The Batman: Pattinson's Suit Is More Arkham Series Than Dark Knight Trilogyby Jonathan Figueroa
Although The Batman is still over a year away, the world just received its first look at Robert Pattinson's new Batman. Director Matt Reeves has posted some dimly-lit screen-test footage online, revealing a short glimpse at the new Batsuit with Pattinson under the cowl. The costume features armor panels and shoulder pads along with a slim, metallic Bat logo. This minute of footage is the best look that fans have had at the long-delayed Batman reboot, and it already suggests a source of inspiration for the caped crusader's new look.
The test footage doesn't reveal the full costume -- only a few shots of Batman's head and chest -- but it does give a good sense of what the production is going for. Video game fans might have already connected the dots, as it looks similar to the metallic armor from Batman: Arkham Knight. The game's Batsuit features stiff, tech-based armor on Batman's chest -- a good idea for a superhero who is always getting shot, and a look rarely used in Batman films. The suit uses a logo similar to the one from the games as well. It could be a coincidence, but maybe the popular game series has influenced the upcoming film more than fans realize.
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It's a far cry from the Batsuits in The Dark Knight trilogy, too, where Christian Bale mostly had to sport rubbery, leather-looking armor and extremely stiff masks. Batman's cowls in The Dark Knight movies were a problematic choice, as the actor could barely turn his head, even in the middle of fight scenes. It always looks a little goofy when Batman, a master martial artist, can't manage to face his enemies without turning his entire body. Michael Keaton's Batman had the same problem, with a cowl so tight and immobile that Keaton has to tear it at the neck to remove it in Batman Returns. Bale's Batman never really overcame this problem, despite the fact that his suit gets upgraded in The Dark Knight. Pattinson's suit also has a bit more color separation than the all-black suits from The Dark Knight, making the details and Bat symbol a bit more visible, even in the low-light footage.
More recently, Ben Affleck's Batman wore a thinner, rather vulnerable suit with a very mobile cowl. He could turn his head without a problem, but the suit itself didn't look nearly as protective as Bale's from The Dark Knight. Affleck also wore a "tactical" Batsuit in Justice League that sported a very armored look, but it doesn't look as similar to the suit from the Arkham series as the one in this test footage. It's possible that the costume is also inspired by the Injustice fighting games, where Batman's costumes often look rigid and tech-based.
It looks like Robert Pattinson's Batsuit will strike a nice balance between the two: realistically armored and protective, while still mobile enough to let the actor not look too stiff during all of the action. The Arkham Knight look is also a choice that will please fans, as the love for the Arkham video game series is hard to overstate. Of course, there are still plenty of unknown details about the costume that fans won't be able to discuss until we get a better look.
It's worth noting that the film's major influences haven't publicly included the Arkham games up until this point. Past rumors indicated that The Batman would take cues from The Long Halloween, but would be an original story that emphasizes the noir-detective elements of the character. The new test footage suggests that Reeves is open to taking from many different eras of Batman's long history, which only serves to make us more excited.
Batman fans should stay tuned-- the fact that this footage was even released suggests that we'll finally start learning more about The Batman's long-awaited return very soon.
Directed and co-written by Matt Reeves, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, Jeffrey Wright, and John Turturro. The film arrives June 25, 2021.
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