Robert Pattinson Admits A Batman Suit Looks Like A Halloween Costume Until The Lighting Is Just Right

There's a real art to lighting actors in superhero outfits. It's just as easy to make them look sharp and sophisticated as it is to make them look utterly clownish — which, to be fair, is sometimes the intent, like when Christopher Smith (John Cena) walks confidently into a public area wearing his shiny chrome helmet and brightly colored costume (sorry, uniform) on James Gunn's "Peacemaker" series. Alternatively, Ben Affleck's Batman looks mysterious and threatening in his grey-and-black suit thanks to Fabian Wagner's shadowy cinematography in "Zack Snyder's Justice League," but loses much of his mystique when he's brightly lit in the reshot footage from the film's 2017 theatrical cut.

This was something Robert Pattinson quickly became aware of while playing the Caped Crusader during production on "The Batman." As the "Tenet" actor explained to MovieMaker, he initially worried when director Matt Reeves would ask him to do multiple takes of the same scene. ("Your first thought is, Oh my God, I'm absolutely terrible," he laughed.) In time, though, he came to realize that Reeves was catching minor yet significant details that he hadn't noticed before, especially when the lighting on his Batman mask was off. As the film's cinematographer Greig Fraser ("Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," "Dune") told Pattinson, "The two most difficult things to light are Darth Vader's helmet and the cowl."

"A Whole Different Language"

Pattinson went on to explain how the lighting on the Batman suit affected his performance (specifically, where he would direct his gaze during a scene):

"There's a whole different language, body language, you have to learn to make [the Batman suit] do what you want it to do. If you look too much into the light, it 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."

Reeves, for his part, is known for directing cold and dark-looking movies, be it the result of their bleak settings and subject matter (as was the case with his "Planet of the Apes" films) or because much of the action involves monsters moving about under the cover of the night (like in "Cloverfield" and "Let Me In"). With "The Batman," however, he's adapted a distinctly David Fincher-style approach, painting Gotham City and its inhabitants in stylishly drab, grimy shades of color. And as much as that befits the movie's noir vibe and crime drama elements, it may've also been partly born out of a need to make Pattinson's Bat-suit look a lot cooler and more refined than if would've otherwise. The more you know, right?

"The Batman" opens in theaters on March 4, 2022.