The anticipation was killing me. Ever since Robert Pattinson announced that he would be playing the Caped Crusader in a feature film, I’ve been obsessively following every single development. Production has now started and I finally get to share with you some amazing news. The wait was definitely worth it. While filming has just begun, we can already see how well he fits the roll. After reading the script the previous week, I knew this was going to be something different. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew it would be exciting. As a lifelong fan of Batman, this opportunity to work with one of the greatest actors of our time was an honor. I knew it was going to be challenging, but I also knew that he was up for the task. In order to prepare for my role as an extra, I decided to look into the history of the character. What I found may surprise you. Here’s what happened.
The Evolution Of Batman
Before we begin, let’s be clear about something. When we’re talking about Batman, we’re not talking about the Joel Schumacher films or Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. We’re talking about the Batman from the comics. Therefore, the following is going to be based on the 1966 comic book series. My research also uncovered a lot of interesting information about the character. In order to better prepare myself for my role as an extra, I thought it would be beneficial to share some of this information with you, the readers. Here’s some of what I found.
Raising The Bat Signal
One of the first things you’ll notice when you begin filming is a spotlight aimed directly at the stars. It’s an iconic image, one that is reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood. Even in this early stage of production, the spotlight is already getting lots of attention. The director is planning on using it as part of the filming process. While the scene may not make it in the final cut, it’s always cool to see how much thought went into every single detail. The attention to detail is also present in the rest of the sets. Take a look at the Batcave for example. It’s incredible. The way they managed to capture the 1960s atmosphere is just fantastic.
An All-Female Batgirl Reboot
One of the things that attracted me to this particular film is the opportunity to work with an all-female cast. It’s a long time coming, especially since the last time we saw an all-female group of superheroes was in 2011 with the release of The Avengers. Filming for The Batman has already begun and I can’t wait to put these ladies to work. While the concept of an all-female team may seem unusual, it’s actually been done before. The original 1940s Batman series also featured an all-female cast. Alfred Pennyworth was the sidekick of the Batgirl. He was also the butler in the TV series House of Batman. For the most part, Alfred was a silent character. He supported the heroic efforts of his boss Batman and occasionally provided assistance, but for the most part, he just stood there watching. It was also a rare occasion when Alfred spoke. It was usually Vicki, Barbara, or another female character. It was only included to give the appearance of equality. In reality, it was pretty much a man’s world.
The Biggest Superhero Of Them All
This might be the most exciting piece of information for any Batman fan. Since its inception in the early 20th century, the Batman has always been known as one of the biggest and most influential superheroes of all time. I couldn’t agree more. After going through the details of my research, I came across a name that surprised me: Jack Kirby. Yes, the man who co-created the Silver Age Flash was also responsible for creating the Batman. As far as I know, Kirby never claimed to have created Batman. He did, however, acknowledge having influenced the character. In an interview, he stated:
“I didn’t create Batman. I gave him life. Without me, Batman would be just another ordinary superhero. He wouldn’t have the same impact on popular culture that he does. Without the Batman, there would be no Silver Age of Comics, no gritty realism, and no dark themes. It’s quite an amazing accomplishment. Not only did I help create one of the most iconic characters of all time, but I also made a difference in the history of comics. Without my contributions, there would be no Batman comics today.”
The Rise Of The Villains
One of the things I found most interesting about the 1966 series is the way the villains evolved over the years. It’s an incredibly dynamic cast of bad guys. There’s always lots of variety. It seems like the writers were constantly coming up with new ways to frighten and amuse us. One of the highlights of the series is the Joker. The writers actually managed to make the villain a sympathetic character. It’s not often that you see that happen. The fact that there was a time when the Joker wasn’t always portrayed as the raving maniac that we see in most films these days is truly an accomplishment. For the most part, the Joker is still one of the most dangerous and unpredictable villains in the entire series. Despite his clown appearance, the Joker is far from harmless. It’s really an amazing transformation.
Gotham City’s Most Famous Criminals
Speaking of amazing transformations, take a look at some of the criminals that Gotham City has seen over the years. It’s always fun to go back in time to relive the glory days of crime in the City of Gotham. Let’s take a trip down memory lane with some real vintage photos of Gotham’s greatest criminals. First up is the Penguin. He’s one of the most recognizable characters from the Batman series. The resemblance to Mr. Pepperton is uncanny. He also happened to be one of the first characters that I ever drew. Here’s hoping he doesn’t mind if I steal some of his likeness in order to promote my new film. The photo with the Joker and Poison Ivy is also quite an iconic image. While they didn’t always see eye to eye, it’s always cool to see these iconic characters in the same shot. It’s also interesting to see how different both characters look now as opposed to back in their day. They were both much thinner back then. You can almost see the bones through their clothes. Interesting to note is that both characters are holding umbrellas. It’s probably because back then it was actually raining cats and dogs. Or, at least, that’s what the French painter Paul Gauguin would say.
More Than Meets The Eye
Since I mentioned Paul Gauguin, it’s only fair that I point out that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to The Batman. As I mentioned above, Alfred was the butler in the House of Batman TV show. In the same way that the Duke was the manservant in the Marvel comic books, Alfred was the assistant butler in the House of Batman. It’s an interesting parallel that the two characters share the same last name. Is it mere coincidence that they both have connections to Paris? It would certainly be interesting to find out.
The Dark Knight Returns
One of the other interesting things I found when researching the history of the Batman was the reference that was made to The Dark Knight Returns. It’s strange how much attention this Batman adaptation has gotten. It came out in 2012 and was directed by auteur Zack Snyder. While it’s no secret that Snyder is a legend in the making, The Dark Knight Returns is probably the most famous adaptation of all time. The fact that it wasn’t a direct adaptation from the comics is what makes it stand out. While the overall premise is the same, the way Snyder adapted the story and characters for the big screen is incredible. Like a lot of great adaptations, it feels more like a collaboration between the director and the comics creators than a simple adaptation. In an interview with io9, Snyder stated:
“It wasn’t easy to adapt, because it’s not easy to follow-up an original idea. The story is about as close to my own thoughts on Batman as I could get. It wasn’t easy to find the line between what I wanted to say and what I couldn’t say, because there were things that I just felt that I couldn’t do in a film. You know, I tried to say the same sort of things in my Watchmen, but I couldn’t get away with it. So, you know, this is what happens when you try to say something new. You end up sounding like you’ve been saying it for years, but with a little bit more edge than you usually have. It’s a great compliment, actually.”