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Batman Director Says Jekyll & Hyde Inspired His Movie Script

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The Batman director Matt Reeves reveals that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde inspired the story for his upcoming DC project. The script is rumoured to have been completed, and filming is expected to start in 2019. Whether or not Ben Affleck will reprise his role as the Caped Crusader has yet to be confirmed.

The 1886 gothic novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson tells the story of the respectable Dr. Jeykll, who attempts to invent a serum to cure his repressed evil urges. However, the potion he takes transforms him into a violent sociopath with superhuman strength called Mr. Hyde. As he continuously attempts to perfect the elixir, his animalistic alter ego begins to overtake his personality, and consumes him in the end. While the parallel to Bruce Wayne and Batman is obvious, different film incarnations - notably Christopher Nolan's and Tim Burton's - have illustrated different interpretations of the character's struggle to retain his humanity.

As reported by Indie Wire, Reeves spoke at the Television Critics Association press tour about exploring dual identities, and whether Batman is Bruce Wayne's will, or a manifestation of his trauma that he can't fully control.

One of the things that I’ve found interesting, just as we’re working on the story, is looking back at Jekyll and Hyde, and the idea of your shadow-self, and the idea of, we are all multiple things. It’s different aspects of who we are, and I think there are times when maybe the surface of Bruce is not really who he is, but that’s his disguise. There are times when Batman’s the disguise, but there are times when his true essence comes out, because by being veiled, a kind of instinctual side comes out that’s very pure.

Reeves' film is reportedly set to focus on a younger Batman and would, therefore, be a prequel to Zack Snyder's Justice League. While Deathstroke was seen in Justice League's post-credits scene, there's no word on his return, despite rumors that he'd be the villain in The Batman back when Affleck was directing the film. Jared Leto and Margot Robbie's Joker and Harley Quinn aren't likely to be involved either, although they have their own standalone project in development. Of course, that's assuming The Batman is even part of the DCEU. Whether or not that's the case has been unclear for some time.

Batman movie writers have discussed the character's mental health and inner turmoil more candidly than ever in recent history. Batman: The Killing Joke highlights his description of "an abyss" which one can't come back from. Ben Affleck's Batman, after nearly murdering Superman in a blind rage, contends with guilt over the Man of Steel's death, and his own inadequacy in being a hero who unites and inspires. The battle for control and identity between Batman and his crime-fighting persona are a common element of stories about the character, and there's definitely more material to be mined from the duality. Bruce Wayne, despite all his demons, turns the pain of his parents' murder into the drive to save other people from similar heinous crimes. His heroism is based on his stubborn refusal to think only of himself, and indulge solely in revenge. Every now and then though, Bruce does indeed lose control, and that's never good for anyone in his path.

Release Dates:

Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018

Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019

Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019

Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019

Birds of Prey (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020

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