The test footage posted to Vimeo by Matt Reeves sees Robert Pattinson bearing the iconic Batman suit under a dim, red light, completed by composer Michael Giacchino’s thematic score playing in the background. See for yourself here:
Any curiosities of how the star of The Lighthouse would fit into the cape and cowl have now been quelled. Even so, there is still plenty about this new Batman suit design that I am curious about.
Even a reveal of this magnitude is consumed by an aura of great mystery, especially with the level of anticipation Matt Reeves' new take on Gotham's protector has seen so far. These are just a handful of the things I have been obsessively pondering about Robert Pattinson's Batman suit since I first laid eyes on the video.
Robert Pattinson’s Suit Looks More Tactical Than Batman Suits Of The Past
The first thing I noticed watching the test footage was the armor, a feature in the Batman suit that is rarer than you may expect. Whether you are flipping through the pages of a DC comic book, checking out one of the many animated series or films starring the Dark Knight, or rewatching a classic live action theatrical release, you may encounter a Batman who is impervious to more lethal attacks or a sitting duck. Some iterations see a Bruce Wayne who prepared his suit to protect him from gunfire or other weaponry, but the more traditional outfit tends to be equipped with gray and black spandex and faith in bad aiming.
Take, for instance, Christian Bale’s suit in The Dark Knight. The outfit that his Bruce Wayne acquired in Batman Begins, with help from Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox, was designed with a chest piece strong enough to stop a knife, but when its immodest weight proved problematic in combative situations, he opted for a lighter, sleeker, yet more vulnerable Batman suit. Either kind of Batsuit has it advantages and disadvantages.
However, it looks like Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne has given himself the best of both worlds, with a Batsuit equipped with armor that appears strong enough to prevent heavy damage, but light enough to increase his mobility. If my eyes do not deceive me, this could be the most tactical and efficient design to a Batman suit we have seen on film yet.
What Is Exactly Is Robert Pattinson's Bat Symbol Made Of?
If there was one thing that about The Batman suit test footage that incited the most audible gasp from me, it was the design of the symbol. The most recognizable feature on the Batman suit (with the exception of the pointy eared cowl, of course) is the insignia placed on his chest resembling the winged, nocturnal creature of his namesake. The symbol has undergone various revisions since the hero’s 1939 debut.
In Tim Burton’s Batman films, Michael Keaton’s suit bore, what is probably the most iconic variation of the logo, the black bat within yellow oval. In the Dark Knight Trilogy, Christian Bale’s suit had its own sleek symbol that was designed specifically for the films, while Ben Affleck’s logo, and entire suit, was heavily inspired by Frank Miller’s design in The Dark Knight Returns. Yet, never in the movies has the symbol resembled what appears to be weaponry before.
While my first guess was that Robert Pattinson’s Batman has given the handiest piece of equipment from his utility belt, the Batarang, a big upgrade as a dual-purpose tool that is as damaging as it is symbolic, fans have proposed another theory that the insignia pays tribute to one-shot comic book penned by Kevin Smith in honor of the Caped Crusader's 80th anniversary. The story, published in Detective Comics #1000, sees Bruce Wayne retrieving the same gun that killed his parents, which he melts down into a protective chest plate. If that's what we're seeing on the front of The Batman's new suit, I have to agree with the people saying that it's seriously metal. Kevin Smith has already Tweeted that he hopes the theory turns out to be true. We do too!
Is Robert Pattinson’s Cowl Detachable?
You may be scratching your head over why I am scratching my head over a concept like this. In fact, you may even assume Robert Pattinson’s ability to remove the cowl from his Batman suit is obvious. Yet, a detachable cowl is a more important detail to consider than one may realize.
Batman has not always been able to easily take off the cowl without removing the entire Batsuit, despite a few exceptions, such as Christian Bale, who visibly slips it off in a scene in Batman Begins. However, if fans will recall, Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne had to rip his cowl (which was part of his cape) off to reveal his identity in Batman Returns and the cowl in Batman: The Animated Series was designed as a hood he could slip off and let hang from the back of his neck.
There are actually a few details of Robert Pattinson’s cowl that distinguish it from previous variations. For instance, the portion covering the top half of his face stops at the tip of his nose (the cinematic debut of this design), the opening for his mouth reveals more of the bottom half of his face than usual, and it appears to be constructed with a much lighter, leathery material, which almost sparks reminders of Adam West’s cowl. The collar that surrounds his neck (also something new to a live action Batman suit) suggests that this cowl is separate from the cape, causing us to speculate that Pattinson will be able to remove his cowl if the situation requires it.
Is It Just Me, Or Is It A Lot Like The Batman Suit From The Arkham Series Video Games?
As the details I have mentioned above prove, The Batman’s suit design is a vast departure from the outfits we have seen in previous cinematic iterations. That being said, upon my initial viewing of the test footage, the first thought to pop into my head afterward was, ironically, “Have I not seen this Batman suit before?”
From the widened mouth hole, tactically-minded assembly (complete with padded shoulders), and lighter prime color, I could not help but spot a keen resemblance to the suit from Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham video games series. There is no telling if this is intentional, but if it is, could this mean that The Batman will be a video game adaptation?
Of course, this theory does contradict longstanding rumors that the film is inspired by elements of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale’s acclaimed graphic novel The Long Halloween, in which several of Gotham’s most wanted are notably involved. While many of said figures in Batman’s rogues gallery are confirmed to make appearances, such as Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and Paul Dano as The Riddler, how they play a role in the plot of Matt Reeves’ film is unknown, so the chances of them making a cameo from inside an Arkham Asylum cell are nothing to refute just yet. Besides, the concept of a Batman: Arkham Asylum (or even Arkham City) movie already has my support.
It is funny to consider how an announcement so revealing can still conjure so many questions and, clearly, Robert Pattinson's Batman suit is no exception. Until we learn the truth behind our speculation when The Batman hits theaters Summer 2021, be sure to check back for more updates on Matt Reeves' reboot here at CinemaBlend.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.