Batman fans rejoice! After months of silence, Matt Reeves finally spoke up about his DC project, The Batman. According to Reeves, the film hits theaters in 2021 and will be a dark, mystery-oriented noir featuring a bunch of Batman's best villains. Obviously, that got us speculating as to what kind of story Matt Reeves was going to tell, so we dug through our favorite Batman classics to find which one fits his description best. We came up with a list of them, and we thought it would be fun to share it with you. Strap on your utility belts and get your brooding faces on, Bat-fans, as we present to you 10 Classic Batman Stories Matt Reeves Should Adapt For The Batman.
10. Scar Of The Bat
Our first entry on this list is a little bit out there, because the storyline's Batman isn't actually Bruce Wayne. However, this title perfectly fits the tone Matt Reeves seems to want for his Batman film. This story takes place in the crime-ridden 1930s, when Elliot Ness himself puts on a cape and cowl to battle Al Capone. Even though we're pretty sure Warner Brothers will put Bruce Wayne behind the cowl, it would be really interesting to see a 1930s-era Batman tale. After all, Batman is a reflection of the pulp heroes from that time, and getting him back to his gritty, simplified vigilante roots would be a cool move from Reeves.
9. Wayne Of Gotham
Perhaps another odd source for a Batman movie, 'Wayne of Gotham' is an underrated prose novel set in the Batman mythos. It's a fantastic detective story about both Batman and Bruce Wayne's past, and it features some great character moments from the Bat-family. What's really great about this story, though, is how well it ties together the costumed criminals of Gotham. Author Tracy Hickman gives us a DaVinci-Code-level conspiracy tale featuring every kooky villain Batman has ever faced. When the truth about how each and every one is connected, it's hard not to be utterly shocked. Check out the action-packed, well-written novel for more details.
This eerie, quiet little Bat-mystery comes from legendary Batman author Grant Morrison, and it would be fantastic to see on screen. The story features Gotham's criminal underworld coming to Batman for help, after a vicious killer called Mr. Whisper starts wiping out their people. Even though the comic actually uses regular, run-of-the-mill gangsters as prey for Mr. Whisper, Reeves could easily adapt this story to feature Batman's rogues coming to him for help. After all, Batman has plenty of villains to go around. If one or two die onscreen as a result of Mr. Whisper, it's not like he'd be short on antagonists.
7. The Cult
There are some people who believe The Cult is one of the best Batman tales of all time, and judging by the names on its cover, it's easy to see why. Iconic horror artist Berni Wrightson lent his creepy style to this dark and horrifying tale, and the story was written by none other than Jim Starlin, or as you may know him, the creator of Thanos. The Cult is a great story about a city gone mad, where nothing and no one is safe from the frenzied actions of a mob. In a country like the US, where mob mentality is becoming more dangerous by the day, The Cult would affect audiences in a real-world way.
6. The Black Mirror
Once again, this story doesn't actually feature Bruce as the Dark Knight. Actually, it's a great little tale about Dick Grayson's time in the suit, but don't let that sway you. The Black Mirror is as authentic and smart a Batman story as there's ever been. Now, you might argue that Warner Brothers would never make a Batman movie without Bruce Wayne, but the idea isn't that far-fetched in our current comic book movie moment. Think about it, we just met someone calling himself Spider-Man who wasn't Peter Parker at all, and that movie was one of the best received of 2018. Even if WB doesn't make The Black Mirror, mark our words: Legacy characters are coming.
5. Under The Red Hood
Speaking of Batman's sidekicks, here is an awesome story that features as many Bat-family members as it does Bat-villains. Actually, the titular character is a little bit of both. Audiences know Jason Todd from the references Zack Snyder made in Batman v Superman as well as the many interviews he gave about the film, so adapting the character's most popular story arc wouldn't bamboozle as many casual Bat-fans as you think. In fact, Under the Red Hood would be a fresh way of looking at Batman's choices and morality. It puts his decision not to kill the Joker front and center, displaying in gritty detail what it can cost him. Plus, the Red Hood himself is a fantastic comic character, who could carry an antagonist role pretty neatly. Heck, he could carry some spinoffs pretty neatly too.
4. The Mad Monk
Part of what The Batman needs to do is give us a fresh new take on the character while retaining the best parts of his comic book origin. For s story that does that very well, look no further than The Mad Monk. The Mad Monk is about as original Batman you can get, since the vampiric titular character was one of the first villains Batman ever faced. However, the story of the Mad Monk is pretty different than your regular gimmick-crime Batman stories. The Mad Monk is almost a Dracula type; he's not just a villain in himself but almost the harbinger of darker, supernatural forces that swarm Gotham along with him. Since James Wan will probably never make the Batman horror movie he wants to, The Mad Monk would be a great opportunity for Reeves to follow up on his idea.
Speaking of criminally underrated... well, criminals, why hasn't Hush made it onscreen yet? He's one of the most original, interesting villains in Batman's rogues gallery, and it's about time he got his due. Yes, we know that DC is releasing an animated version of Hush's introduction. And don't get us wrong, we're excited about that. But Hush is too great a story not to be a live-action movie. Plus, it fits all of Reeves's particulars; it features a bunch of Bat-villains, focused on Batman as a detective, even has a distinct noir feel in the way its told. And with a character like hush confirmed for the big screen, you can bet audiences would be buzzing about who they want to play the villain. You think the battle for the cowl is bad, just wait until someone wants to know who's behind the bandages.
2. Mask Of The Phantasm
Let us ask you a question. What do fans consider to be the best Batman movie? You might think it's The Dark Knight or 1989's Batman. But you'd be wrong. According to the majority of Bat-fans online, Mask of the Phantasm is the best Batman film ever made. And if you know the story, you can understand why. It's got everything that makes Batman great wrapped up in one dangerous, romantic noir murder-mystery. If it's true that Warner Bros. is pulling from the animated Batman adventures with a Batman Beyond movie, it's not out of the realm of possibility that this animated classic could be adapted for a live-action masterpiece. And if it is, get ready. That opinion on which Batman film is best will definitely change.
1. The Long Halloween
Forgive us for saving the most obvious choice for last. But if you know the story of The Long Halloween graphic novel, you know why it had to be number one on this list. The Long Halloween might be the greatest Batman tale ever, featuring appearances from numerous rogues and side-characters, plus a mystery that has readers on the edge of their seats the whole way through. When Matt Reeves described the type of film The Batman was going to be, he pretty much described The Long Halloween to a T, and we think he'd be wise to use it as inspiration. After all, the last film to use elements of the Long Halloween was a little flick called The Dark Knight. And that one did pretty well.
What's your favorite Batman story ever told? Do you think it would make a good source for Matt Reeves's vision? Let us know in the comments section below!