Robert Pattinson gives his interpretation of Batman’s famous no-kill rule. Releasing in March, The Batman finds Pattinson in the lead role as the Dark Knight. He’ll be the 13th actor to have played the character in live-action, and will make his debut as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Matt Reeves-directed movie.
Throughout the years, a key component to Batman’s character has been his unwillingness to kill his enemies. Nearly every version of the character has held to that rule, from the campy Adam West Batman to more modern versions played by Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. A notable exception to this is Ben Affleck’s Batman, arguably the most violent iteration of the character on screen, and who has been shown to kill and even use guns (weapons that other versions of Batman typically avoid). The debate over whether or not Batman should kill has been raging for years, and now Pattinson is weighing in.
In an interview with the French magazine, Premiere (via The Direct), Pattinson discusses the psychology behind his version of Batman and specifically the character’s no-kill rule. Along with explaining how he approached this aspect of Batman, Pattinson also talked about how he could only have played a superhero if he was allowed to dig into the messier side of the character. Read Pattinson’s full quote (translated from French), below:
“There is this rule with Batman: he must not kill. It can be interpreted in two ways. Either he only wants to inflict the appropriate punishment, or he wants to kill and his self-control prevents him from doing so.
“I imagined it that way from the rehearsal of the first fight, I thought it was funnier: something in him just wanted to slit the guy’s throat! I told myself that if he spends his nights chasing criminals, it is impossible that he does not take pleasure in it. He suffers and it is a desire that overwhelms him. And by dint of knocking, his mind clears, he calms down, he reaches a state close to plenitude. I’m sure in this first fight, he manages to convince himself that every guy in front of him is the one who killed his mother (Laughs.) And so that allows him to vent all his rage.
“The interesting thing is that this Batman practically lives in the gutter. He’s nowhere at home except on the street when he’s wearing the suit. He lives a criminal life, but without committing crimes! I felt like I could get something out of that. Anyway, I could only play a superhero if he was really dirty!”
Pattinson’s comments seem to confirm The Batman will not show his character killing anyone. However, as evidenced by The Batman trailers, he will certainly be seen beating up a lot of criminals to within an inch of their lives. This is as far as most interpretations of the character will go, wanting to show Batman in violent confrontations but unwilling to have him deliver any killing blows. For Affleck’s version in Batman V Superman, director Zach Snyder argued this was an unrealistic take on the character and purposefully showed the vigilante’s actions leading to deadly consequences. Many pushed back against this interpretation, but as recently as Peacemaker, the DCEU’s latest project, the main character argues Batman is a worse hero because he doesn’t kill his villains, instead allowing them to escape and cause more harm in the long run.
Whether or not Batman should kill is certainly a debate that has no easy answer, but it’s interesting to see how Pattinson has worked that question into his take on the character. For his part, Batman wants to kill, even suggesting he imagines every thug he fights is who killed his parents, but that he retains a sliver of self-control to stop himself. It appears that in The Batman, not letting his rage consume him completely is basically all that separates Pattinson’s Bruce from the criminals he fights. It’s a very thin line, and one Batman as been walking for decades. When Pattinson’s version of the Dark Knight finally hits screens, it’ll be fascinating to see just how close he comes to crossing it.
Next: Batman’s 2022 Plans Prove How Wrong Schumacher’s Reboot Was
Source: Premiere (via The Direct)
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