It's been a tempestuous week as far as the solo Batman movie has been concerned. Following the news that Ben Affleck was stepping down as director, the search was on for a new helmer to continue the Dark Knight saga. Fortunately we may have got one in the form of Matt Reeves, who is in final negotiations to take on the project – here's our reasons why this is very good news.
He can make us grab our popcorn
Reeves' first notable directorial effort was the 2008 found footage smash Cloverfield, depicting a terrifying monster invasion of Manhattan from the point of view of those filming it. Stocked with plenty of dark and suspenseful moments, the ominous texture and atmosphere of Cloverfield bodes well for when Reeves takes on the broodiest, moodiest of superheroes, the Dark Knight.
He can do incredible set-pieces
In 2014 Matt Reeves made the official leap to blockbuster territory when he turned out Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The follow-up to the unexpectedly brilliant 2011 reboot Rise, no-one expected this to top its predecessor, but it did, boasting seamless CGI motion capture effects that immersed us in the ongoing battle between intelligent simians and warring humans.
Plus, it had multiple apes on horseback firing machine guns – the sort of audience-friendly moment that a character like Batman will offer in spades.
His facility with special effects
The Batman movie won't be light on spectacle – how can it be after the action-heavy extravaganzas of Christopher Nolan's trilogy, plus Batman v Superman? What you therefore want is a filmmaker who is confident at wrangling both effects and storytelling. Reeves did exactly that in the aforementioned Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, whose photo-realistic CGI was really quite extraordinary.
He returns to the territory of the apes this summer with threequel War for the Planet of the Apes and it promises to one-up the level of action again. Can we expect The Batman to upgrade the level of spectacle even higher? It's not unreasonable to assume so.
He can find the human factor
When dealing with a character like Batman, it's crucial to locate the tortured human being beneath the mask (or cowl, if we're quoting Alfred from LEGO Batman). After all, Bruce Wayne is possibly the most anguished of all the major league superheroes, as if Christian Bale and Ben Affleck's recent portrayals didn't make it clear enough.
Reeves is well positioned to handle this: in Dawn he was able to invest a genuine sense of empathy in Andy Serkis' portrayal of Caesar, and he also made us sympathise with Gary Oldman's antagonistic human who had lost his family. Let's not forget about his well-received 2010 horror remake Let Me In, in which a tender relationship between a young boy and a girl vampire brought the emotional fireworks.
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