As one of the most coveted roles in the industry, any actor chosen to suit up as Batman in a feature film faces an intense level of scrutiny, and with the notable exception of Christian Bale, every big screen Dark Knight has experienced at least some criticism from the fans after being announced in the role.
Thousands of people sent letters to Warner Bros. headquarters protesting the decision to hire Michael Keaton because he was best known as a comedian from movies like Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice, Val Kilmer came under fire for the sole reason that he wasn’t Keaton, George Clooney was dismissed as a ‘TV actor’ back when it was still used as an insult, Zack Snyder’s casting of Ben Affleck proved divisive based entirely on the fact that he was Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson’s association with Twilight had some folks up in arms when he was chosen to headline The Batman.
Matt Reeves’ reboot has faced several major setbacks due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and at this point, the standalone blockbuster has been in production for almost an entire year. It’s been a tough journey to the finish line, no doubt, and a new report making the rounds claims that the director is pushing his leading man to the absolute limit during shooting, due to his desire for perfection.
“Filming has been a gruelling process, especially for Robert, as Matt is such a perfectionist. He has been pushed to breaking point by ‘control freak’ director Matt Reeves,” say sources close to the production.
“He’ll insist on doing scenes over and over again and get bogged down in the tiny detail. Sometimes it’s like he doesn’t know when to stop. Matt has done blockbusters before, but this is another level. Batman is arguably the most popular superhero of all and by the time the film is released it will be the Dark Knight’s first solo movie in ten years.”
“Warner Bros. can’t afford for the fanbase to be disappointed and have thrown £90 million at the film. No one is denying that this is a high stakes production and that Matt is feeling the pressure to get it right. But Robert has had a tough time on these franchise movies before. He hated Twilight by the time it wrapped, and the last thing anyone wants is for him to become jaded.”
Playing the Caped Crusader isn’t supposed to be easy, but the combination of Reeves and Pattinson should be given the benefit of the doubt based on the quality of the trailer that was cobbled together from just a few weeks’ worth of footage, and having been delayed on several occasions already, there’s still plenty of time to fine-tune the finished product, even if The Batman is suffering from some internal turmoil.
Category: Articles & Interviews
Presiding over Venice Film Festival’s Horizons jury, French filmmaker Claire Denis stopped by the festival and Mastercard’s “Life Through a Different Lens: Contactless Connections” talk on Thursday. The “Beau Travail” helmer addressed the female directors issue head on. “I am not a pioneer. There weren’t many women when I started, I knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of support, but since #MeToo there is this fight to have more of them present, also at festivals. It doesn’t mean that it used to be hard and now it’s oh-so-easy. Making films is difficult for men and for women. But more difficult for women, still.”
Asked about pointers for those who want to embark on a similar career, Denis replied: “Be stubborn. That’s the only thing I know. When you say ‘embark,’ I see someone getting on a boat, crossing the oceans, and that’s what you need in your heart. You need to be sure it’s really what you want in order to survive many things, the first one being fear,” she said, especially the fear of being disrespected. “The respect for a female director isn’t as big as for a male director. Maybe the difference is not that big, but it exists.”
She also talked about her experience as an assistant director, working with the likes of Wim Wenders. “I was very interested in his trust and the belief that film is something you have to look for. We know it costs money and it has to happen, but every morning and every night, there is a search for it,” she said. “Yesterday I saw a film in the competition, directed by a young woman [Mona Fastvold] and I could see her shivering before the screening started. Coming to a festival, there is some glory to that. But that glory is built on millions of doubts, fear and fragility.”
Recounting her first movie experience, Denis mentioned her childhood in colonial French Africa. “My mother missed cinema so much! I was maybe 6 or 7 when I saw ‘War and Peace’ with Audrey Hepburn. For months I was dreaming about Russia and those faces, the snow and the Napoleonic Wars.”
While describing inspiration, Denis called it her “pain and joy.” “It’s something that’s supposed to come at my order: ‘Please, answer me, inspiration!’ But it doesn’t. It’s a fugitive.”
She also opened up about her methods on the set of “High Life,” starring Robert Pattinson. “I never shot with Robert before and we were a bit shy with each other. I said: ‘Robert, don’t be offended, but when I direct, I have to touch, and maybe I will touch you too. I can’t help it, it’s necessary for me.” He looked at me: ‘Touch?!’ He was surprised, but later understood what I meant. I am not seated by the monitor. I am close to the camera, I touch my DP, his shoulders, his head, the props and sometimes my actors and actresses too. Filmmaking is full of sensation.”
Vanity Fair has learned from a well-placed source that the star came down with the virus just days after shooting resumed.
Robert Pattinson is said to have tested positive for the coronavirus, causing filming of The Batman to be halted just days after the superhero drama resumed work at studios outside of London.
Warner Bros. would not comment on any individual worker’s health, sharing only this statement: “A member of The Batman production has tested positive for Covid-19, and is isolating in accordance with established protocols. Filming is temporarily paused.” Vanity Fair confirmed through a highly placed source that Pattinson was the individual who became sick.
The production previously shut down, along with most other entertainment industry work, back in March when the quarantine lockdown first hit.
Pattinson’s representative did not immediately return a request for comment.
In the new movie, directed by Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves, Batman is in his second year of vigilantism, and is trying to solve a series of gruesome serial killings. The case causes him to cross paths with Paul Dano’s The Riddler, Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle (before she becomes the criminal Catwoman), and the underworld figure Oswald Cobblepot, nicknamed The Penguin behind his back, played by Colin Farrell.
Jeffrey Wright co-stars as Commissioner James Gordon, Andy Serkis plays Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred, and John Turturro is the gangster Carmine Falcone.
“It’s a criminological experiment. He’s trying to figure out what he can do to finally change this place. You see that he’s charting what he’s doing, and he’s seeing he isn’t having any of the effect that he wants to have yet,” Reeves said recently at the DC Fandome event that revealed the new trailer. “The murders start to happen, and the murders start to describe a history of Gotham. It only reinforces what he knows about Gotham, but opens up a whole world of corruption that went much further.”
The movie is planned for release in 2021.
Source: Vanity Fair