The Batman Reminds Robert Pattinson Of The Conversation And Other '70s Noirs

Since donning the garb of the caped crusader in director Matt Reeves' "The Batman," Robert Pattinson has provided considerable insight into his thought process behind bringing the role to life, including Batman's no-kill rule. For instance, Pattinson's views on Batman administering "bad self-therapy" offered us more insight into the primary narrative of the new movie, in which the story will (thankfully) not be rehashing the Thomas and Martha Wayne death scene, and offer a direct view into Bruce's post-trauma psyche. 

Continuing in this vein, Pattinson told GQ about how Reeves has approached the character of the masked vigilante, which in turn, informed his interpretation of "the world's greatest detective" and the film's noir feel as a whole.

Moral Dilemma, Surveillance, & '70s Noir

Batman is one of the most recognizable superhero figures in popular culture, but before he got his own self-titled comic book series, he was headlining "Detective Comics" in 1939. Key word there: detective. While Batman is a skilled fighter and strategist, his lack of out-and-out superhero powers is balanced out by his hawk-eyed observational skills and razor-sharp intellect, earning him the moniker of "The World's Greatest Detective."

Pattinson admits to having been unaware of this aspect of the superhero, as he mostly associated the figure with someone who surveilled Gotham city and beat up the bad guys with the aid of strength, skill, and high-end gadgets. Pattinson explains this in his GQ interview, in which he admits to having watched a rough cut of "The Batman," whose opening scene he describes as "jarring." But in a good way:

"I watched a rough cut of the movie by myself ... and the first shot is so jarring from any other Batman movie that it's just kind of a totally different pace. 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."

The mention of '70s noir (and specifically Francis Ford Coppola's 1973 masterpiece "The Conversation") is interesting, as these stories frequently delve into complex moral dilemmas. This appears to be a key conflict within Pattinson's Batman, as per the trailers and sneak peeks so far. Surveillance seems to be an important theme, considering Bruce's dual role and the nature of the film's villain, the Riddler, who seems to be one step ahead of everyone in Gotham. Including Batman himself. 

"The Batman" also stars Colin Farrell, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, and Andy Serkis. It is scheduled for release in theaters on March 4, 2022.