Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves on Defining Their Vengeful Dark Knight in The Batman

Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne is a "reckless rockstar" and an "odd creature" in The Batman, director Matt Reeves' reboot defining a Dark Knight in year two of his crime-fighting career. Reeves joined Pattinson and Catwoman actor Zoe Kravitz virtually at DC FanDome 2021 to reveal behind-the-scenes intel and a new trailer for The Batman, about an angry Bruce's crusade for vengeance in a crime-infested Gotham City terrorized by a mysterious serial killer: the Riddler (Paul Dano). The creative team explained why The Batman is "radically different" from what's come before, why this noir tale isn't another origin story, and what to expect when Batman unleashes his vengeance. 

"For some reason, Batman has always stood out as one of the major characters of the 20th century," Pattinson said in a behind-the-scenes featurette looking at the making of The Batman. "So many people connected on such a deep level and for so many different reasons. The first conversation I had with Matt about it, I just knew there was something radically different from anything with the Batman movies before."

The Batman is not an origin story going over retread ground but will "refer to his origins and shake him to his core," added the Cloverfield and War for the Planet of the Apes filmmaker. With Pattinson, Reeves felt like "we're going to be able to find something new with this guy and do something really special."

Reeves cast Pattinson as Batman because he was "always that version of what I saw in the page, and that was about trying to create a new version of Bruce." 

When we meet this shadow-eyed Bruce in the second year of his one-man war on crime, Pattinson said, "Right from the beginning, there's a desperation to it. He's really working out this rage. All the fights seem very personal. He wants to inflict his kind of justice. He's just compelled to do it. There is no other option."

Following separate iterations of Batman played by Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and Ben Affleck in the DC Extended Universe launched by Zack Snyder, this vengeance-fueled younger Batman is not yet fully formed and still developing as Gotham's self-appointed protector. 

"He doesn't have as much control over his personality, like the delineation between when he's Batman and when he's Bruce is not so clear and other kinds of iterations of it where he really knows what he's doing when he's putting on the cowl," Pattinson said. "And I kind of really like this idea of it's a little bit out of control. He hasn't completely defined what Batman is. I mean, he gets lost in it whenever he's putting on [Batman] every night. He's not sleeping and he's becoming this quite sort of odd creature." 

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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.