The Batman director Matt Reeves reveals Robert Pattinson screen tested in the Batsuit worn by Val Kilmer in 1995's Batman Forever. The suit, also worn by Christian Bale during the casting process for the Christopher Nolan reboot Batman Begins, returned for Pattinson's screen test — and left the actor pouring with sweat. Appearing virtually at DC FanDome with Reeves and co-star Zoe Kravitz, who suits up as a prototype Catwoman in this Year Two tale, Pattison and Reeves recalled the Batman actor's first time donning the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight:
"Rob did his first [screen test] by himself and he literally was wearing, I believe, Val Kilmer's Batsuit," Reeves revealed of the "actual Batsuit" worn by Pattinson. "Which, by the way, the moment [Pattinson] put it on, that was kind of a crazy moment."
Added Pattinson, "It was crazy. But I remember putting it on and thinking, 'This is impossible. This is going to be absolutely impossible.' I mean, wearing a kind of two-inch-thick rubber suit, or latex suit, and being incredibly nervous and full of adrenaline the whole time."
On wearing the same suit that one-time Batman star Kilmer used to battle the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) in Forever, Pattinson said: "I remember we did like two takes and people were just saying, 'What can we do about the sweat?' (laughs) They were like, 'Nothing! Nothing that can be done.' I had to be drained of liquid."
Pattinson ultimately got to step into his own Batsuit tailor-made for The Batman: a more practical version reinforced with armor.
"The other thing that I remember too, which is cool because it informed the movie, is at the end of that costume test when you came and you put on the eye makeup and began the transformation," Reeves told Pattinson during the virtual Batman panel. "That moment, for me, that was when I was like, 'Oh my god, it is so you.' Like it was just so cool. And I remember you saying afterwards to me, you were like, 'I don't know what I just did.' I said it was amazing, which it was. It was really, really cool."
The Batman suit designed by Jacqueline Duran Glyn Dillon is one that Pattinson "had to be able to wear to have a good fight in it," Reeves said during FanDome 2020, "and one of the things about this Batsuit is that it's very practical."
"The whole idea is that he's made it himself, and so we need to be able to sort of see how it would fit on him in these ways that he could move, but also looked like it was something that was still evolving," said Reeves. "Then even the idea of the story — he's in Year Two — so he's been wearing it [when] he goes every night looking for trouble. So you look at his cowl, and you can actually see the gashes in it and all of that detail. It was an incredibly exciting sort of dialogue between me and the costume designers, and then having Rob involved."
Starring Robert Pattinson as Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Colin Farrell as Oswald 'Oz' Cobblepot, and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, The Batman opens only in theaters on March 4.