Robert Pattinson: “Gotham’s people are as afraid of Batman as they are of criminals”

The new Bruce Wayne / Batman is a pensive and gloomy loner

While Robert Pattinson puts on Batman’s hood, we talk to the stars and director of this latest chapter of the increasingly grim series of superheroes

Next to James Bond, there’s probably not a single character in the movies who would cause more excitement than Batman. Created by Bob Kane, the Dark Knight of DC Comics, the alter ego of millionaire Bruce Wayne, is forever seeking justice in Gotham City. If there was a scale for superheroes, it would be at the point labeled “thoughtful”. This may explain why director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) was drawn to Nirvana’s grunge icons as he searched for a way to his new film Batman.

“I listened to ‘Something In The Way,'” he says, referring to the sinister track from the band’s bright album. No problem. “It was a breakthrough for me. Bruce Wayne I saw was like Kurt Cobain, but as a fighter, and [I was] he sees in him a man who is being persecuted. ” He pictured Wayne as frontman Nirvana, sitting alone, wilder in his living room, amplified connected. “And he was kind of addicted. Except in this case, the drug he was addicted to was Batman. ”

The message was clear: it would not be George Clooney’s Batman “Bat Nipples” but something more sinister. When Reeves read Batman: Year one, a graphic novel by Frank Miller and David Matsuceli, he was impressed by the character’s performance in his early years. “He was kind of a drifter, almost like Travis Bickle,” he says, nodding at the anti-hero Robert De Niro from Martin Scorsese’s film. Taxi driver. Similarly, Oscar winner Todd Phillips 2019 The Joker also drew from this film, depicting the origins of Batman’s greatest enemy.

With all this ripeness, when Gotham’s graffiti filled his head, Reeves began to think about taking down his Batman. Already out of the picture was Ben Affleck, who played a character in the film directed by Zach Snyder Batman vs. Superman: At Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017) and originally planned to put the character into his own separate adventure. But as he stepped back, Reeves began to consider an unexpected choice: Robert Pattinson.

“I’ve been thinking about Batman for years,” the 35-year-old British actor admits as we speak through Zoom. “I don’t know why. It was completely out of reach. ” Truth be told, there is nothing in Pattinson’s back catalog to suggest that he was right for the superhero movie. His only real territory was a blockbuster Twilight, a series of vampires that made him a star. He then went on a wild trip with arthouse authors such as Claire Dennis (High life), Anton Corbyn (Life) and Antonio Campas (The devil all the time).

“After that Twilighthe did a very unexpected thing: he just focused on very, very interesting performances with interesting filmmakers, ”says Reeves, who was particularly impressed by Pattinson’s nervous twist as a bank robber-lover in the 2017 Suffie Brothers suspense film. Good time. “He’s an incredible chameleon. Surprisingly, he can play so many different things. And he is almost always completely different. “

While Pattinson was about to set off into the stunning world of Christopher Nolan’s Inverse Galaxy Provision, Reeves did not know that the actor was involved in another blockbuster hippopotamus. But Pattinson just couldn’t say no. “As soon as he offered it to me, I just knew. It was very, very right, ”he says. The responsibility to take on a character so perfectly played by Michael Keaton and Christian Bale in the past really struck him only later. “You feel like you will inherit a mantle,” he adds. “Then all of a sudden it gets really awful.”

He wasn’t the only one who understood what it meant to star in a Batman movie. Zoe Kravitz, unfamiliar with iconic franchises after participating in Crazy Max: The Road to Rage, recalls the moment when it was finally announced that she was playing Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. “Every person I’ve ever met in my entire life called me, sent me an email or texted me. It was like my birthday on steroids. It was the first time I got a role that fascinated other people, not just me. It was very important for other people. “

Around them Reeves gathered an iron cast of character actors: Andy Serkis as the faithful butler Bruce Wayne Alfred Pennyworth; John Turtur as the criminal Carmine Falcone; Jeffrey Wright as law enforcement officer James Gordon; Peter Sarsgaard as District Attorney Gil Colson, Gotham’s new character. Then there was Paul Dan as Edward Nashton / Redler. Far from the stupid villain Jim Carrey, who was seen in 1995 Batman foreverReeves brought him closer to the Zodiac Assassin, the real assassin who terrorized San Francisco in the 1970s.

Robert Pattinson:

The penguin is played by the filthy unrecognizable Colin Farrell

This Reddler begins to leave clues for Batman, a mystery that will lead him into Gotham’s womb (including the Penguin played by the unrecognizable Colin Farrell) and into a history of corruption that is linked to his own family. “In other iterations of history, he really believes he can change Gotham’s fate. And he’s not very good at it, ”Pattinson explains. “Not only are he almost fired, Gotham residents are as afraid of him as they are of criminals. That’s where we start. ”

Although this film will touch on the idea of ​​Batman as the Great Detective of the World (a legend once adorned on the covers of DC Comics), it is also a study of the characters. Take his relationship with Kyle. “I think they’re both outcasts differently,” Kravitz says. “I think they believe in the same thing, and that’s justice. What their decision is, I think, is quite different. But [it’s] two people who all their lives have felt really lonely and both have a lot of anger and it was very difficult for them to connect with anyone. Then this man enters their lives. And it’s almost like looking in the mirror, but you also want to break the mirror and break it. “

It all comes down to a film that is more reminiscent of the mystery of serial killer David Fincher Seven and its follow-up Game than the Batman movie. For Pattinson, this means a radical departure and a role far more physical than he is used to. Even Batman’s famous roar took the job. “I’ve never really done vocal training … so I kind of made up my own exercises,” he smiles. “But yes, it’s hard. When Christian Bale did that, I remember him saying he was losing his voice all the time. And it is very, very difficult not to lose your voice. “

For Reeves, it was essential that Pattinson find this vocal rhythm to convey the anguish so often covered by an imposing black suit. “You have to feel emotionally Batman in the hood,” he says. – Rob had to play through the hood. Often Batman can become a cipher, and he just looks like an incredible image: wow, he’s so bright. In this case you had to see him in many moments when he was in free fall; where he was supposed to have power, but suddenly he was frightened. ”

How will viewers perceive Pattinson in the role of Batman, re-tuning the character to his darkest, most confused, loneliest? The actor has no idea. But after a delayed filming pandemic (one even filmed at Glasgow Necropolis in February 2020), Pattinson now understands what this character means to many. Even the suit left others breathless. ‘He possesses such elemental power; it has to do with something really, very deep in people. ” The hood is now his. Justice can begin.

Batman has been in theaters since Friday, March 4th.

Robert Pattinson: “Gotham’s people are as afraid of Batman as they are of criminals”

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