It’s been a while since we last heard from the Dark Knight, but the wait is almost over. Batman will be back on the big screen in March and we couldn’t be more thrilled. While the Batman vs. Joker story has been told many times over the years, it never gets old. We’re also looking forward to seeing the return of Christian Bale as Batman and hearing his take on the iconic character. However, what most people are eagerly waiting for is the comparison between the new Batman and Christopher Nolan’s iteration. Although there are some significant differences, the new Batman isn’t too far off from being a carbon copy of Nolan’s Dark Knight.

Significant Differences

For starters, Robert Pattinson’s Batman doesn’t wear a mask. Yes, the Batman in the upcoming film has full facial hair and calls himself “The Joker,” but he’s not hiding behind a mask. Instead, he wears a thick, black beard and a long dark coat. It’s a far cry from Christian Bale’s slicked-back hair and iconic bright red lips. Additionally, Pattinson’s Batman doesn’t need to rely on gadgets and gizmos to get the job done. The actor’s version of Batman is more of a cerebral character who thinks and acts strategically. Plus, he doesn’t seem to be afraid of much. In one scene, Batman watches the terrified reactions of the citizens in a crowded square as Ra’s al Ghul’s men hunt them down. At another point, he stops a mugging and beats up the would-be thief himself. All of this makes for a very different Batman.

The Overall Design Is Similar

Aside from the different look, the overall feel of the two Batmis is nearly identical. Take the Batmobile for example. It’s still yellow and black and the layout of the controls is the same. There are also several scenes where Batman hops into the car and blasts off, only to reappear moments later in another location. It’s impressive how much the design of this world has stayed the same even though so much time has passed. There’s also the case of the mansion, which is one of the most recognizable icons in the Batman universe. In the film, the mansion is under siege from the Joker’s men while Bruce Wayne is trying to figure out his next move. The mansion is protected by several guards who are equipped with modern weapons, yet the guards never intervene. Later on, Bruce Wayne takes them out one by one with his signature gadget, the Batclaw. It’s an example of how well the designers of this new Batman universe were able to capture the spirit of the Dark Knight.

The Lighting Is More Realistic

One of the biggest differences between the two Batmis is the lighting. Whereas Christian Bale’s Batman films were often shot in harsh, bright lighting, much like the comic books, the new film features more realistic backdrops and settings. It’s not that the lighting is soft or anything, it’s that it feels more natural and real, like you’re really there, in the scene. This is particularly evident in the scenes set at night, when the lighting is very subtle and there are only a few areas of illumination, lending the scenes a dreamlike quality. We can also see this in the architecture as well. A lot of the filming took place in England and France, two countries that are known for their dark, gloomy landscapes and moody weather, which helped bring that dreamlike quality to the film. This is one of the things that make the new Batman so appealing.

The Costumes And Makeup Are Different

Cinematic characters often don’t exist in real life, which is why they make such great movie characters. It’s the mark of a truly great costume designer that even the most realistic of cinematic characters look incredible. Take the Joker, for example. Yes, the Joker is supposed to be a caricature of Mr. Freeze from the Batman universe, but even Michael Caine, who played a very camp version of Mr. Freeze in the 1992 film, looks better than he ever has in his life. It’s the same with the Penguin and Catwoman. They both had costumes designed by Michael B. Jordan, but even he couldn’t make them look this good.

On the other hand, Christian Bale’s Batman wears a mask all the time and the costume is designed to accentuate his iconic features. He also wears a full-body-harness under his cape, which strains against his muscles and accentuates his already chiseled physique. It wouldn’t be fair to compare Bale’s Batman to any of the other actors who have played the character, because he truly is the gold standard by which all others are measured. The fact that he agreed to reprise the role yet again for Batman vs. Joker shows how much of a fan he still is of the character. This is something that his successor, Robert Pattinson, will have to deal with. There’s no question that Pattinson is the perfect choice to play Batman, given his dark good looks and brooding screen presence. It won’t be easy replacing Bale, but Batman vs. Joker will be a much different animal, a darker, grittier film that will appeal to fans of the comic books.