Chefs keep the recipe that works secret, so it’s not for film directors who love sharing their sources of inspiration. So also Matt Reeves during the long press campaign often explicitly said which films he was inspired by. The one with the world of comics (Batman: Hush, the long Halloween, Year two…), it is a partnership that has allowed a real adaptation. That is, a very precise adherence to the tables, while expressing it with a fully cinematic visual language. Here are some of the film titles that played an important role in the construction of The Batman.
The films that inspired The Batman: Seven
A ruthless killer, two policemen at the antipodes who try to stop his repeated murders. A very precise drawing, told by the psychopath with clues left here and there. How to anticipate his moves? And how can you be sure that by playing the killer game you don’t become part of his own plan?
David Fincher’s Seven didn’t just inspire the storyline and main pivots, it helped director Matt Reeves build all the visual scaffolding. There are several shots that recall him directly. The premises, the damp streets, the dark apartments make it seem The Batman almost a sequel (or a remake). It is certainly the greatest source of inspiration, like Taxi Driver it was for Jokerbut it is certainly not the only one.
As noted by theHollywood Reporter the character of Riddler played by Paul Dano is inspired to the serial killer Zodiac. The aforementioned Fincher drew from it a film of the same name based on the true story, taking care of it on the two investigative books by Robert Graysmith, Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America’s Most Elusive Serial Killer. The killer in fact terrorized Northern California with repeated murders in the late 1960s.
It seems that during one of his crimes he wore a homemade costume. The bizarre mask and the raincoat of the villain di The Batman they are just as amateur and look a lot like the one thought in Fincher’s film.
Riddler also leaves clues in the form of puzzles. Even in reality, the killer of the zodiac gave concrete signs of his passage with coded messages for the police. In particular, the question mark, symbol of the character recalls his “signature” left at the crime scene.
There is a big difference though: although Paul Dano’s character wants to make us believe that he is something more than an individual because his ideas are spread in a very dense and collective network, there are few doubts about who is pulling the strings. Instead in reality the detectives never managed to capture the killer and the case is still open.
There is much more talk about the differences from the Dark Knight trilogy than about the similarities. Yet without Christopher Nolan this realistic drift of The Batman it wouldn’t have been so extreme. Reeves also cites some iconic shots: during the chase of the Penguin his laughter from the car seats is a homage to Heath Ledger’s Joker. The interrogation scene also seems to refer to the style set by the previous films. Many themes, such as the corruption of Gotham, the search for a symbol of hope, the looming death in the streets hit by attacks that cut bridges or throw the entire city into the sea seem to continue the never really closed speech by Nolan with his third chapter.
Between the films quoted by Matt Reeves Roman Polanski’s Chinatown is also an inspiration. In neo-noir, detective Jack Gittes (Jack Nicholson) follows a series of crimes discovering the corruption that has swept the city of Los Angeles on all levels of the population. Batman’s investigation is very similar. In fact, he discovers shady trades and rounds of dirty money. A underworld that has taken every branch and that is also intertwined with the family history of Bruce Wayne.
The violent arm of the law
With a chase like the one against the Penguin one could not fail to mention William Friedkin’s film. Reeves frames the cars the same way. He puts the camera at wheel height. He looks through the windows and frantically mounts the action in the streets. The violent arm of the law provided the point of view at street level, and the atmosphere of a 70s thriller, even in an absolutely modern context touched by new technologies.
Less noticeable than previous films, Strange Days by Kathryn Bigelow is an inspiration for the use of the subjective and observation devices. A Bruce Wayne increasingly torn between his civilian and superhero identity uses special contact lenses to record everything that happens to him.
A virtual memory, an extremely valuable commodity when it comes to conducting an investigation. Unfortunately, in the film there was no time to use this medium reflecting on the power of the eye as it was done in 1995. However, all the sequences “in other people’s heads” are similar to Bigelow’s ideas in her very important noir.
Secret listening, peering unseen, also come from The conversation by Francis Ford Coppola.
A call for Inspector Klute and the relationship between Batman and Catwoman
Alan J. Pakula’s film inspired the relationship between Batman and Catwoman. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are like Donald Sutherland And Jane Fonda. In A call for Inspector Klute between man and woman, in addition to affection, there is also fear for the fate of the latter threatened by a sexual maniac. The director mentioned the film in a chat with Den of Geek. “Klute is so honest and seems naive. I think she judges her and believes she is a certain type of person looking at the world she lives in. Yet he can’t help but be attracted and influenced by her. He poses as her superior only to find that he is deeply connected to her“.
Furthermore Zoë Kravitz in one scene she wears a wig that makes her look like the character of Alice played by Natalie Portman in Closer from Mike Nichols.