In the world of comic book movies, it can sometimes seem like we are just going through the motions, putting characters up on the screen for the sake of seeing a new set of spandex and powers. But other times, there’s legit excitement and intrigue, even for characters we’ve seen before. That’s definitely the case with Robert Pattinson in The Batman, the highly-anticipated reboot of the franchise. And according to insider Daniel Richtman, we are going to get a totally different version of the character. He’s saying that director Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson have gone all-in on a darker theme than previous iterations.
It’s easy to see where Richtman is coming from with this rumor. Based on the early trailers, the themes are dark and foreboding, much more mature and grittier than we’ve seen in the past. He specifically references a comparison to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy with Christian Bale in the lead. The Robert Pattinson version is going to trend much darker than that one. Though the Dark Knight movies were viewed as different and darker thematically and stylistically than much other comic book fare, this next Batman is going a step further, leaning into an R-rating. Check out the trailer for The Batman:
From Nirvana’s “Something in the Way”, to the creepy tape ripping sound effect, to the ominous riddles, to the dark tone almost throughout, it’s pretty clear this is a very different kind of comic book movie. Heck, even when there is a daylight scene it’s totally washed out, like the sun has never ever shown on Gotham literally or figuratively. And then there’s a Robert Pattinson announcing he’s “vengeance” while stomping out a thug. This ain’t your parents’ Batman.
Robert Pattinson is bringing a more pallid look to Bruce Wayne, not full Edward Cullen mind you, but dude’s definitely seeing less sunlight than Bale’s Bruce Wayne who seemed to only even step out of the shadows for Board meetings here and there. But the rest of the film looks like it borders on the psychological thriller more than we’ve seen in this genre. Introducing a different version of The Riddler, with Paul Dano’s character most likely a psychotic serial killer, it looks like the detective version of Batman comes in more than the fun gadgets we saw in Nolan’s movies.
And again, though the first trailer is a relatively short one, introducing the style and expectations around Robert Pattinson more than anything, letting very little in on the plot, the intention appears clear. This is a stripped-down version of the Caped Crusader, catching up with him in his first years on the “job” and carrying more than a little pent-up angst, anger and, well, vengeance.
The world-building around Gotham, an even seedier place than the one a younger Bale-Bruce Wayne wandered into when he met with Carmine Falcone at the beginning of Batman Begins, looks pretty intentional as well. Rather than slowly bringing about villains in the world around Robert Pattinson, we get most of them right away, linking them together for what could make an extensive criminal network that’s dragged Gotham into the proverbial mire. In addition to The Riddler, there’s also Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/ The Penguin, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/ Catwoman, and John Turturro as the aforementioned Falcone.
Just how grim and dark this new Robert Pattinson version of Batman is, we’ll have to wait and see. The film isn’t set to release until March 4, 2022. So the speculation will likely only ramp up during that time. But even the early looks at the film suggest something much different than what we got with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale.