Ever since the first trailer for “The Batman” dropped, fans drew comparisons between the superhero reboot and director David Fincher’s masterful 1995 crime thriller “Seven” – not just in terms of aesthetic influence, but the film’s plot as well. But how does the writer of “Seven,” Andrew Kevin Walker, feel about the heavy homage? He is firmly a fan of “The Batman.”
“First of all, I’m just incredibly grateful that people remain aware of ‘Seven,’” Walker told TheWrap during a recent interview about the Netflix film “Windfall” that he co-wrote with Justin Lader. “That’s, in my opinion, all due to Fincher. Look at [‘The Batman’], and so much of the homage they’re paying to ‘Seven’ is through a Fincher prism, rightfully so.”
“Seven” stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives who team up in an unnamed, rain-soaked and grimy city to follow a series of clues left behind by a maniacal serial killer. The film was a clear influence on “The Batman,” which finds Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne teaming up with Jeffrey Wright’s James Gordon in a rain-soaked and grimy Gotham City to follow a series of clues left behind by a manical serial killer, Paul Dano’s The Riddler.
“I really enjoyed it,” Walker said of the DC adaptation. “It’s kind of that dream of always, as a kid or more accurately as a teenager and as an aspiring screenwriter/filmmaker, you fantasize like, ‘What would it be like if they did an R-rated James Bond?’ Or you would hear a rumor that Tarantino’s gonna do a James Bond. So Matt Reeves, I think, is a phenomenal filmmaker and it was really cool to see a reinvention of that franchise.”
Walker – whose writing credits also include “The Game” and “Fight Club” – has some familiarity with DC characters as he wrote a draft of the scuttled “Batman vs. Superman” film in the early 2000s for director Wolfgang Peterson.
“I have very strong feelings about Batman and Superman and all that stuff because I did a draft of ‘Batman vs. Superman,’” Walker added. “I know how hard it is to bring a fun version of reality to that kind of thing. I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to seeing ‘The Batman’ again, I’m a big fan of all the actors in it and I’m a huge fan of the director.”
“Seven” was one of many influences on “The Batman” that run the gamut from “Chinatown” to “All the President’s Men,” but it’s a testament to the power of Walker’s script and Fincher’s filmmaking that their crime thriller remains such a potent reference point a couple of decades later.
The admiration is mutual. Walker underlined his desire to see “The Batman” again as soon as the film ended: “For me the analogy I use is a movie that kind of acts like a roller coaster, where once you leave you want to just turn right back around and watch it again.”