Batman begins again this spring. Though upcoming reboot The Batman won’t directly explore the Caped Crusader’s origins, in order to avoid retreading the Dark Knight trilogy, Matt Reeves’ movie will take place during the early part of Bruce Wayne’s crimefighting career. Specifically, it’s been called a “Year Two” kind of story. That means this version of the vigilante will still be evolving into the Caped Crusader of legend.
So, expect there to be a lot of exploration as to exactly why the billionaire decided to don pointy ears and a cape in the first place. And, in contrast to the typical story, the main reason might not be because of Bruce’s desire to do good. In a preview of The Batman, star Robert Pattinson told Total Film that his Bruce becomes Batman as a form of “really, really, really bad self-therapy.” As he put it:
“He’s got this enormous trauma inside him, and he’s built this intricate, psychological mechanism to handle it. It’s like a really, really, really bad self-therapy, which has ended up with him being Batman at the end, as self-help.”
It’s always been clear that what drew Pattinson to this role was the darker edges of the character. The British actor caused a stir in the past with his assertion that Batman isn’t a real superhero. The star echoes his previous comments in this same interview, noting that he aggressively sought this part because he was attracted to playing a “freak” like Bruce.
Obviously, this isn’t a revolutionary new take on Batman’s psychology, as the interpretation that Bruce’s nighttime activities help him deal with his inner demons is a pretty standard cornerstone of the character. But, it’s an angle that’s arguably not been given central focus in the movies since the Michael Keaton films of the 1980s/90s. Which is ironic, considering Keaton is returning to the role himself this year in The Flash.
All the signs are pointing to The Batman offering DC fans everything they could want from a Batman film. We’ll finally see it for ourselves when it swoops into theaters on March 4.