When Robert Pattinson finally hits the big screen as the Caped Crusader in The Batman in a couple of months, fans are going to be treated to a much darker and grittier version of the character than we have ever really seen on the big screen. It’s setting up a completely new world of Gotham City, this one a bleak and grim place with Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne just beginning his foray into crimefighting. And recently, Pattinson let on another aspect of the film fans were eager to know about, wondering if it would be in line with other iterations of the character. The star talked about Batman’s “No-kill” code and whether this movie would be in line with what we’ve seen from the character for some time now.
Robert Pattinson recently spoke to Premiere Magazine (via The Hollywood Reporter) about what to expect from his character in The Batman. Because this movie and version of Gotham City appears to be much more violent and possibly much more deadly, folks have wondered if Pattinson’s Batman would eschew the no-kill policy we’ve seen in the past. There were aspects of the early trailers that suggested he might play fast and loose with some criminals’ lives. Pattinson set the record straight on this saying, “There is this rule with Batman: he must not kill. It can be interpreted in two ways. Either he only wants to inflict the appropriate punishment, or he wants to kill and his self-control prevents him from doing so.”
The “rule” Robert Pattinson refers to was first established in the Batman #4 comic book when he tells Robin “we never kill with weapons of any kind!” (They were using swords at the time.) And this rule and theme have mostly held true over the course of the different movies we’ve seen throughout the years, but barely. Jack Nicholson’s Joker and Danny DeVito’s Penguin die in Batman and Batman Returns while Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul gets it in the train accident. None were directly related to Batman “killing” them, but as he says to Al Ghul, he “doesn’t have to stop it.” And then there was Ben Affleck in Dawn of Justice who planned to outright kill Superman, though reversed course in the end.
When Robert Pattinson refers to the no-kill rule, he gives a distinction between the two ways this can play out, saying it’s either Batman wanting to mete out just enough of a beating or holding himself back from killing even though he wants to. From the early trailers of this world of Gotham and Bruce Wayne’s dour appearance, it appeared Pattinson’s character would trend toward the second one. Heck, we see in one scene that he beats a criminal so badly you’d wonder how the latter survived at all. And that’s at the hands of Batman. Plus, we know that in this movie Batman is dealing with a serial killer of his with Paul Dano’s Riddler taking out others in Gotham as a means to call Bruce Wayne out into the open.
Look, Batman’s no-kill policy isn’t exactly a hard and fast rule throughout the comics and movies. There have been plenty of examples throughout the decades of Batman taking a life (or many). Just because Heath Ledger’s Joker (via Christopher Nolan’s script) made it the major plot point in The Dark Knight doesn’t mean it’s 100% been the case. But it looks like it will be for the Robert Pattinson version of the character.