We will avoid the usual banality of cinema articles explaining that such and such a film is one of the most anticipated of the year, especially to evoke a Batman feature film. Basically, by the nature of the character, of the Hollywood industry, of the story of the bat man on the big screen, the project excites young and old alike – probably rather the big ones, unlike in the MCU. Add to that a desire to make a film alone, as was the case with Todd Phillips, with a cast bigger than a Batmobile (Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis , Barry Keoghan… want more?), and a respected image maker on the other side of the Atlantic (Matt Reeves, to whom we owe the first Cloverfield of the name, and the last two Planet of the Apes) , and you will understand our impatience. While the film will be in French theaters on March 2, we had the chance to speak with one of its producers, Dylan Clark. And here are the five things we learned. 1. The basic idea was to avoid making an origin story It’s hard to imagine that we could still want to lay yet another Batman film. Knowing that we have had, in less than thirty years, already at least eight with five different actors in the leading role. So obviously, we would like to know where the idea came from, the desire to tackle it. Dylan Clark recounts the origin of the project as follows: “It happened with a phone call from Warner asking us [à Matt Reeves et moi, ndlr] what it would be like to explore the Batman universe. It’s the kind of phone call that’s both great because, Batman, anyway [rires], and at the same time terrifying, because, oh shit, how do you make a ‘Batman’ movie these days? Do we have to make sure we recognize it? Should we do very differently? Are there still other things to tell?” A legitimate question. And if Dylan Clark guarantees that they have not tried to differentiate themselves from Nolan, because “when you write, you don’t think to what has already been done but to what we want to do”, the fact is that the British filmmaker has permanently changed the way we had to design superheroic films. It seems logical, for a character without power , to have a realistic environment. But how not to do a Batman Begins bis?” Matt’s process is always to come back to the base of the character, to his themes, his emotions, to try to build a plot around that. He came back to me with an idea that seemed obvious, namely that we would approach a Batman who has been Batman for a year or two, so who would not go back to his origin, but who is still at the beginning of his adventures. masked, and who still has to make things clear. Let’s make him a character who tries to do good, even if he has a very big anger and a desire for revenge. His behavior is questionable. Let him beat up criminals, even if he doesn’t kill them, he seriously hurts them. This emotional exploration, which allows us to tell who Batman is, but also who Bruce Wayne is. And then, Matt loved the idea of really developing the detective aspect, and Riddler is the perfect character for that, for the investigations of crimes to solve. “That is perhaps the main difference: we will have a real Batman detective, as in the comics, and as few filmmakers have really been able to approach it 2. The idea of a new Batman film predates the Joker film at least the launch of such a project and its reception by the press and fans as soon as the film was announced, is not at the origin of the project, the guy sends us back to the ropes. , the film was launched well in advance. But without a precise date, it’s impossible to understand how it came together. Clark explains more precisely – and justifies the absence of the villain in the project, whom some hoped to meet: “We have to realize that it took us a really long time to build a story, to be sure that it was really solid. More than a year. Let’s say we started pre-production at the end of 2019, so we had attacked well in advance. We didn’t know much about other similar projects, and didn’t want to use the Joker. We thought that for the investigative side, he was not the ideal villain. “It is true that at least there is less pressure. Because we have already had three Jokers on the big screen, all cults. “we had only one Riddler, ridiculously kitsch (Jim Carrey in Batman Forever). Still, in terms of iconic villain, we will have a third Catwoman (the two previous ones, Michelle Pfeiffer and Anne Hathaway, both being successful), and a new villain after the incredible version of Danny DeVito at Tim Burton. The bar is high despite everything. 3. The inspiration for the film comes from certain cult comics Obviously, it is hard to imagine filmmakers tackling the cultural monster that is Batman without going to draw on the basic material, namely the comics. Even if we suspected the answer a little, we wanted to find out for sure and ask the person concerned which books influenced the writing the most of the feature film, as much for the atmosphere as for the intrigue. Clark advances: “Oh, there are several s, of course. ‘The Long Halloween’, ‘Year One’… Those are really exceptional, because they talk about the beginning, so that helped us a lot. We didn’t take everything, of course, but we liked the atmosphere. Likewise, in terms of tone, there’s something about ‘The Killing Joke’ that’s really scary and dark. Also, Matt wanted to push Bruce and Batman to their limits, emotionally speaking, and these great comics do that. It was really important for us.” Year one is one of the most cult titles in the history of the batman. Signed Miller (thus necessarily with questionable morals and background), it revived the business and sales at DC. It is even said that Aronofsky wanted to adapt it, but that the project fell through. If it was quoted, worn out (in Begins in the first place, but also in the film of Timm’s animation, spin-off from his cult animated series, Batman vs. the Masked Ghost), it was never really adapted strictly speaking, but from what Matt Reeves says, this could be the movie that comes close most of Miller’s texts.Note, for the most curious, that Darwyn Cooke’s books from the 2000s have also been cited elsewhere, such as Batman: Ego or Catwoman – The Last Hold-up. from The Long Halloween, Bitter Victory, and no doubt the other part of the Loeb and Sale duo, Catwoman in Rome. reading. 4. The role was written for Pattinson, who had the click by wearing the costume of Val Kilmer There are three scenarios for the design of a film: either the production imposes a person to play the main role without the director has too much say, either there’s a real casting process or the person who came up with the story has a specific set of actors in mind. It would seem, according to the words of this dear Clark, that for this new Batman, we are in the last case. “We went to people, and we got who we wanted”, he says with a certain pride. . Some roles seemed obvious, like Zoë Kravitz to play Catwoman, who “came to our meeting with short hair and a specific look. It’s simple: it looked like she came out of a Frank comics Miller. She already looked a lot like Selena Kyle. “For the choice of the protagonist, we imagine that it was more complicated. To hear Dylan Clark, not so much: “Matt had quite specific people in mind while writing, in particular Robert [Pattinson, ndlr]. He’s a huge actor, and Matt has been in love with his work for seven, ten years. I know he finds it extremely courageous, to go to such intense and daring roles. Luckily, Rob wanted to do it, so it was perfect.” Seeing Pattinson accept a role like this, he who avoids franchises like the plague since his experience as a vampire shining like a disco ball, is surprising. assures in an interview: it’s the cracra side of the character and the experimental aspect of the approach that he likes. And then, like any kid, he must have had the secret wish to embody Bruce Wayne one day. Clark says that he saw Pattinson become Batman in the space of a second: “The first time I saw him in costume was for the camera test. He tried on several costumes, most of which frankly did not suit him. Then he had to try Val Kilmer’s [pour ‘Batman Forever’ de Joel Schumacher, sorti en 1995, ndlr] and it is clearly the one that suited him best. And I remember that once inside, he said to me: ‘It’s really weird, it’s very transforming. As soon as you put the suit on, it’s like you become that guy, really.’ [Rires.] Batman, what. It was pretty crazy to see him become the character just by wearing this costume.” 5. Yes, there will be an assumed grunge atmosphere Anyone who saw the first trailer could feel the grunge atmosphere that emanated from the film. This which is rare enough in a modern blockbuster, enough to be noted at least. And we don’t just say that because there’s Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” in the background (although the director readily admits that it listened to this song a lot while writing the screenplay). Just look at Bruce Wayne’s face, the flowing makeup, the dirty hair… far from the Playboy we’ve had so far. Dylan Clark confirms: “Matt has always saw his character as a fading rock star, like a Kurt Cobain whose family has money but absolutely doesn’t care. Who would want only one thing, it is to take to the streets of the city to establish his vision of revenge.” A few weeks ago, Reeves said in the columns of Empire that thinking so much about Cobain allowed him to give life to a “Black Knight having gone through a great tragedy and becoming a recluse”, far from the flashes and the bling-bling that we know him. Moreover, in this same first teaser, we find a really striking scene. A fight without editing, without music, just raw blows. Speaking of the film’s grungy and dark vibe, we asked Clark if there would be identical moments in the film. He answers in the affirmative, before concluding: “Matt wrote this scene exactly as it could have been shot, and it was quite important to him. Rob makes the fight. We wanted everyone to understand that this Batman has not yet perfected his way of being Batman and is still working on the revenge part that he must overcome, with a darkness in him. And the two extra shots at the end, which are useless in themselves, are very important to show that this guy is fundamentally uncontrollable.