In 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson penned a theme that would become a global classic in literature exploring the duality of man. Oh, and it’s about a brilliant guy who thanks to a magic elixir becomes a brutal monster, but that’s besides the point.
Sweet, right? That was the gothic novella known as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. And it’s superb.
There is so much more to this scholarly and venerated writ than a splashy monster book. To think people withhold so much angst, so much anxiety that they eventually burst their inner balloon and whiz a violent stream of air all over the room in which they fill is fascinating to some. The ends of the earth to which they roam because of a mission of vengeance and blurred vision remains one of the most mysterious devolutions ever.
So, when you have a guy like Matt Reeves known as a “thinking man’s director” issuing a note that he’s not only a reader of the classics but also inspired by one for his latest phantasm, it’s bound to get some attention.
This is particularly interesting when you consider there’s this hero out there who is a billion-dollar playboy by day, caped crusader among the shadows by night, and all the while torn about his motivation for doing anything.
Fortunately, when discussing the much bandied about movie The Batman and its focus on whether it will be about the man Bruce Wayne or the mythic Batman, he shared this to IndieWire:
“Gosh, that’s a tough question,” he said. “I think that it’s interesting, because 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.”
We are all said to establish the finite nuances of our personality early in life. Who are we? What makes us tick? Why do we side with good and not evil (or the other way around)?
Whatever those answers, it’s before we hit high school. If there are solutions, we discover those shortly into our teens, through college (if that’s your thing), and on into the brave frontier.
That is where we will find a young Bruce Wayne in Reeves’ rendition of this modern classic tale. If you actually read the comics and not just look through the pictures (like, possibly other more adult-oriented publications), this is a very promising development.
Now, about that whole Ben Affleck thing?!