Is Batman Not A Superhero? Robert Pattinson Argues You Need 'Magical Powers'

Christian Bale as Batman in Batman Begins
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

What makes a superhero? Just a comic book storyline? Special powers? A code? A costume? A cape? DC Comics' Batman is one of the most popular superheroes of all time. But he's not a superhero to The Batman star Robert Pattinson -- and some others -- because he doesn't operate with any superpowers. He's just Bruce Wayne -- a really rich, really smart dude with a lot of gadgets and a desire for justice.

Robert Pattinson now has the role of DC's Batman in the upcoming movie The Batman. Matt Reeves' movie has been billed as a film noir focusing on Batman as a detective. Pattinson just had an interview with Today's Willie Geist about The Lighthouse, his Twilight fame hopefully calming down now so he's not stalked as much, and then The Batman.

Here's how the Batman conversation started:

Willie Geist: I have to ask you about Batman. That came to you and you thought what? You want to be a superhero...Robert Pattinson: Batman's not a superhero. [laughs]Willie Geist: Forgive me! [laughs] How do we classify it?Robert Pattinson: It's weird, I always balk at it. I'm like, 'It doesn't count, you need to have like magical powers to be a superhero.'Willie Geist: I mean, he's got a cape, so that's a pretty good start.Robert Pattinson: Yeah, the cape is there. I give you that one.

Thoughts? Robert Pattinson isn't the first to make this argument -- Reddit debates it every so often -- but he is the new Batman so his perspective on this is interesting.

Last month, Robert Pattinson had a conversation with the New York Times about playing heroes. He said we should be skeptical of any actor who wants to play the hero (look away, Tom Hanks!) and yet he's now playing Batman. Here's Pattinson's response to that:

Batman’s not a hero, though. He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero — there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong. I think it’s because one of my eyes is smaller than the other one.

Moving past his eye size, in that conversation Robert Pattinson was talking about heroes, and with Today he argued Batman isn't a superhero because he lacks magical powers -- which would presumably still include powers from being bitten by a radioactive spider. It would certainly include being born with powers like Superman, Wonder Woman, or Thor.

But what about someone like Tony Stark/Iron Man, who is just a rich, smart guy who creates his own superhero costume and gadgets, somewhat like Bruce Wayne? Sounds like Black Widow and Hawkeye would be out of luck, just regular humans with strong skill sets they use to fight crime. Not "superheroes" by that definition.

Superhero or not, Robert Pattinson's The Batman will be joined by several other characters, including villains. Zoe Kravitz will play Selina Kyle/Catwoman, with Paul Dano as The Riddler, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.

Robert Pattinson previously mentioned being "fucking furious" when his name leaked as the possible new Batman. He told Today when he was offered the gig it was "an immediate yes" so he worried the leaks might ruin everything. So far, so good, though -- apart from some grumbles about his casting.

Robert Pattinson has been busy training for The Batman, when he's not busy giving interviews about his current film projects. The Batman is currently scheduled to be released on June 25, 2021. But is the character a superhero? Your call.

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Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.