The Batman trailer is out and fans are losing their minds! Who wouldn’t be excited to see some of the biggest names in Hollywood take on the role of Batman and his legendary villains? While Christian Bale’s Batman dominated the box office, winning over everyone with his intense acting and dramatic voice over, the role soon became a meme and fans began wishing for other actors to don the cowl. Enter: Robert Pattinson!
The last we saw of Pattinson was in 2015’s The Lost City of Z, in which he played explorer H.H. “Boy” Green, who was forced to team up with a ruthless jungle lord (Maikai Kanda) to solve a riddle that could save his life. Since then, Pattinson has been relatively quiet, focusing on his music and the occasional movie role, including the recently released adaptation of David Mitchell’s acclaimed novel, The Bone Collector. Even then, he stood out amongst the supporting cast, proving that his intense and unique acting style can’t be taught. It was apparent in the trailer for The Batman, when he completely sold the role with his intensity – and it wasn’t just limited to Batman either!
An Intense Talent
The Batman is the culmination of years of development for director Matt Reeves, who previously directed Cloverfield and Let Me In. Reeves had long admired Pattinson’s talent, and after having met with success with the relatively quiet and understated turn in The Lost City of Z, he knew he had to have Pattinson for The Batman. Even from the onset of pre-production, Reeves knew that he had to go big or go home – and the only way he could do that was to have a performance that would knock everyone’s socks off.
Pattinson certainly delivered, completely inhabiting the role of both the jaded billionaire Bruce Wayne and the insane criminal, James Gordon, who becomes his nemesis. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, Pattinson talked about his intense training regimen for the role, which included doing his own stunts, running five miles a day and drinking an entire bottle of whiskey a day. And apparently, he had a lot of help from Reeves and Mitchell, who helped write the screenplay for The Batman, to make sure that everyone knew just how far Rob’s talents could take him. “That’s what they wanted from the very beginning,” Pattinson said of Mitchell and Reeves’ vision for the character. “That he’s this intense creature and they want to push him to his limits.”
An Unfair Advantage
Pattinson is certainly a talented actor, but he also has an unfair advantage in playing Batman, a role that has been hailed as the greatest of all time. Not only is he a national treasure and one of the best-lucked actors of our time, but he also has an English accent, which is all the more fitting, given that the character is largely defined by his accent – and not just the accent either. Batman is more than just a character, he is an entire universe and it would be impossible for anyone to play him but Rob.
The role of Batman has long been associated with a certain type of Englishman: gruff, arrogant and domineering, the kind of man who wears tweeds, smells of pipe tobacco and gets an earful from Mary Poppins when she doesn’t like his behavior. Of course, everyone knows that Batman is a superhero, but even then, he was originally motivated by a desire to protect the English countryside from the villains of the 30s and 40s, who were often inspired by the English tradition of glorified highway robbery – an aspect of England’s charmingly grim history that is somehow romanticized in Batman’s case.
But it’s not just about fitting into a stereotype; it’s about embodying an entire era and a way of life that is now celebrated as much as it is lamented. Even if you don’t speak a word of English, you’ll still be able to identify with Batman just by virtue of being a student of history. The Dark Knight may not be the most accessible of the Batman films to newcomers, but it is the one that most accurately illustrates the essence of the character: moody, intimidating, occasionally droll but mostly just an all-around asshole. Pattinson captured the essence of that very stereotype.
A Sign Of Things To Come
Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman is undoubtedly the film’s most memorable moment – and it’s not just because of his performance, but the entire film almost feels like a callback to the actor’s earlier work, with Mitchell and Reeves taking great care to acknowledge his talent. For those who enjoyed The Lost City of Z, you’ll enjoy the trailer for The Batman even more, as it teases the return of many of the city’s memorable characters, including Mr. Chow (Godfrey Gao), the exuberant tiger (Hammer), the German shepherd (Duke) and the beautiful Chinese girl (Ming Lee). More Than Anything Else…
While we wait for the next trailer for The Avengers: Infinity War, it’s good to know that we’re not alone in our admiration for Batman. It feels like just yesterday that he was being hailed as the greatest superhero of all time and today, it’s apparent that the world still stands by that moniker. Who knows, maybe in a few years, we’ll be saying the same thing about Rob.