The Batman's Robert Pattinson Shares Why Gotham City's Citizens Don't See DC's Caped Crusader As A Hero

The Batman staring at the ground
(Image credit: Warner Bros. )

After spending some time in the DC Extended Universe with Ben Affleck’s Batman, who’d been a superhero for two decades when we met him in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Batman is giving us another younger take on the popular DC Comics character. Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne is in his second year of crimefighting when Matt Reeves’ nearly three-hour-long movie begins, and just like any other version of the Caped Crusader, his main goal is to protect the innocent and strike fear into the hearts of criminals. However, apparently Gotham City’s citizens don’t see him as a hero he’s trying to be.

During an extensive interview with GQ, Robert Pattinson explained how his version of Bruce Wayne in The Batman doesn’t have the playboy persona, instead labeling the character as a “weirdo” and saying how the role has a “nihilistic slant” to it. The actor noted how traditionally Bruce goes away to train, comes back to Gotham City and begins his journey as a vigilante, thinking he’ll be able to change things for the better, but in The Batman, he’s not exactly inspiring public support. As Pattinson put it:

But in this, it’s sort of implied that he’s had a bit of a breakdown. But this thing he’s doing, it’s not even working. Like, it’s two years into it, and the crime has gotten worse since Bruce started being Batman. The people of Gotham think that he’s just another symptom of how shit everything is. There’s this scene where he’s beating everyone up on this train platform, and I just love that there’s a bit in the script where the guy he’s saving is also just like: Ahh! It’s worse! You’re either being mugged by some gang members, or a monster comes and, like, fucking beats everybody up! The guy has no idea that Batman’s come to save him. It just looks like this werewolf.

Bruce Wayne means well, but you can’t blame someone for freaking out over a guy dressed like a bat swooping in to inflict violence, even if his punches and kicks are directed at the criminals trying to hurt you. Even though Batman has been on the scene for over a year when the events of The Batman start unfolding, evidently the costumed Bruce Wayne hasn’t established a great reputation. Jeffrey Wright’s James Gordon and other members of the Gotham City Police Department may begrudgingly work with the Dark Knight, but the general population apparently sees the vigilante as just another aspect of Gotham City that’s horrible.

Maybe our intrepid hero’s reputation will improve when he defeats a different kind of criminal. The latest of the Batman movies sees Paul Dano’s Edward Nashton, a.k.a. The Riddler, killing elite Gotham citizens as part of his mission to “unmask the truth” about the city (a phrase shown off in the movie’s posters), and leaving baffling clues behind to taunt Batman and the GCPD. Batman will also encounter trouble from Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin, but luckily the cape and cowled Bruce Wayne won’t have to handle these threats alone, as he’ll be aided Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, though that’s not to say all their interests will align. The Batman’s lineup of principal players also includes Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone and Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson.

The Batman casts its shadow in theaters on March 4. In addition to this intended to be the first entry in a trilogy, HBO Max is also developing spinoff series focused on the GCPD and The Penguin, respectively (don’t expect the former show to be a Gotham copycat). As always, CinemaBlend will continue to keep you looped in on the latest developments with upcoming DC movies.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.