Every incarnation of Batman is different. Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne was a brooding and mysterious philanthropist, Christian Bale’s a tech-abreast billionaire. Robert Pattinson’s take on the Caped Crusader? Apparently, he’s a real grease monkey.
That’s according to The Batman director Matt Reeves, who told Esquire (opens in new tab) that the grounded, industrial approach to Pattinson’s Dark Knight will be reflected in the character’s distinctive Batmobile and Batcave.
“The Nolan films established the Batmobile as a tank, which was a brilliant idea,” Reeves said. “But I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if [our Batman] is a loner and a gearhead and fashioning these things by himself, taking parts of other cars and kit cars?’ So, it’s recognizable as a car this time. But it’s like a muscle car. One that he’s made himself.”
Judging by what we’ve seen of Pattinson’s Batmobile so far, that “gearhead” aesthetic rings true. While Schumacher and Burton’s versions of the iconic vehicle were outlandish, and Christopher Nolan’s Tumbler was, quite literally, a small tank, Reeves’ Batmobile is more akin to a modded Dodge Challenger – a tinker project for Pattinson’s Batman.
This commitment to gritty realism will be evident in the character’s unique Batcave, too, which is “based on a secret underground railway that still exists in New York,” according to Reeves.
“The idea being,” he added, “that some of these wealthy industrialist families had private train cars at the turn of the century. So, the Batcave is actually in the foundation of this tower. It was [another] way of saying, ‘How can we root all these things in things that feel real, but also extraordinary?’”
Given that The Batman will depict a younger Bruce Wayne in the early days of his vigilante career, it’s refreshing to see the character sporting a more plausible set of accessories. And if the movie’s almighty runtime is anything to go by, we’re likely to see a whole lot of them.
In the same interview with Esquire, Reeves’ also addressed the early criticism directed towards Pattinson’s casting as the Caped Crusader, saying that the backlash was an inevitable expectation.
“There has been no actor, when [the news] that he was going to be playing Batman in one of the feature films was announced, that has not received a backlash,” Reeves said.
“The people who were excited, I knew it was because they knew Rob’s work post-Twilight," the director added. “The people who weren’t excited, I knew it was because they didn’t know Rob’s work post-Twilight.”
Reeves pointed towards Pattinson's star turn in the Safdie brothers’ 2017 film, Good Time, as proof of the actor’s ability to portray “dangerousness,” “desperation” and an “inner kind of rage” – three qualities for which Batman is famous.
We don’t have long to wait to see Pattinson in action, either. The Batman hits theaters March 4, 2022.