Ťhe messed up psychology of Batman, masked defender of Gotham City, is so dense and peculiar that entire books have been written about it. This is perhaps why so many fans took umbrage at the caped crusader’s depiction during the Joel Schumacher years as a batnippled lightweight. There is really nothing fun about getting under the skin of the dark knight, only to discover he has all the psychological complexity of a Ken doll, 作为 George Clooney 和 Val Kilmer should probably have worked out the minute they picked up their scripts.
Nobody can accuse Robert Pattinson of not doing his homework in this regard. Speaking in the new issue of Premiere magazine’s French edition, the new Batman reveals that he wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of the superhero’s psyche from the minute he signed on.
“There is this rule with Batman: he must not kill,” said Pattinson. “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 “这是一个非常多元化的群体——有各种颜色的西装 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. 反正, I could only play a superhero if he was really dirty!”
It’s a fascinatingly grimy take that might give us some insight into how Pattinson’s interpretation of the character, soon to be seen in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, might vary from previous big screen caped crusaders. Both the Christian Bale 和 Michael Keaton versions stood out for being noble and reserved, bound to their duty to defend Gotham against criminals and supervillains alike. There was rarely any suggestion that they took pleasure in inflicting pain on their victims. Ben Affleck’s take came across very differently, as a pugnacious, brutal bully willing to use guns and heavy weaponry to take down anyone who got in his way – at least in the knuckle-headed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Pattinson’s comments have sparked a debate among fans over Batman’s moral grounding, or lack of it. But intriguingly (perhaps despairingly), the focus has been on whether the caped crusader should kill (in the comics, our hero rarely murders anybody) rather than the more interesting detail. The suggestion from meatheaded corners of the DC fanbase is that Batfleck would never have had such moral complexities, 这是, 当然, entirely correct. This is also the reason why many fans did not warm to Affleck’s take, and why sequel Justice League ended up being written in such a way as to represent a two-hour long grovelling apology for messing up the character. Affleck spends pretty much the entire movie – I am talking the weaker original Joss Whedon version here – saying sorry for being a jerk and “killing” Superman.
It strikes me that everyone is missing a trick here. Surely the fascinating aspect of this new Batman is that he will restrain himself from killing his victims, even though he would actually quite like to splay them out like a raw chicken. Pattinson is pitching an anguished, cut-throat, vagabond caped crusader whose natural instincts are for cruel and murderous carnage, but who is restrained by a devastatingly rigid moral code. It makes me, 最后, hopeful that Reeves’ itineration of Gotham City’s heroic defender will have something to say for itself beyond a shallow retread of the Batman mythos. It also makes me wonder if this might be one Batman movie to skip taking the kids to see.
Here we are into the superhero’s ninth decade and maybe, just maybe (on the big screen at least) the dark knight is finally about to start living up to his nickname.