Robert Pattinson First Thought He Was ‘Absolutely Terrible’ in ‘The Batman’

Matt Reeves was determined to give the DC superhero a "really dirty, dirty, slimy" twist by casting Robert Pattinson.
Robert Pattinson, The Batman
"The Batman"
Warner Bros.

It’s true that the night is darkest just before the dawn. But when it comes to lighting a shadowy costume in “The Batman,” any small miscalculation is enough to throw even the Bat himself into despair.

“Your first thought is, ‘Oh my God, I’m absolutely terrible,'” Robert Pattinson confessed to Moviemaker Magazine after first watching back his “Batman” scenes. Reeves, he said, had asked him for a lot of takes, and he was also challenged by one particular element of the costume design.

“There’s a whole different language, body language, you have to learn to make it do what you want it to do,” Pattinson continued. “If you look too much into the light, [the mask] looks completely ridiculous, and you’re wearing a Halloween costume. But if you’re like two millimeters down, it’s like — oh, that’s completely totemic, and like it looks exactly how it’s supposed to look. But to learn how to feel that and learn how to react to how the light hits it, takes forever.”

Pattinson first became attached to Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” after the writer-director was wowed by Pattinson’s performance in the Safdie Brothers’ “Good Time.”

Pattinson recalled Reeves telling him, “I want to do a really dirty, dirty, slimy Batman.”

“I’ve never auditioned for any comic book movies before,” the former “Twilight” star explained. “And at the time, even my agents thought it pretty out of character to just suddenly get fixated on Batman. And I didn’t even really know the status of the project.”

“In the first meeting, [Reeves] was saying, we want to lean into the ‘world’s greatest detective aspect,’ and be a detective noir movie,” Pattinson added. “And, you know, normally when directors say that, they just do, like, a mood board, and it’s just about the imagery. But I read the script, and it is a detective movie. It happens all the time in the graphic novels, but it’s always kind of on the backburner in the movies.”

Throw in a conspiracy theory, a personal redemption story, and a slew of Batman baddies played by Paul Dano, Zoë Kravitz, and Colin Farrell, and you’ve got Reeves’ magnum opus ode to a beloved DC superhero.

“Batman is an amazing myth that has endured for over 80 years,” Reeves stated. “He’s like James Bond, I guess, in a certain way, right? But there’s also something very relatable to the pain that he’s gone through. And so that, for me, was how you ground it — those aspects are part of the story. And this story emphasizes those things. This story pulls those things out.”

Reeves concluded, “So that’s why I was so excited about Robert Pattinson because he’s such a wonderful actor. And I knew that he would be able to go on that search with me for the depth and complexity of this character. I mean, I knew he wasn’t going to play him straight ahead.”

“The Batman” is scheduled to premiere March 4 in theaters.

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