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Robert Pattinson Reveals The Subtle Way He Played Bruce Wayne Differently Than Batman

It’s a philosophical question that has been debated by DC Comics creators for decades. Is Batman a mask that is worn by Bruce Wayne? Or is “Bruce” the artificial personality worn by the full-time vigilante known as Batman? The debate is broached by Robert Pattinson and director Matt Reeves in the upcoming feature The Batman, which opens in theaters on March 4. When this particular story takes place, The Batman has only been patrolling Gotham for two years, and Pattinson admits that his version of the character hasn’t quite cracked the balance that’s supposed to exist between both sides of the Wayne persona. And that uncertainty is reflected in his performance. 

When you go to see The Batman (and make sure that you read our official review of the movie before you head out), there are very subtle differences that Robert Pattinson says we can pick up in his voice that signify his separation between Bruce Wayne and Batman. As the actor explained to CinemaBlend during a recent interview:

What made it easy is that he really hasn’t figured out where Bruce ends and where Batman begins at this point in our telling of the story. And so sometimes (its) Bruce seeping out of Batman. And there are a couple of scenes where I’m doing a kind of little, subtle vocal changes. It’s incredibly subtle a lot of times. But sometimes he’s more in Bruce’s register when he’s Batman. Because he hasn’t got full control over the delineation yet.

We, as an audience, pay so much attention to the voice that the Batman actors bring to the table… mainly because it’s one of the few things that the actors can control. Eighty percent of their face is covered by a cowl, so it’s a chin and a voice that helps each Batman stand out. This is why Michael Keaton, star of the first two Tim Burton Batman movies, is able to elicit cheers any time he whispers, “I’m Batman” into a microphone.

And yet, sometimes an actor can take the voice too far, like when Christian Bale leaned into the gravely lisp of his Caped Crusader in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy-capping The Dark Knight Rises:

I’m excited to head back to The Batman once the movie reaches theaters to listen back to Robert Pattinson’s vocal deliveries as both Bruce Wayne and The Batman, knowing now that the actor made a conscious choice to blend them in select scenes so that elements of Bruce bleed through the Dark Knight. 

Even though The Batman isn't connected to the DCEU, it ranks as one of several upcoming DC movies reaching theaters this year, as will also see the latest from The Flash and Aquaman, and a new feature introducing The Rock as Black Adam. It’s a good time to be a DC fan, and there are brighter elements on the horizon, so stay tuned! 

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.