The Batman: How Robert Pattinson Went About Finding His Voice As The Caped Crusader

Robert Pattinson as Batman in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

There are many complicated things about playing Batman in a blockbuster – from intense training, to learning how to perform inside the armor, cape, and cowl – but one unique aspect of the performance is the “Bat Voice.” Because Bruce Wayne is a celebrity, he has to alter the way he speaks when he is doing his costumed vigilante business, and finding the proper levels can be a challenge.

It’s an experience that Robert Pattinson had to go through in both the preparation for and making of The Batman, and he recently opened up about his process.

Robert Pattison joined co-star Zoë Kravitz, co-writer/director Matt Reeves, and producer Dylan Clark on a panel last week during a press event for The Batman in Los Angeles, and the first question he was asked by the crowd full of journalists was in regards to him finding his literal voice as the Dark Knight. Pattinson explained that it wasn’t something that he discovered overnight, and that it wasn’t something that was finalized until a few weeks into principal photography. Said the actor,

It was a lot of trial and error. I had a lot of time to think about it. I think I was cast about seven or eight months before we started shooting, and so I was experimenting with a lot of different things. And I think the first two or three weeks we were kind of doing a variety of different voices. Because there's only a couple of lines in the first few scenes we shot, and I think me and Matt just sort of settled on something.

Batman’s voice has really only been a focus of attention since Christian Bale’s performance as the Caped Crusader in the Dark Knight trilogy. The choice for the actor to alter his voice was applauded by fans for the realism it captured, but the gruff and gravely sound was also the subject of some mockery.

For the Ben Affleck version of the character, the issue was circumvented with one of Batman’s wonderful toys – namely a voice modulator that is built into his suit. Because Matt Reeves didn’t go this route for The Batman, Robert Pattinson had to find ways to alter his speech naturally.

It took time, but the star settled into a proper place after a few weeks of experimenting – and while doing he eventually got to a point where he found that the experience being Batman essentially dictated its own voice. Said Pattinson,

It started to sit in a very particular place, and it kind of felt like a progression from other kind of 'Bat Voices' and felt kind of somewhat comfortable to do as well. It's weird; it just suddenly starts to feel right. It seems to be the more you embody the suit, the more you embody the kind of character. It just started to come out quite organically.

“Organically” is an interesting term to use there, as Matt Reeves followed up Robert Pattinson’s comments by discussing his own view on the process, and he made his star’s work on his Batman voice sound practically inhuman. According to the writer/director, Pattinson has some extreme skills when it comes to modulating the way he speaks, and Reeves was shocked by what he could do with his performance:

I have to say that one of the amazing of many amazing things about Rob is he has such incredible technical control of himself, of his instrument, as you would was say in terms of the acting. He could do things with his voice, it was a crazy thing. I was like going, 'Oh, you can go lower?' And then he would! I was like, 'That's amazing.' He went through this process of searching for where it felt like that voice should sit.

Going further, Matt Reeves added that it’s not a skill solely limited to creating a voice for Batman. He evidently has tremendous range, and doesn’t need practice. Said Reeves,

He can pick up anyone's accent. There's no dialect coach. This doesn't happen. That's just who he is. He's an incredible person.

Responding to these complements, Robert Pattison simply added that there is a lot to be discovered about a character from the way that they talk, and that it’s ultimately a vital part of the way he works:

It seems obvious in retrospect, but you don't really realize that a lot of it is like the whole character; the whole performance is your voice. And it's kind of how many different shapes you can do with your mouth. You don't kind of realize it until you're doing it, and you're like, 'Oh, there has to be kind of subtle intonation changes and stuff.'

In just a few weeks, audiences around the world will be able to witness the final results of Robert Pattinson’s challenging vocal work, as The Batman will be in theaters everywhere on March 4 (you can purchase tickets on the official website). We’ll have more coming your way from last week’s press event here on CinemaBlend, so stay tuned here on the site – and if you’re in need of an outlet for your DC Comics passion, you can learn about all of the projects in development with our Upcoming DC Movies guide, or take a tour through the DCEU canon with our DC Extended Universe timeline.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.