This year was supposed to be the year of the reboot for the Batman film series. Ben Affleck, who directed and co-produced 2018’s The Batman, was set to breathe new life into an old favorite while also offering a tantalizing peek at what the next Batman movie would bring. While several other films had their moments, the Zack Snyder-directed Batman v Superman: Part Two proved to be the ultimate dampener.
The critical and commercial failure of the latest collaboration between DC Comics and Warner Bros. left both parties wondering what happened and whether or not the two cinematic universes can ever be patched up. Fortunately, the world didn’t have to wait long for an answer as just last month, another contender emerged for the throne of Gotham.
The film itself, which sees the return of the Caped Crusader as played by Robert Pattinson, is a faithful adaptation of Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s 1939 crime fighter, who now resides in an aged and decrepit state. Despite being set in contemporary times, it nonetheless captures the essence of the original character, who has been described as “an urban legend who has never actually existed.”
The film seamlessly weaves together two distinct storylines that interlock in intriguing ways and offer a fresh take on the classic character, while also exploring an array of fascinating themes – ranging from aging and mortality to addiction and corruption. When it comes to Robert Pattinson’s convincing portrayal of the iconic superhero, fans may soon find themselves transported back in time to experience all the adventures and tragedies that defined the life of one of comics’ greatest protagonists. For those seeking inspiration, here are a few ways in which Robert Pattinson’s Batman stands apart from the ordinary.
While we’ve come a long way from the days of slathering on thick makeup to portray a fictional character, the prosthetics that the makeups in the Batman films are equipped with still leave a lot to be desired. To get the most realistic effect, the makers of the Batman v Superman: Part Two turned to HBA Makeup Studio to help them take the superhero cinematic experience to the next level. As a result, the film’s villains, among them the terrifying Lex Luthor, are presented in a way that is both grotesque and awe-inspiring.
No Ordinary Weapons
One of the things that has always given the Caped Crusader his special mystique is his ability to outwit his foes using whatever is at hand. In the latest film, directed by Matt Reeves, Batman continues to be a man of action as he effortlessly outsmarts his adversaries with gadgets and gizmos. In addition to his use of gadgets, the Batman appears to possess superhuman strength, which he demonstrates by effortlessly picking up vehicles and tossing them as if they’re nothing more than toys. The film’s producers even considered giving the hero a flexible-limbed fighting style so that he could contort himself in ways that the camera can follow.
In keeping with the film’s steampunk setting, the wardrobe for the main characters is as distinctive as it is vibrant, with the main protagonist sporting a distinctive yellow and black attire that fans will recognize from the pages of DC Comics. This is largely thanks to the costumes’ design team, which was made up of people who have previously dressed such iconic characters as Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. The standout piece among these is undoubtedly the cape, which doubles as a feathered blanket that the master detective would definitely be grateful to have around him. It’s fair to say that when it comes to the wardrobe for the latest Batman film, the team went the extra mile.
Experienced Art Direction
As the film’s visual style and setting would suggest, Batman v Superman: Part Two is an action-adventure rooted in a dark and gritty universe where the shadows are a constant presence. Director Zack Snyder brought his extensive experience as a renowned visual stylist to bear in creating an appropriately gothic atmosphere that feels all the more real for being in the background. Thanks to that, the whole look of the film – from the costumes to the sets – has an extra dose of authenticity.
The director didn’t limit himself to the visual style of the film, however, as he also managed to bring a much-needed layer of craftsmanship to the table. For example, when Batman leaps from the frying pan into the fire in a bid to save the pregnant Lois Lane (played by Carrie-Anne Moss), he expertly avoids having his costume ruined by the flames, allowing him to save the day and maintain his sleek and agile appearance.
A Bit of a Reluctant Hero
There’s no question that over the years, the Batman has become more of a reluctant superhero, frequently coming across as a man who wishes he was someone else. This is perhaps best exemplified by the character’s reaction to Superman’s return in the latest film. Not that he’s especially afraid of the Man of Steel; it’s more that he doesn’t see himself as being a part of this newfound cosmic family, which includes a formerly dead Phoenix among its ranks. Nevertheless, he comes around in the end and embraces his role as Gotham’s protector with open arms, which provides him with a more believable arc.
The fact that these latest Batman films are grounded in a relatable world should come as no great surprise; both filmmakers and screenwriters Scott Derrickson and David S. Goyer were given free rein to explore a Batman whose problems – dealing with a city overrun by thugs and the like – are all too familiar. Derrickson, who also co-wrote the screenplay, is no stranger to writing for comics, having previously penned the screenplay for 2011’s The Lego Batman Movie, so he knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to capturing the essence of the Batman character. In this sense, it’s clear that Batman v Superman: Part Two is the culmination of a decade of exploring the Caped Crusader’s psyche, which began with Reeves’ Batman (2008) and continues with Affleck’s The Batman (2018). As a result, it’s a fitting swan song for one of cinema’s greatest rogues, offering a fitting farewell to the character that has spanned half a century of comics – and now a cinematic legacy that continues to intrigue and inspire fans and new generations of creators alike.