While The Batman marks Matt Reeves’ first foray into making a DC Comics film, his Batman connection unexpectedly stretches back decades, courtesy of having industry veteran Jeph Loeb as a professor.

Reeves said in an interview with EW that, while researching comics for The Batman with Robert Pattinson, he discovered that two of his key sources of inspiration — Batman: The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory — were both written by Loeb. Having studied screenwriting under Loeb at the University of Southern California, Reeves recalled, “He was very responsible for me pursuing that because when I went to film school, I was very set on being a director. I’d always written what I was doing as a kid and when I was making short films when I was young because I thought these are the means to get to make a movie. And I never really separated the two.”

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Taking these courses also heavily influenced Reeves’ own screenwriting career, thanks to words of encouragement by Loeb. Reeves recounted, “when I was in [Loeb’s] screenwriting class, he said, ‘You have to continue pursuing this because this is something I feel you can do.’ When I started going through all the comics and I saw that he’d written [them], I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ And then I loved it.”

In addition to being a longtime writer for both DC and Marvel, as well as the former Executive Vice President of Marvel Television, Loeb wrote Batman stories that have influenced a number of DC adaptations across various mediums. Batman: The Long Halloween, which was adapted into two animated films last year, served as a primary influence on Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, particularly in its dynamic between Batman, Harvey Dent and James Gordon. Similarly, 2002’s Batman: Hush was made into an animated film in 2019, while two story arcs from his Superman/Batman run became 2009’s Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and 2010’s Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, respectively. Hush would also be incorporated into a side quest for Rocksteady Studio’s Batman: Arkham City video game and its sequel, Batman: Arkham Knight.

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Following an advance screening of The Batman, Reeves explained how The Long Halloween influenced his depiction of Paul Dano’s Riddler as a Zodiac Killer-inspired sociopath who leaves ciphers at his crime scenes for Batman to decrypt. A main aspect of the film will be Batman’s relationship with a young Lieutenant Gordon, whose GCPD rank matches the comics rather than his iconic Commissioner status. Other classic Batman foes appearing in The Batman include Catwoman and the Penguin, though rumors have also suggested that Eternals‘ Barry Keoghan might play this universe’ Joker.

The Batman arrives in theaters March 4.

KEEP READING: Matt Reeves’ The Batman Sequel Can Finally Redeem Mr. Freeze

Source: EW

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