In a recent interview with Nerdist, The Batman director Matt Reeves revealed some of his feelings towards Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. He clearly has a lot of love for these two films, often considered to be the peak of their respective cinematic runs with ole’ Batsy. Reeves expressed high praise for both films, particularly for their colorful antagonists.

Matt Reeves on Catwoman and the Penguin

“I love Batman Returns. Michelle Pfeiffer was incredible. I love it, I love it so much. It’s so incredible and she’s so incredible in it. I just think it’s such a beautiful movie. I love the Penguin stuff when he’s going down the sewers as the baby. It’s just like, wow. This is the beautiful thing about Tim Burton at his best in that way that he’s got that connection into the fantastical that feels very, very personal.”

Michelle Pfeiffer was the first actress to play Catwoman on the big screen, followed by Halle Berry (Catwoman) and then Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises). Pfeiffer’s time as the character is arguably the gold standard, the bar that Zoe Kravitz needs to outshine when The Batman hits theaters next summer. Kravitz’ take on Catwoman is eagerly anticipated by DC fans far and wide, and it’s reassuring to discover Matt Reeves’ love for her original cinematic incarnation. 

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Matt Reeves on Batman Returns

Matt Reeves goes on to mention Oswald Cobblepot, better known as The Penguin. Danny Devito played the character in Batman Returns, and Colin Farrell will be reinterpreting the iconic villain in Reeves’ film. Devito’s version was a loose adaptation, taking the Penguin moniker more literally than perhaps was intended by giving the character flippers for hands. After his parents saw his mutation, they abandoned him to the sewers where he was raised by penguins. His newfound origin revolved around loss and the pain of being cast aside, something that resonated with many fans, apparently including the man who would become director of The Batman.

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Little is known about Colin Farrell’s new version of Oswald Cobblepot. If Reeves can inject this villain with enough pathos to make him relatable or sympathetic, while still maintaining the more fantastic and extraordinary elements of Devito’s version, fans are in for a treat. Matt Reeves clearly knows what made Batman Returns work, and if we’re lucky, he will update and expand on the inner workings of Catwoman and The Penguin in his film. 

[Click on Page 2 for Matt Reeves on The Dark Knight’s Joker and his vision for the new Batman.]