The Batman: why the hero always fascinates film after film? – Cinema news

Fourth and last part of our interviews in the form of a teaser with the team of “The Batman”, which today looks back on the success of the character and the reasons which allow him to survive from one reboot to another.

The Batman is in the home stretch that separates it from our dark rooms, where it will be released on March 2. So here is the last part of our interviews with the film crew, which notably evokes the figure of the Bat Man and the reasons why his love rating is intact. And that it can survive and continue to fascinate from one reboot to another.

Matt Reeves (Director, co-writer): Batman is a tenacious character, who has been around for over 80 years. There’s a reason it continues to resonate today, and I think it has a lot to do with its ability to adapt to the times we live in. For the purposes of the story I wanted to tell, I went back to the first comic books to see where it comes from. Bob Kane and Bill Finger created it with black sensibility.

We were close to World War II [sa première apparition date d’un numéro paru le 30 mars 1939, ndlr] and it was in this context that film noir was born. There was something about the darkness of this story, about this person trying to fight corruption and struggling in an imperfect world, and that to me is the heart of Batman. That’s what makes it still relevant and I wanted to build on that.

One aspect of the story is incredibly dark, with a character at least as important as Batman or his gallery of villains: Gotham itself. Gotham is a metaphor for our world. It’s a corrupt city where everyone seeks their own ends, and where it’s hard to determine what is right or wrong. In this respect, the film is very topical. And you can different ways to draw parallels between Gotham and our world. Except that Gotham has its own history and its own specificities.

Gotham is a metaphor for our world (Matt Reeves)

Dylan Clark (Producer): Gotham is a place that reflects our societies. It’s the most corrupt of cities, but there are elements of how ours are run. And a lot of things are happening, all over the world right now, with elected officials, unrest, changes. Today’s society is facing many changes, and it seemed appropriate to look at a character in such a city.

Batman’s wish is to confront the things that must be confronted, to fight this injustice. He does some very suspicious and dark things, and thus comes across as a symbol of the fear he evokes in some. But he is also a symbol of hope. And the world needs a Batman right now.

I have the feeling that we are at a time when we want a hero to be present and to impose himself. May he not be afraid to confront the ills of society. And transforms himself into a symbol of hope. We care about Batman in that we all want to do things right and fight injustice. We are also impressed because her super power is to successfully endure physical pain.

The batman: why the hero always fascinates film after film? - cinema news
Warner Bros. Pictures

“I’m revenge”

There’s like a mythological transformation in seeing this character without superpowers doing all these things and becoming this intimidating, scary creature that calls himself Batman. And this explains in particular the connection with the public, and its love rating which has lasted for more than 80 years. This is why we are happy to have been able to show it in a new way, with this idea of ​​revenge and the character who has been playing the hero for two years, which we already saw in comic books of course.

The Batman is not an origin story, nor is Bruce the perfected hero he later becomes. He hasn’t fully understood his role yet, and showing his anger seemed interesting to us. Like in that first trailer, when he gives that guy some extra punches and says: “I Am Revenge”.

The film then seemed unprecedented in terms of tone, and gave people the impression of never having seen the character like this, in full obsession. Our goal is obviously to get him out of this situation so that he becomes the beacon of hope that Batman represents. But it is in this development that our film finds its specificity.

REINVENTING CHARACTERS IN CINEMA

Zoë Kravitz (Selina Kyle / Catwoman): I was both excited and nervous when I found out I got the part. No matter the job, I’m excited when I land one, but now I couldn’t believe it was happening. And what was really crazy was when the news was announced publicly: I had forgotten how important it was for other people too.

My phone kept ringing, and between calls, emails, and texts. I even ended up turning it off because it felt like my birthday. It was even crazier than my birthday. And that’s when I realized how important this role was. Not just for me but also for the rest of the world. I’ve had a few pretty crazy days.

Robert Pattinson (Bruce Wayne/Batman): There is something very beautiful here, and it is always the case with each series that has survived its own success over the years, namely that each actor who took on the role gave their all for the saga. There hasn’t been a slow period, nor has Batman been totally reinvented, because everyone has always loved him. But each version has its fans and that’s why I always want to ask people who their favorite Batman or James Bond is.

Each version is different because each actor brings something specific to it. It’s an exciting process when you find out what you yourself can bring to it, and you never really know until the movie starts.

The batman: why the hero always fascinates film after film? - cinema news
Warner Bros. Pictures

Paul Dano

Paul Dano (Edward Nashton / The Riddler): I was lucky that this version of the Riddler, on paper alone, was very different from anything I had seen or read before. Because it gave me a lot of creative freedom right from the start. And it’s kind of fun to look at all that energy that’s been there for decades in comic books. I had fun immersing myself in it, including the comic books to which the film is close and in which there was not necessarily the Riddler.

It was always fun and educational to immerse yourself in the Gotham vibe and Batman energy. This helps to understand their importance and why it has had this place in our culture and has kept it for so long. Why he is a character that we can continue to reinterpret. What’s amazing is that the initial concept of Batman has so much potential that it can keep being revisited, both in film and in print.

Jim Carrey was my first favorite actor. I was obsessed with Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber or The Mask, which I saw in 1994, when I was very young. And in the end there is nothing in common between our Batman and our versions of the Riddler, except that I am a big fan of him.

Jeffrey Wright (James Gordon): We worked a lot with Matt Reeves and, in my case, Robert Pattinson, to tell this story. So I was more focused on what Rob was doing and what Matt wanted to achieve than what others had done with my character before. While being aware of the films that had been made before, of course. Certain accents here and there can therefore echo something earlier, or be complementary to it. But it was still different overall.

And as Paul said for his character, the actor who played Gordon before me was a huge influence on me. I don’t think an actor has fascinated and influenced me as much as Gary Oldman, especially at the start of my career. When I discovered Sid & Nancy, I saw it as an invitation to go into areas where I hadn’t been invited before, in terms of intensity and emotional availability. I love the idea of ​​being able to take over the reins of this character. Because I have huge respect for him and I wouldn’t try to copy what he did.

The initial concept of Batman has so much potential that it can continue to be revisited, in film and in print (Paul Dano)

Zoe Kravitz: We must almost forget that we are playing characters who have already been seen before. And I went through this process from the start and this alchemy test with Robert, who I saw coming in this suit [celui de George Clooney dans Batman & Robin, ndlr]. There is something surreal, and I say to myself “We’re adults and what are we doing here? We’re dressing up and you’re Batman, but we have to have a serious conversation?” You have to overcome that.

Once you get there, you can really live in character. What was also interesting was living through this Covid period while we were filming and seeing the despair the world was in: it helped me to put myself in the shoes of this woman who observes what she believes itself to be his city, as the world and society as we know it crumbles.

His beliefs are also challenged, and it was also interesting to draw inspiration from what we had experienced with Donald Trump. Once these high stakes are raised, it’s easier to put the rest aside and focus on what the characters need at a specific time.

A CURRENT BATMAN… SO POLITICAL?

Peter Sarsgaard (Gil Colson): Every element of our daily life is political, so the film obviously is. It is the filter through which we approach several aspects of our life, so we cannot avoid it. The Batman isn’t bogged down in politics, either. It’s just that several characters, including my own, who work for the government or public authorities in one way or another serve two masters. And these are not necessarily the people you would want to see in these positions.

John Turturro (Carmine Falcone): To be able to lead anything, you know, you have to negotiate, make compromises. And people who get or take power end up being corrupted in one way or another by living with it. Especially those who have lived with it for a long time. And the story is almost always the same in big cities: there are always these behind-the-scenes elements, and corruption because people are greedy and maybe not making enough money.

The batman: why the hero always fascinates film after film? - cinema news
Warner Bros. Pictures

John Turturro

Not to mention the fact that people are parasites, and take things from others. Originally, the Batmans were detective comics, when they appeared in the late 30s. There were a lot of gangsters then because they were very important at the time. Then film noir came after WWII, and comic books also changed with the times.

Peter Sarsgaard: Yeah, and in those movies, there weren’t necessarily good guys and bad guys between the cops, the government guys, and all those characters. We were more in between, with good and bad in everyone. It is in these waters that the characters navigate.

Interview by Maximilien Pierrette in Paris on December 6, 2021

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