THE BATMAN Interview: Producer Dylan Clark On Finding The Right Cast And Establishing A New Tone (Exclusive)

The Batman producer Dylan Clark talks to us about finding the right cast for the movie, whether the sequel will move beyond Year Two, telling a very different Dark Knight story with Matt Reeves, and more.

The Batman finds the Caped Crusader in his early years, struggling to balance rage with righteousness as he investigates a disturbing mystery that has terrorized Gotham City. As you'll now know from our review, director Matt Reeves has delivered a very special movie with his vision for the World's Greatest Detective, and producer Dylan Clark was at his side to help bring it to life.

Clark is arguably best known for his work on the critically acclaimed Planet of the Apes trilogy, though he's also produced movies and TV shows like Patriots Day, Bird Box, and The Wilds

Now, he and Reeves are looking to create an entire Batverse, and Clark talks here about creating a new reality for the World's Greatest Detective, The Batman's impressive cast, and putting a fresh spin on a character we're all extremely familiar with. The producer also addresses potential sequel plans, and details his favourite moment from the movie that helps establish its tone.

Watch our full interview with Clark about The Batman in the player below. 

When you and Matt first decided to come on board The Batman, how soon was it that both of you realised that this was maybe a story that had to take place in its own Batverse rather than trying to make it fit into that world with characters like Aquaman and The Flash?

You know, from the beginning when Matt started to think about the story he wanted to tell, Warner Bros. was really open and game to doing that original version of what he wanted. Matt is a real filmmaker who is trying to do something unique and different and great. It’s a testament to Warner Bros. that they really did want to have a standalone Batman movie that, hopefully, can grow into sequels and other things. 

You’ve obviously assembled a really terrific cast here, but was there anyone you really had to fight for? Whether it was convincing Warner Bros. you were making the right decision or even the actors themselves by making it clear they were right for the characters you had in mind for them? 

Warner Bros. was great. There was never a moment where they said, ‘Are you crazy? How could you put Colin Farrell in a…’ Although I think they did go, ‘Wait a minute, you’ve got good looking Colin Farrell and you’re turning him into this guy?’ He was so brilliant in the part, I think they were happy we did that. I don’t think there was anybody…I think Matt Reeves is such a great filmmaker, people took it seriously. For us, we really wanted to get the most of all the actors you could see in all the great movies, and put them in this universe. Sometimes, there’s a knock on comic book movies and a lot of these people want to do bigger, higher elevated things that are very dramatic. Matt in his discussions with them made them realise he was trying to do something ambitious with good quality. We got a great group of actors. 

Of course, this is a very specific Year Two story for Batman, and I’m curious moving forward - and I know there have been tentative talks about a sequel - if you think it’s going to stay in this Year Two period or could we jump forward to Year Three, Four, Five, Six, and so on?

I really don’t know. I think it’s always about, ‘Where is Bruce emotionally?’ and where you want to pick up with him. We didn’t want to do an origin story with this. We didn’t want to see him as a Batman who had perfected his Batman ways. We wanted to see him grappling with what that meant. I think we earned the arc at the end of the day. So, it’s a little bit premature [but] we’re really focused on getting this movie seen on the big screen by as many people around the globe and they’ll hopefully all say very loudly that they want more. Then, all of the ideas that have been percolating in our heads - you know, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…?’ - we can start to put on paper and kind of land. I can’t say if it will…I suspect it would go a little bit further than Year Two.

There have been so many versions of Batman on screen over the years, all with vastly different tones. For you and Matt, what did you want to do with this version of the character that would separate Robert Pattinson’s Batman from those we’ve seen in the recent past and even going back decades?

I think we were really focused on trying to create a grounded and emotional story that connects in a thematic way. It’s really about doing a proper story about a person that is going to find out a lot of truths he didn’t know about his family legacy. So, it needed to feel grounded. It needed to be set against a Gotham City that felt like a Gotham City in the United States. We were really trying to make something that felt contemporary that was in the tradition of the Batman movies. Again, Zack’s movies are great. Nolan’s movies are great. Those also have some dark tones to them; we just think we’re following in the lineage of those movies. 

Without getting into spoilers, when I watched the film, that Batmobile sequence really blew me away, and the beginning where the criminals of Gotham are just terrified of this idea of Batman was amazing. For you, having seen the film after spending the past five years working on it, what surprised you the most?

I think that moment, you know, it’s been in the trailers so I can talk about it, when Batman comes out, beats that guy up, and hits those two extra punches before saying, ‘I’m vengeance.’ That tone set there, that’s Robert Pattinson doing those fights for real. He’s really intense in a way we haven’t quite seen Batman and that, for me right there, was our bona fides. We were really stamping something uniquely different into this character’s trajectory. 

The Batman in cinemas 4th March.

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