The Batman star Robert Pattinson admits he didn’t know the DC superhero was known as the “World’s Greatest Detective” when he took the role.
The Batman star Robert Pattinson admits that he didn’t know the DC superhero was considered a detective when he accepted the role. The English actor will star as the latest interpretation of the Caped Crusader in a film from Matt Reeves, best known for directing Cloverfield and the last two entries in the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy. After enduring a host of pandemic-related production delays, The Batman is finally set for theatrical release on March 4.
Though today one of the most recognizable figures in popular culture, Batman first appeared in an issue of Detective Comics in 1939, quick off the heels of Superman’s successful debut in Action Comics the year before. Though conceived as a superhero from the outset, his lack of powers led to greater emphasis on his intellect and skill as a fighter, earning him the nickname “The World’s Greatest Detective.” While also equipped with a wide array of gadgets that have only grown more advanced over the years, his ability to outsmart whatever villain is plaguing Gotham remains an important part of his character decades later.
According to an interview with GQ, however, Pattinson had no idea. The star recalls Reeves discussing The Batman with him early on as a detective story in the vein of 1970s cinema, and he assumed that referred to the film’s visual style. He eventually realized it went much further, defining the project’s entire focus, which Pattinson acknowledges makes total sense given the character’s history. Check out his full quote below:
It was what Matt was saying from the first meeting I had with him: ‘I want to do a ’70s noir detective story, like The Conversation.’ And I kind of assumed that meant the mood board or something, the look of it. But from the first shot, it’s, Oh, this actually is a detective story. And I feel like an idiot, because I didn’t even know that Batman was ‘the world’s greatest detective’; I hadn’t heard that in my life before—but it really plays. Just ’cause there’s a lot of stuff where he’s in amongst the cops. Normally, when you see Batman he arrives and beats people up. But he’s having conversations, and there are emotional scenes between them, which I don’t think have been in any of the other movies.
While it’s amusing that Pattinson hadn’t been familiar with Batman beyond his capacity to punch out baddies, Reeves was clearly interested in bringing the Caped Crusader back to his detective roots, and it sounds like viewers can expect a lot of dialogue in The Batman‘s almost three-hour runtime. Given that two of the most enduring scenes from Christopher Nolan’s trilogy are interrogation scenes – Batman Begins‘ “Swear to me” sequence and Batman’s tête-à-tête with Joker in The Dark Knight – this should be exciting news to potential audiences. Indeed, invoking Francis Ford Coppola’s Palme D’Or-winning The Conversation suggests all the press about The Batman‘s unique tone hasn’t been unfounded.
Of course, viewers expecting a healthy dose of action with their superhero blockbuster shouldn’t be worried. The Batman trailers released so far have shown off some brutal fight scenes, as well as a thrilling car chase between Pattinson’s Batmobile and Colin Farrell’s Penguin. Just how Reeves balances action and conversation won’t be revealed until the film’s release next month.
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
- Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023
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