The Batman is slated to hit theaters on March 4, and as fans prepare to watch Robert Pattinson’s gritty portrayal of the character, director Matt Reeves has revealed why he chose to pass on Ben Affleck’s initial script and write it himself. 

Reeves explained to Esquire that Warner Bros. approached him with a script by Affleck and former DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns. Before stepping away from the role, the now-49-year-old was meant to write and star in what was already being called The Batman. His writing record is strong, having won Best Original Screenplay at the 1998 Oscars with Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting, and nabbing screenplay credits on Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Live by Night—all of which he directed and starred in—and 2021’s The Last Duel.

“I read a script that they had that was a totally valid take on the movie,” Reeves said. “It was very action driven. It was very deeply connected to the DCEU, with other major characters from other movies and other comics popping up. I just knew that when I read it this particular script was not the way I’d want to do it.”

Reeves emphasized that he enjoyed Affleck’s script, finding it “James Bond-ian” in its writing style, but that he wanted to pen it himself so he could actualize his own vision.

“I told them that there have been so many great movies, but if I were to do this, I’d have to make it personal, so that I understood what I was going to do with it, so that I know where to put the camera, so that I know what to tell the actors, so that I know what the story should be,” Reeves said. “This take, I told them, pointing at the script, is a totally valid and exciting take. It is almost James Bond-ian, but it wasn’t something that I quite related to.”

The Batman is reported to have a near three-hour run time and is said to be inspired by four specific comics, Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman Ego and Other Tails, Year One, and Dark Victory. Reeves also said he’s drawing inspiration from Kurt Cobain for his iteration of Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne.