was writing the character for him and it turned out I was really lucky because it turned out that he happened to love Batman and wanted to play him. 

L.B: A perfect answer. Thank you.

16 February 2022

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The Insider: Robert Pattinson overacted in ‘The Batman’ to make the Dark Knight’s emotions visible since half of his face was covered

Director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson told Insider it wasn’t easy to capture on film.

“We had no idea how hard it was gonna be,” Reeves told Insider last week during a Q&A with the press after a special screening of “The Batman” on the Warner Bros.’ lot. “There were times when I would come to Rob and go, ‘OK, great. I just need to feel a little more and he’d be like, ‘More?'”

“I’m about to have an embolism,” Pattinson chimed in, joking about what it was like for him on set to hear those words from Reeves.

“Yeah, he was about to burst a vein,” Reeves replied.

Reeves pointed out that Batman movies usually don’t feature a lot of long dialogue scenes with Batman in his mask. The Caped Crusader isn’t exactly known for being the chattiest of comic-book characters. So, it’s vital that the hero can be expressive in subtle ways, especially with his eyes. 

“Sometimes we couldn’t even see your eyes, right?” Reeves asked Pattinson, recalling the challenges they faced making the movie, which sometimes resulted in them needing to do numerous takes of the same scene to get it just right. 

“One of the things I love to do when I’m working with actors is say, ‘Well, come take a look,’ and you’d be like, ‘How can that not be enough? I’m overacting. It’s ridiculous,'” Reeves said, referring to Pattinson. ” And I say, ‘Come take a look, Rob,’ and you go, ‘Oh, you can’t see my eyes.'”

“That was maybe the worst day of the whole shoot because I really genuinely thought it was you that was wrong,” Pattinson admitted to Reeves’ surprise. “I was like, how can we be doing 40 takes of this?”

“And I was looking at it. I’m like, ‘Wow. I just look like I’m — There’s nothing. There’s nothing happening,” Pattinson recalled of realizing Reeves was right while laughing.

Producer Dylan Clark added there was a day on set where Pattinson kept insisting to the crew that he was looking left in the cape and cowl. Pattinson later realized you couldn’t tell what direction he was even trying to look.

“Can I say he is the most lovely gentleman, wonderful person? I had no idea that he ever thought I was wrong. I had no clue,” Reeves said. 

All the work and numerous takes paid off. 

A great example of Pattinson’s expressive Bat eyes is teased in trailers. As Batman chases the Penguin in his Batmobile, there’s a brief moment where you can see one of Batman’s eyes get slightly larger than the other, as if he’s surprised by the situation in front of him.

That sort of playful eye expression is something you usually see more pronounced in animated versions of Batman, but in “The Batman” it was translated in live-action and it feels like you instantly know what’s going on in the vigilante’s head.

“It’s a true testament to Rob as a performer,” Reeves said. “He’s so technical as well as incredibly emotional. I would watch Rob get himself into that state where he would be getting really raw before we would shoot and then I would be saying like, ‘I think I need to see a little bit more through the cowl.'”

“It was definitely by design and it was a huge challenge. And thank God I had Rob to work with,” Reeves added.


Geeks of Colour: Q&A ~ Robert Pattinson And Matt Reeves Talk Finding The Iconic Voice For Batman 

Last week, I had the opportunity to see the highly anticipated film, The Batman! Afterward, the screening, I had a chance to attend the Q&A with some of the cast and crew from the film.

In the first part, Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson discuss what it was like to find the iconic voice for the caped crusader. 

With Batman playing a character that’s so iconic. Everyone focuses on the voice of Batman. So what was your process like in determining how you wanted t:o approach the voice of Batman?

Pattinson: It was a lot of trial and error. I mean, I kind of, I had a lot of time to think about it. I think it was cast about seven, seven, or eight months before we started shooting. So I was experimenting with a lot of different things. And I think the first two or three weeks, we’re kind of doing a variety of different voices. Because there’s only a couple of lines and the first few scenes we shot. And I think, yeah, it kind of – me and Matt just sort of settled on something, it just kind of started to sit in a very particular place. And, and it kind of felt like a progression from other kinds of bat voices. And, felt kind of somewhat comfortable to do as well.

And it’s weird, it just suddenly starts to feel right. And it kind of seems to be the more you embody the suit, the more you embody the kind of character. It just started to come out quite organically, and I think that’s kind of what I was trying to do with the character as well. I was trying to think he’s not putting on a voice. It seemed kind of he puts on the suit and then the voice just starts happening for him as a person as well.

Reeves: Like Rob said, we were exploring a lot. So there were different versions. Actually, in the beginning, I would say that the first scene that we shot was the scene in the mayor’s crime scene. And so you know, just that first line was like the thing about and where your voice was gonna sit. That was a whole thing. I have to say that. One of the amazing of many amazing things about Rob is he has such incredible technical control of himself of his instrument. I mean, as he would say, in terms of the acting, and he could do things with his voice, it was a crazy thing. I was like going, ‘Oh, you can go lower.’ Like, that’s amazing.

And he would just he went through this process of searching for where it felt like that voice should sit. And you know, one of the things that I was asking Rob about, you know, you have, he has an incredible ear for mimicry and accents. He can pick up anyone’s accent, there’s no dialect coach, this doesn’t happen. That’s just who he is. He’s like this. He’s an incredible person. And the thing I said, I said, ‘Well, gosh, you know, that’s so interesting.’ And he said, ‘Well, you know, I think and you can tell me if this is what I’m saying is total crap. But the voice is one of the key ways into the character for you, right?’ You told me that if you played someone who had exactly your accent, your voice would probably not come out exactly in your voice that that’s one of your ways in. So would you say that – now I’m interviewing you – but would you say that that is true? That it just seems to me that you have a very special process? 

Pattinson: I think, yeah, the one thing about this character, though, you kind of don’t, you don’t really, I mean, it seems obvious in retrospect, but you don’t really realize that it’s kind of a lot of it as like the whole character. The whole performance is your voice and it’s kind of how many different shapes you can do with your mouth. Kind of. But yeah, you don’t kind of realize until you’re doing and you’re like, ‘Oh, there has to be kind of subtle intonation changes and stuff.’ 


FORBES: Report From ‘The Batman’ Screening With Q&A Of Stars And Filmmakers

Last week I attended an advance screening of The Batman hosted by Warner Bros. at the studio lot, with rigorous Covid protections and requirements. My full review of Matt Reeves’ reboot of DC Comics’ Dark Knight franchise will be available soon, so be sure to check back soon for that. After the screening, the attendees were invited to a brief Q&A with director Reeves, producer Dylan Clark, and stars Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz. Read on for my first report with highlights from the event about the portrayals of Batman and Catwoman.

Now, let’s get to my first report about the screening event. I’ll focus here on the discussions that tie together regarding the development of Batman and Catwoman.

The event kicked off with questions from moderator/host Tiffany Smith of DC Daily, who asked how it felt for the filmmakers and stars to be face to face with an audience who saw the film. Matt Reeves explained, “We’ve been waiting five years to show [it]— We made this movie literally over the course of five years, insane pandemic in the middle of it… To finally be done with the movie and be able to show it with you means the world. So thank you guys for coming.”

Pattinson joked he was happy we were wearing masks so he couldn’t see our micro-expressions, laughing as he continued, “because I’m absolutely terrified, I feel like I’m on the block!” He then added seriously, “I’m very excited. Having a fanbase like Batman does, just to kind of bolster us through this period as well, and knowing that there’s still anticipation after taking forever to shoot the movie and then waiting forever for it to come out, and like there’s still this excitement, it’s really lovely.”

Dan Casey of Nerdist asked Pattinson his process for approaching the iconic bat-voice.

“It was a lot of trial and error,” replied Pattinson. “I mean, I had a lot of time to think about it. I think I was cast about seven or eight months before we started shooting and so I was experimenting with a lot of different things. And I think the first two or three weeks were kind of doing a variety of different voices, because there’s only a couple of lines in the first few scenes we shot… Me and Matt just sort of settled on something, it just kind of started to sit in a very particular place.”

Pattinson continued, “It felt like progression from other bat-voices, and felt kind of somewhat comfortable to do as well. It’s weird, it just suddenly starts to feel right. It seems to be the more you embody the suit, the more you embody the character, and it kind of started to come out organically. I think that’s kind of what I was trying to do with the character as well, I was [thinking] he’s not putting on a voice, he puts on the suit and then the voice just starts happening for him as a person as well.”

Smith followed up the question by asking Reeves what he thought the first time he heard Pattinson’s bat-voice and thought “that’s it,” to which Reeves responded, “We were exploring a lot, so there were different versions in the beginning, actually. I would say the first scene that we shot was [CENSORED to prevent spoilers], so just that first line… and where your voice was gonna sit, that was a whole thing.”

Thinking a moment, Reeves added, “I have to say that one of the amazing — of many amazing things — about Rob is he has such incredible technical control of himself, of his instrument as they would say in terms of acting. He can do things with his voice. It was a crazy thing, I was going, ‘oh you can go lower?’ I was like, ‘that’s amazing!’ He went through this process of searching for where it felt like that voice should sit. One of the things I was asking Rob about, he has an incredible ear for mimicry and accents. He can pick up anyone’s accent. There’s no dialect coach, that’s just who he is. He’s an incredible person.”

Reeves revealed that Pattinson told him, “The voice is one of the key ways into the character for [him],” and then the director asked Pattinson if it’s true that the actor has a special process in which finding the voice is an entry point into characters for him.

Pattinson confirmed this, agreeing, “Yeah… The one thing about this character is, it seems obvious in retrospect but you don’t really realize it’s kind of— a lot of it is, the whole character and performance is your voice. It’s kind of, how many different shapes can you make with your mouth! [Laughing] But yeah, you don’t kind of realize it until you’re doing it and you’re like, oh that has to be a kind of subtle intonation changes and stuff.”

Smith then inquired about Kravitz’s entry point for the character of Catwoman.

“The character is so well developed in the script,” Kravitz said, “and I was really excited to explore her backstory and where she comes from, and the process she goes through in terms of becoming… Catwoman.” Continuing, Kravitz explained, “It was really lovely to be able to play Selina and not have to jump straight to Catwoman. I think with these iconic characters, it can be overwhelming in terms of ‘now here’s Catwoman,’ and I have this wonderful opportunity to kind of slowly develop her, and the audience gets to come on that journey with me.”

Kravitz further discussed her process, stating, “Obviously, learning all of the combat and the way she moves, and finding ways to kind of hint at who she will become was kind of a fun process.”

Carter interjected about the “degrees and layers” Kravitz brought to her performance, including too many spoilers about dialogue and plot to include here, but the gist was how much Kravitz was able to understand and tap into the core emotions and vulnerabilities of the character and her purpose. Matt Reeves added, “[to Kravitz] When we met, I just knew you thought so deeply about the character, right? And that to me was so exciting. There were images literally from the comic books that she was like, ‘God if we could do this moment… can we do this image?’ and I was like, ‘Let me see if we can do this image,’ and we’d do that type of stuff. And there were certain things that are some of my favorite moments or lines in the movie, and they’re yours.”

Reeves pointed to a few specific scenes I won’t quote here, but it goes to the psychology of the character and the way her entire relationships with other characters move forward.

I asked about the potential for a Catwoman series on HBO Max or film (which could mean a prequel storyline, assume nothing) as part of Reeves’ plans to expand this Batman universe.

Reeves told me, “Look, what we’re really trying to do is to launch this world, and if the world embraces this then we have a lot of ideas for things we want to do, and for sure we want [to explore Selina’s character more in some way]… To me, the push-pull between [Batman and Catwoman] and the way she’s going to evolve [is at the heart of it]… We’re talking about a lot of things. But of course, all of it depends on we’re about to release this movie, and it comes down to how people receive it.”

I’ll have more reports from the screening and the Q&A coming this week, with some of my interpretations and discussions — all spoiler free, and without any reactions from me about the film itself until my full review publishes soon


COLLIDER: The Batman’: Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves Discussed Batman’s Past “A Lot,” But Didn’t Want to Do Another Origin Story

Collider participated in a press conference in Los Angeles where Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves revealed that while they didn’t want to shoot the traditional backstory, it was discussed at length.

Pattinson said: “We discussed it a lot. And it’s funny because you try and everyone wanted to avoid doing origin story, but then you invariably, it’s a new version of the character, and you’re so aware of the origins, but you end up trying to sort of play it in the subtext, in little moments. Because the story is set over such a short period, as well, it’s actually really difficult to kind of shove in as much as you can. The kind of emotional weight that just kind of lies in your body language and on your face, and hopefully it kind of comes across. Also, it’s kind of different to the traditional origin story as well. I mean, he doesn’t go away and train and come back as a fully mastered Batman at all. He’s not the traditional playboy persona as well.”

In other versions of the Batman story, Pattinson said, the residue of the trauma of losing his parents is “still there” for Bruce, “but he’s basically kind of mastered it and turned it into Batman”. It’s different in their interpretation, however. Pattinson said: “Whereas, what I was interested in talking to you (Reeves) about was like, it’s very… When he’s Bruce, it’s still the day his parents died. I mean, he hasn’t gone over it at all, and he’s become Batman, almost in order to survive his present rather than think, oh, I’m going to make a new future. It’s to protect himself as much as anything else. And as soon as he takes it off, then he just goes back to being a 10-year-old boy again, and the pain is still very much real.”

Reeves said that he thinks the idea of being Batman isn’t “altruistic, it’s a desperate attempt to make meaning […] the faces of everyone [Batman] comes up against, they’re the faces of the killers of your family”. And further, on the subject of the origin story, he argues: “Look, there are a lot of great Batman movies. So you want to find the way to do something that feels like it’s true and iconic and connects to the story, but still fresh.” Besides which — everyone already knows Batman’s background, and how he came to be. Reeves also suggested another interesting interpretation: “I kept thinking, well, there’s another way to go, which is this idea of thinking of him almost is a member of like the Kennedy family or one of the Royals, and in the wake of this death, he’s never quite recovered. And that if you were to see him on the street, if you ever saw him, he became a recluse, but if you saw him, he would look very pale, kind of bruised up, and you’d think this guy’s a drug addict. What is his problem? You’d think he was a real screw up, and I guess in a certain way, maybe he is. But what it is, is that that drug that he’s addicted to is escaping himself, and doing this thing, it’s this thing of trying to make meaning. We talked a lot about that.” [My emphasis]


Fandom.com: ‘The Batman’: How The Zodiac Killer and ‘The Long Halloween’ Influenced Riddler

THE BATMAN’S BACKSTORY

Though Batman’s origin is not shown in the film, Robert Pattinson said that when it came to that unseen backstory, “We discussed it a lot. It’s funny, because everyone wanted to avoid an origin story, but it’s a new version of the character and you’re so aware of his origins that you end up trying to sort of play it in the subtext and little moments. And because the story is set over such a short period as well, it’s actually really difficult to shove in as much as you can, the kind of emotional weight that just lies in your body language and on your face. Hopefully it comes across.”

There were areas in which Pattinson and Reeves knew they wanted to diverge from some well known versions of Batman, with Pattinson noting, “He doesn’t go away and train and come back as a fully mastered Batman at all and [Bruce is] not the traditional kind of playboy persona.”

Pattinson said he felt with his version of Batman, “There’s too much trauma for him to deal with,” with the actor explaining, “When he’s Bruce, it’s still the day his parents died. He hasn’t gotten over it at all. He’s become Batman almost in order to survive his present, rather than to think, ‘I’m going to make a new future.’ It’s to protect himself as much as anything else. And as soon as he takes [the costume] off, then he just goes back to being a 10 year old boy again, and the pain is still very much real. He’s sort of addicted to putting on the suit, because as soon as he puts that suit on, you go into a kind of primal state where you can eliminate the baggage of your past and you can just have kind of super heightened senses in the present, and it’s a relief as much as anything else. It’s a relief to be hurt and inflict that pain, which is inside your head, on others and get it out yourself when he’s had it for most of his life inside his own mind.”

Said Reeves, of this take on the character, “The idea of being Batman, honestly, it’s not altruistic. It’s a desperate attempt to make meaning,” noting he liked a thought Pattinson had that, “The faces of everyone you come up against, they’re the faces of the killers of your family…. Bruce Wayne, he’s totally lost.”

Added Reeves, “There are a lot of great Batman movies and so you want to find a way to do something that feels like it’s true and iconic and connects to the story but still fresh, and I kept thinking, ‘Well, there’s another way to go,’ which is this idea of thinking of him almost as a member of the Kennedy family or one of the Royals, and in the wake of this death, he’s never quite recovered. He became reckless. If you saw [Bruce Wayne], he would look very pale, kind of bruised up, and you’d think, ‘Is this guy a drug addict? What is his problem?’ You’d think he was a real screw up, and I guess in a certain way, maybe he is. That drug that he’s addicted to is escaping himself and doing this thing of trying to make meaning.”

This Batman has his usual gadgets and equipment, but Pattinson said, “It never feels like he’s built something to be cool. It doesn’t come from a place of supreme confidence… The suit, the Batmobile, and all these tools, they all seem like they’re just a guy obsessing in his basement, building it. Even the grapple gun, it’s like it’s Travis Bickle. It’s a guy who’s sitting there going, ‘My city is collapsing around me and I need to build these little tools.’ I don’t think that Bruce even really feels like, ‘When I’m in the suit, everyone’s gonna be scared of me.’ It’s just something that’s born out of this need and obsession.”

Reeves said that he loved the fantastical side of Batman too and felt that The Batman, “is very comics faithful, but it doesn’t lean as hard into the fantastical. But I think it would be interesting to try and unwind the fantastical and see how that could make sense here.”

Regarding any hesitation to bring in the fantastical elements, Dylan Clark said, with a laugh, “This is where Rob disagrees,” with Reeves agreeing Pattinson would be the one far more inclined to simply declare, “Oh, my God, of course, we’re doing Clayface next!”

Joked Pattinson, with a grin, “Just get a guy and put some clay on his face!”

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Rob’s Films
The Batman Role: Bruce Wayne | Batman
Director: Matt Reeves
Release Date: Aust: 3 March 2022 | US: 4 March 2022. Check out all upcoming release dates at our Film Page by clicking on News below


Tenet Role: Neil
Director: Christopher Nolan
Release Date: 26 August 2020. For DVD release dates head to our dedicated film page by clicking "News" below.



The Lighthouse Role: Ephraim Winslow
Director: Robert Eggers
Release Date: Screened at TIFF Sept 2019 | US 18 Oct 2019 - DVD releases at Film Page - click News below



The King Role: The Dauphin of France
Director: David Michôd
Release Date: World Premiere (Out of Competition) Venice Film Festival 2019 2 Sept 2019 | Now on Netflix. No DVD to be released.



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