After many delays, in making and the release of the film, Matt Reeves’ The Batman is finally hitting movie theaters this week. It’s one of the most highly anticipated and talked about films of the year, it stars Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader. It’s a dark and brooding crime thriller that plunges Pattinson’s Batman and Jeffery Wright’s Lietenant Jim Gordon into a murder mystery that threatens to take down the entirety of Gotham.
When a sadistic serial killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues of his crimes for the Batman to follow, Batman teams up with Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Jeffery Wright), the only reliable cop in Gotham, to figure out the Riddler’s true intentions. Along their investigation, the duo run into a series of notable people with links to Gotham’s criminal underworld. Batman must forges new alliances with people like Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), who Batman first runs into at the Iceberg Lounge, in order to find out more about the criminal actions of Gotham officials, the Penguin (Colin Farrell) and, especially, Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).
‘The Batman’ review: Robert Pattinson delivers the definitive take on the caped crusader in Matt Reeves’ brooding, epic comic book crime thriller [Grade: A]
At the film’s press conference, Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz, with fellow cast members Paul Dano and Jeffery Wright, talked about the evolution of making The Batman. They offered many insights into their thought processes, reactions and acting influences when creating their new iterations of the iconic characters they play in the film.
Robert Pattinson, the Batman himself, when asked about how it feels to have the film being finally released, spoke about how it still feels all very surreal considering that he had been attached for such a long time.
“I was attached for like three years. The shoot was, like, 15 months long, it feels very surreal. It takes just seeing the posters to realize this is actually happening, it’s starting to feel a little bit more real now.” He went on to talk about how his Bruce Wayne is a “pretty drastic departure” from the traditional playboy version of the character: “Since his parents death, he has just withered away. He hasn’t worked on himself at all, apart from this obscure way, where the only way he can survive is creating this alter ego, which he wants to live in more and more. He genuinely believes he’s another person when he puts it on. And he’s addicted to it.”
When asked about playing such an iconic character like Catwoman, Zoë Kravitz said: “It’s scary. It’s rare to be a part of a film where the the coming out of the film is just as intense as the making of the film. We all poured our entire hearts into this film, and I really hope that they hopefully like it.”
Kravitz follows in the footsteps of past Catwoman’s like Michelle Pfieffer and Anne Hathaway, who have their legion of fans, so there was a lot to live up to. One of the most notable things about Catwoman is her distinctive physicality, Kravitz claims she didn’t have any lessons on how to act like a cat, but did plenty of online research.
“It’s rare to have a character whose physicality is equally as important as anything else that you’re going to do. I did watch plenty of cat videos, feline videos, I loved the mystery behind the way they moved and their smoothness and really wanting to find ways to just bring that elegance and that confidence to the character.”
Talking about Jim Gordon’s relationship to Batman and the film as a whole, actor Jeffery Wright remarked “One of the questions that we ask at the beginning, and we asked the audience to ask, is why this cape and cowl? We don’t assume that it’s heroic, we don’t assume that it’s represents all of these things that we’ve come over time to know, Batman to be. But we see it as odd. And that relationship as well between Gordon and Batman, there’s an oddness. Immediately, they’re isolated together, I think out of a type of desperation and a utility. And we drive on from there through this detective work which goes back to the origins of Detective Comics, and is what Matt wanted to celebrate.”
Seemingly the person who got most lost in their character was Paul Dano, who discussed writer-director Matt Reeves’ influences when creating this new, modern, serial killer-version of the Riddler. “Matt, certainly, had some real life influences like the Zodiac Killer. We did work on it together, that stuff’s incredibly important because you kind of try to also imbue it with the energy when you put on the suit. I needed that mask to carry some of the character for me because he’s a lot. The Riddler is somebody who is totally powerless, but is able to feel powerful, but also for me, it allows something to come through that I don’t know if the same thing would without the mask.”
Dano was also asked about his acting influences, and if Jim Carrey inspired his performance, to which he replied: “I will say that Jim Carrey was one of my favorite actors growing up I was obsessed with Jim Carrey in late elementary school. And coincidently Jack Nicholson was also my other favorite actor when I was young, who’s also a part of Batman history. Luckily, Matt sort of gave us the keys with the script. So, I didn’t have to really think about any other villains work but unconsciously I’m sure it informed me somehow.”
Finally, talking about what makes Reeves’ Batman film unique, Jeffery Wright said “I think every film that’s come before our film has been done in its own way. And it’s been a film for that time. And what really excited me about this script and Matt’s vision was that he was making a Batman for now.” “I think it’s going to be thrilling for fans because it’s modern, but also based in the origins of the characters, which is around mystery and detective work.”
The Batman opens only in theaters on March 4 from Warner Bros.