Robert Pattinson’s casting as Batman in writer/director Matt Reeves’ early-days take on the DC hero caused quite a stir upon its announcement, but now that the supporting cast is filling out with big names like Zoe Kravitz and Jeffrey Wright, the scrutiny is dying down. He’s been accepted into the fold, which means that it’s no longer time to bemoan something new and different, but rather find out what his casting can tell fans about the version of Batman to come. Like many others, he’ll be one existing in the moral grey.
Speaking to The New York Times, Pattinson explained that while production for The Batman is still off in the distance (“I’ve still got a few months before we start shooting”), his ideas about Bruce Wayne are well-formed.
When asked about Batman’s superhero status, the actor explained that — like other iterations of the Caped Crusader — his version of Bruce Wayne isn’t a pure Samaritan. “Batman’s not a hero, though,” said Pattinson. “He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero — there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong.”
A harsh, myopic Batman is nothing new, as past iterations of the character on film and in print have grappled with the vigilante’s severe form of justice. Looks like nothing will change even as we get a fresh Bat on the job in Reeves’ noirish take on the character.
“His morality is a little bit off,” Pattinson said. “He’s not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic book character. There is a simplicity to his worldview, but where it sits is strange, which allows you to have more scope with the character.”
That scope — either applied to small-scale criminals or giant, city-wide moral quandaries like The Dark Knight’s ferry problem — helps make Batman rise above detective status into the pantheon of comics’ favorite heroes. As Pattinson dives back into genre pop culture adaptations after years in the indie world, the echoes of Twilight still resonate. But at least this time, it’s been a little smoother so far.
“At least I didn’t get death threats this time,” the actor said. “That’s a plus!”
The Batman hits theaters on June 25, 2021.