Wednesday, April 10

Robert Pattinson’s Batman Is Going To Be Seriously Ruined, And I Like It | Films

TThe disordered psychology of Batman, masked defender of Gotham City, is so dense and peculiar that Entire books have been written about it.. This is perhaps why so many fans were offended by the portrayal of the caped crusader during the Joel Schumacher years as a bat-nippled lightweight. There’s really nothing fun about getting under the skin of the dark knight, only to discover that he has all the psychological complexity of a Ken doll, as George Clooney and Val Kilmer probably should have discovered by the time they took their scripts.

No one can accuse Robert Pattinson of not doing his homework in this regard. speaking in the new issue of the French edition of Premiere magazine, the new Batman reveals that he wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of the superhero’s psyche from the moment he signed on.

“There is this rule with Batman: he must not kill”, pattinson said. “It can be interpreted in two ways. Either he just wants to inflict the appropriate punishment, or he wants to kill and his self-control prevents him from doing so.”

George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell in Batman and Robin.
A lightweight with bat nipples… George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell in Batman and Robin. Photograph: United Archives GmbH/Alamy

“I pictured him like this from rehearsal for the first fight, I thought it was funnier – something in him just wanted to slit the guy’s throat! I told myself that if he spends his nights chasing criminals, there’s no way he won’t enjoy it. He suffers and it is a desire that overwhelms him. And by dint of calling, his mind clears, calms down, reaches a state close to fullness. I’m sure in this first fight he manages to convince himself that all the guys in front of him are the ones who killed his mother. [laughs]. And that allows him to vent all his anger.

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“The interesting thing is that this Batman practically lives in the gutter. He is not at home except on the street when he is wearing the suit. Live a criminal life, but without committing crimes! I felt like I could get something out of it. He could only play a superhero if he was really dirty anyway!

It’s a fascinatingly dirty take that could give us a glimpse of how Pattinson’s portrayal of the character, soon to be seen in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, could vary from previous big-screen caped crusaders. Both the Christian Bale and Michael Keaton versions stood out for being noble and reserved, tied to their duty to defend Gotham City from criminals and supervillains alike. It was rarely suggested that they enjoyed inflicting pain on their victims. Ben Affleck’s version was presented very differently, as a bellicose and brutal thug willing to use guns and heavy weaponry to take down anyone who got in his way, at least in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Willing to take down anyone who gets in his way… Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Photograph: Clay Enos/AP

Pattinson’s comments have sparked a debate among fans about Batman’s moral foundation, or lack thereof. But curiously (perhaps desperately), the focus has been on if the caped crusader must kill (in the comics, our hero rarely kills anyone) instead of the most interesting detail. The suggestion from the idiotic corners of the DC fanbase is that Batfleck would never have had such moral complexities., which is, of course, completely correct. This is also why many fans didn’t warm to Affleck’s opinion, and why the Justice League sequel ended up being written in such a way as to represent a humiliating two-hour apology for spoiling the character. Affleck spends almost the entire movie (I’m talking about the weaker original version of Joss Whedon here) apologizing for being a jerk and “killing” Superman.

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I’m surprised everyone is missing a trick here. Without a doubt, the fascinating aspect of this new Batman is that he will refrain from killing his victims, although in reality he would like to scatter them like a raw chicken. Pattinson introduces a wandering, anguished, and ruthless caped crusader whose natural instincts are for cruel and murderous carnage, but who is restrained by a devastatingly rigid moral code. It makes me, finally, hope that Reeves’ roaming of the heroic defender of Gotham City has something to say for itself beyond a cursory refresher on the Batman mythos. It also makes me wonder if this could be a Batman movie to avoid taking the kids to see.

Here we are in the ninth decade of the superhero and maybe, just maybe (at least on the big screen) the dark knight is finally about to start living up to his moniker.

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