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Bruce Wayne<br/>The Batman

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Bruce Wayne
The Batman
The Batman character
Batman, as portrayed by Robert Pattinson in The Batman (2022)
First appearance'The Batman (2022)
Based onBatman by Bob Kane
Bill Finger
Adapted byMatt Reeves
Peter Craig
Portrayed byRobert Pattinson
Full nameBruce Wayne
AliasThe Batman
The Bat
TitleCEO of Wayne Enterprises
FamilyThomas Wayne (father)
Martha Wayne (mother)
HomeGotham City, United States

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Bruce Wayne, also known by his vigilante alias The Batman, is a fictional character in the Batverse based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The character is portrayed by Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves's 2022 superhero film The Batman and the Batverse universe.[1] This version of Batman is explored far more in-depth compared to previous film versions of the character, as this version is obsessed with being Batman and expresses dislike to being Wayne, as The Batman film series and universe provides a more personal arc for the character and was intended by Reeves to be more mental than previous portrayals.[2]

In the film, Bruce is the reculsive billionaire owner of the technology company Wayne Enterprises who obsessively protects Gotham City as the Batman to overcome his traumatic past of witnessing his parents' murder at the age of eight, however, he is yet to be the experienced crime fighter whom he is familiar as due to being on his second year of activity and uses homemade advanced technology in doing so.

Character concept and development[edit]

In August 2013, Ben Affleck was cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman for multiple films set in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). He made his debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), before appearing in Suicide Squad (2016) and Justice League (2017). In October 2014, Warner Bros. revealed plans for a standalone Batman film starring Affleck, and he was in negotiations to direct and co-write the screenplay with Geoff Johns by July 2015. Production was expected to begin after Affleck finished work on Live by Night (2016) however Affleck has failed to further develop his own film project, leaving his duties as director and writer as well as stepping down from his role as the character due to losing his passion.[3]

Following the cancellation of Affleck's The Batman project, Matt Reeves has been chosen to direct, co-write and co-produce The Batman instead of Affleck and has changed the project into deciding to focus on Batman earlier in his vigilante career, and began writing a new script from scratch as Reeves wanted a more personal narrative that "rock[ed Batman] to his core". He wanted to explore how the Batman mythos could exist in the real world, and chose to set the film during the second year of Batman's career rather than retell the character's origin story, as he wanted his take to be different from previous Batman films.

Reeves knew early on that the film would draw from Batman: The Long Halloween (1996–97) by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, featuring Batman hunting a serial killer who "would reveal this cooperation between the people who are legitimate pillars in the city and the criminal element in the city". He decided to use the Riddler after noting parallels between the character and the Zodiac Killer, a costumed serial killer who operated in California in the 1960s, while reading Mindhunter (1995). Reeves imagined that Batman's investigation would have him encounter other figures from the comic book mythos, leading to the introduction of characters like Catwoman, the Penguin, and Carmine Falcone. However, Reeves sought to ensure that Batman remained the story's focus, and tried to include him in every scene. He reread his favorite Batman comics, but did not base the film on a specific comic book storyline. Comics that inspired the film include "Year One" (1987) by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli, Ego (2000) by Darwyn Cooke, and "Zero Year" (2013–14) by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, as well as Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Neal Adams' runs on the character.

In portraying Bruce Wayne, Reeves wanted to depart from the traditional playboy and socialite; because he listened to the Nirvana song "Something in the Way" (1991) as he wrote the first act, he decided to base Wayne on reclusive Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. He took inspiration from the film Last Days (2005) which features a fictionalized version of Cobain living in a "decaying manor". Comic book influence came from the depiction of a young, inexperienced Batman in "Year One" and the exploration of Batman's psychology in Ego. Reeves sought to make Batman relatable while honoring what people love about him, and described his Batman as "still trying to figure out how to do this, how to be effective, and he's not necessarily succeeding. He's broken and driven." Although it does not depict Batman's origin—in which he witnesses the murder of his parents—The Batman still explores the emotional cost that it has on the character, with Reeves stating Batman is "emotionally stunted at being 10 years old, because that's a trauma you don't get past".[4]

Unlike previous Batman films, The Batman focuses on Batman's detective skills, with Reeves describing it as an "almost-noir driven, detective version of Batman" emphasizing the character's heart and mind. He said the film blended the detective, action, horror, and psychological thriller genres, which he felt hewed closer to the comics than previous adaptations had. He also felt this approach made it the most frightening Batman film. Reeves looked to 1970s films for inspiration, including The French Connection (1971), Klute (1971), Chinatown (1974), All the President's Men (1976), Taxi Driver (1976), and the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Chinatown and All the President's Men influenced The Batman's depiction of a corrupt, decaying Gotham, while the relationship between Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda's characters in Klute inspired the dynamic between Batman and Catwoman. Two characters—Mayor Don Mitchell Jr. and District Attorney Gil Colson—share surnames with Watergate scandal figures John N. Mitchell and Charles Colson, since Reeves felt historical allusions would make the film more believable.[2]

Reeves originally intended for his version of The Batman to be set in the DCEU. In August 2017, Reeves said the film would connect to the broader universe but would be a standalone story that did not service others, a sentiment he reiterated in August 2018. However, he eventually decided that connecting the film to the DCEU would distract from Batman's character arc, and asked Warner Bros. for the creative freedom to move outside of the shared universe. Reeves explained that he wanted to be able to create a version of Batman with a "personal aspect to it", and felt he should not be obligated to connect it to other aspects of the DCEU. Warner Bros.' incorporation of the multiverse in its DC productions allowed Reeves to take the project in his own direction; as such, the film takes place in a separate world known as "Earth-2".[5] In February 2022, Reeves stated he is creating a shared universe he named as "Batverse".[6]


Upon Ben Affleck's decision of leaving his role as Batman and upon Reeves taking the project into a different approach, taking place during Batman's second year, By May 2019, Robert Pattinson, Nicholas Hoult, Armie Hammer, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were on a shortlist to replace Affleck as Batman, with Pattinson the frontrunner.[7] Reeves considered Pattinson after seeing his performance in Good Time (2017) and wrote the script with him in mind, but was unsure if he would be interested. Pattinson had eschewed large franchise films since his work on the Twilight series, as he found those roles dull and wanted to avoid paparazzi attention. This meant he had not appeared in Marvel Studios' Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which made him desirable to Warner Bros. The other major contender, Hoult, appeared in the Marvel Comics-based X-Men films, but those are separate from the MCU and Hoult was unrecognizable for much of them due to prosthetics and makeup.

Pattinson became interested in the role a year in advance and "kept obsessively checking up on it". A longtime Batman fan, he had ideas about how to bring a unique portrayal of the relationship between Batman's superhero activities and his identity as Wayne compared to previous film adaptations, and he was interested in the character's lack of superpowers. Reeves spent hours reviewing Pattinson's and Hoult's previous work before meeting with them in April. They were the only contenders for the role by May 20, and both flew to Burbank, California, for a screen test. Pattinson wore Val Kilmer's Batsuit from Batman Forever (1995) during his test since it was the only existing costume that fit him. The audition was challenging because the suit was small and difficult to move in, but Pattinson and Reeves found it a "transformative" experience. Pattinson was cast on May 31, with a salary of $3 million.[8]

Pattinson's casting was met with backlash from some Batman fans, with a petition calling to reverse the decision. Pattinson said he found the response less vitriolic than he had expected, and felt that being an underdog meant he did not have expectations to meet in his performance. Christian Bale, who played Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), supported Pattinson, encouraging him to "make [the role] his own" and ignore critics. Bale likened the fan revolt to the backlash Heath Ledger faced when he was cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).[9] To prepare, Pattinson studied Batman's history, reading comics spanning from the Golden Age of Comic Books to Tom King's 2016–2019 run on Batman. He trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with instructor Rigan Machado, wanting to undergo physical change in a similar way to superhero actors like Chris Hemsworth, Dwayne Johnson, Robert Downey Jr., and Chris Evans.[10] He received advice from the Dark Knight Trilogy director Christopher Nolan while working with him on Tenet (2020).


Unlike previous Batman actors which created their voice for the character separately from Batman and as Wayne and unlike Ben Affleck, whom his version ulitizes a voice modulator device and unlike Bale who created a roaspy throated voice, Pattinson focused on a low-registered whispering voice as Batman and was initially inspired by his The Lighthouse co-actor Willem Dafoe's voice.[11]


The Batsuit design was led by Jacqueline Durran, and Pattinson's Batsuit was designed by supervisor Dave Crossman and concept artist Glyn Dillon over the course of a year. Reeves wanted the Batsuit to be practical and feel as if Batman used spare parts to create it on his own, and the design team looked to tactical gear from the Vietnam War for inspiration. Pattinson played a large role in designing the costume, as it was important for him to be able to move and fight in it; the final suit is more flexible than previous Batsuits, to the point that Pattinson "immediately started doing somersaults in it just because you could" when he put on the first prototype.

Pattinson asked Bale for advice during the design process, and he jokingly advised to "make sure you're gonna be able to relieve yourself" while wearing the suit. Commentators noted that Pattinson's Batsuit seemed to take inspiration from the one drawn by artist Lee Bermejo in comics like Noël (2011) and Damned (2018–2019). Bermejo was not consulted regarding the design, but was proud to see a Batsuit similar to his in a film.[12][13]


Unlike the previous versions of the character in film or TV, Bruce Wayne is not yet an experienced nor fully formed crime fighter as he is on his second year. However, he is expressing an extremely powerful obsession towards operating as The Batman, which Matt Reeves compared this obsession to "drug addiction".[14] Both Reeves and Pattinson described Wayne as an insomniac who cannot delineate between the Batman persona and his "recluse rockstar" public identity as Wayne, comparing him to the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.[15]

Additionally, Pattinson stated that this version of Batman would be exploring the nature of heroism, differing from previous portrayals which dedicated high morality or illegal tactics and stated that this version is more flawed as well as unable to control himself, driving his incredibly powerful wrath towards crime fighting as Batman, saying that "the fights seem very personal, he's a complicated character".[16] On an interview to GQ of breaking down his iconic characters, Pattinson was jokingly told by his agents that they frequently thought of him playing "freaks", to which Pattinson replied; "He's a freak, he's another freak".[17] In addition, it can be seen in the trailer of the film that Batman brutally attacks a Riddler soldier as Catwoman watches in horror, demonstrating Batman's dedication and violent rage.[18]


As with other portrayals of the character in film or in the comics, Batman is an incredibly trained and skilled martial artist especially in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, ninjitsu, krav maga and more other styles of fighting. This version of Batman is detective-focused, demonstrating highly skilled detective abilities and ulitizing his advanced equipment in order to investigate crime scenes and murder cases made by the Riddler and he also ultizies his fighting styles in the dark, using his suit to intimidate criminals and attack them as a bat.

Film appearances[edit]

The Batman (2022)[edit]

Bruce Wayne/The Batman first appears in the film The Batman. At the age of 30, he is in his second year as Batman and pursues the serial killer the Riddler who tends to target elite citizens in Gotham City and leave sophisticated riddles in crime scenes, directly aimed towards Wayne, driving Bruce to uncover corruption that connects to his own family during the investigation, which was kept hidden even by his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth. However, he receives assistance from the cat burglar Selina Kyle and from Leut. Jim Gordon, despite the fact that Gotham Police Department is showing hostility towards Batman due to his vigilantism, yet, finds more police officers connected to the crime lord Penguin.

Untitled sequels[edit]

Bruce Wayne/The Batman would appear in the sequels, forming a new trilogy.[19]

In other media[edit]

The character is expected to appear in the upcoming GCPD-centered HBO Max television series created by Matt Reeves.


Pattinson's casting was met with backlash from some Batman fans, with a petition calling to reverse the decision. Pattinson said he found the response less vitriolic than he had expected, and felt that being an underdog meant he did not have expectations to meet in his performance. Christian Bale, who played Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), supported Pattinson, encouraging him to "make [the role] his own" and ignore critics. Bale likened the fan revolt to the backlash Heath Ledger faced when he was cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. "Matt Reeves on Creating a "Batverse" for HBO Max: "Gotham's Story Never Ends"". Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Davis, Johnny (2022-01-25). "Director Matt Reeves Says 'The Batman' Is Inspired by 1970s Cinema, 1980s Comic Books and… Nirvana". Esquire. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  3. "Ben Affleck Finally Explains Why He Quit As Batman". Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  4. Molloy, Tim (2022-01-19). "Matt Reeves Wants The Batman to Be the World's Greatest Detective Story". MovieMaker Magazine. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  5. Kit, Aaron Couch,Borys; Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (2021-04-01). "Ava DuVernay's 'New Gods,' James Wan's 'The Trench' DC Movies Not Moving Forward at Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  6. "Matt Reeves is creating a 'Batverse' with Robert Pattinson film: 'Gotham's story never ends'". The Indian Express. 2022-02-17. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  7. Jr, Mike Fleming; Jr, Mike Fleming (2019-05-17). "Rob Pattinson, Nicholas Hoult Atop Short List For 'The Batman'". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  8. Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (2019-05-17). "Robert Pattinson Eyed to Play 'The Batman' for Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sharf, Zack; Sharf, Zack (2019-09-09). "Christian Bale Endorses Robert Pattinson's Batman, Shares His Best Batsuit Advice". IndieWire. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  10. "The Batman: Robert Pattinson Inspired By RDJ, Chris Evans & Hemsworth". ScreenRant. 2020-06-18. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  11. agencies, Staff and (2022-02-18). "Robert Pattinson was told to change his 'absolutely atrocious' Batman voice". the Guardian. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  12. February 17, Chancellor Agard; EST, 2022 at 11:00 AM. "'The Batman' star Robert Pattinson breaks down the new Batsuit". Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  13. "The Batman Batsuit Explained: Matt Reeves on What Makes it Unique". Collider. 2020-08-23. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  14. "The Batman: Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves Confirm Exclusive New Details About the Film". Den of Geek. 2022-02-14. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  15. "Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves on Defining Their Vengeful Dark Knight in The Batman". Movies. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  16. Griffin, David (2019-10-18). "'Batman's Not a Hero,' Says Robert Pattinson of Matt Reeves Movie". IGN. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  17. Nast, Condé. "Robert Pattinson Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters". GQ. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. "The Batman Star Robert Pattinson Wants to Make a Trilogy". 2022-02-10. Retrieved 2022-02-20.

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