When Mattson Tomlin came up with the idea of Project Power he had one goal: to get a movie made. He knew superheroes were big business and decided to make the movie he needed to put himself on the map. But between the inception of Project Power and its forthcoming release on Netflix, Tomlin landed a gig working on the script for possibly the biggest superhero of all: Batman. It was an unexpected turn of events that saw the upcoming filmmaker promoting his own take on the genre all the while working on Matt Reeves’ highly-anticipated take on the Dark Knight.
Tomlin spoke to Nerdist about Project Power and shared a few of his thoughts on the differences in tackling the Netflix original and the massive studio blockbuster.
“I think the biggest difference is not the size or scale or how intimate or gritty it is,” Tomlin said, comparing his two projects. “It’s not so much those things as much as it is what the expectations are. Look at Batman. That character is 81 years old and everybody has an opinion of Batman because everyone knows who he is. So you have to honor those opinions and subvert them. And there’s a lot of weight to do right by that character because it’s a legacy.”
Tomlin continued, “With Project Power, no one has any idea what it is. There are no expectations. All you’re doing is just begging people to come and see this new thing and hope they love the ride that you’ve built. I’d say that’s really the biggest difference. When I started working with Matt Reeves on The Batman, that was the thing that struck me most. Of course I know what this is, but people really know what this is. And you know that there’s a responsibility there that you don’t have when you’re creating something original.”
The writer also took some time to speak to what drew him to the project. Though he couldn’t share any specifics about The Batman, he was effusive in his praise for director Matt Reeves and his humanist approach. “If you just look at what Matt Reeves does, those apes movies are just f***ing incredible!” Tomlin exclaimed. “They’re movies that bring me to tears. There are times where you look at it [and] you’re like, ‘This is a movie about talking apes. Like, this is ludicrous.’ Yet it’s really about something. It’s real and to be able to pull that off on a big blockbuster canvas is amazing. Same thing with Let Me In. Same thing with Cloverfield. Those are about very real, emotional things and the characters feel so realized and palpable and that’s Matt Reeves.”
Basically, if you’re a fan of Reeves, Tomlin is pretty sure you’ll love The Batman. “Then, you know, there’s the people that he collaborates with. He’s a repeat offender!” Tomlin laughed. “He works with [cinematographer] Greig Fraser over and over. He works with [production designer] James Chinlund. He works with [writer] Mark Bomback. I think if you just look at his résumé, it should tell you everything you need to know. So to just be invited to the table to play a small, small part in that is mind-blowing.”
You can watch Project Power on Netflix on Aug. 14.
Featured Image: Warner Bros.