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Everything you need to know about 'The Batman' from the cast.

Everything you need to know about 'The Batman' from the cast.

Directed by Matt Reeves, 'The Batman' is an addition to the story and world of the titular character, unlike that of any other we've seen before on the big-screen. While we're familiar with the love/hate relationship of Bruce Wayne with Catwoman (a.k.a. Selina Kyle), as well as The Riddler, Gotham PD Lieutenant Gordon, and the city of Gotham itself, this is a brand new nail-biting addition to the universe. 

Ahead of the highly anticipated 2022 release of 'The Batman', director Matt Reeves, Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, and Colin Farrell all jumped on a global press conference with media to talk all things 'The Batman'.

MATT REEVES

On how Reeves cast Pattinson as Batman: 
"I started thinking I should really look at actors in this age range, and I’d always been a fan of Rob’s. James Gray, who’s a friend of mine since film school, made a movie called ‘The Lost City of Z’, and I remember him telling me that he’d cast Rob in the movie. We always share the cuts of our movies with each other, and when he showed me the movie I had forgotten that he’d cast Rob. So, when Rob appears in the movie, he has this enormous beard and is unlike any version of Rob you’ve ever seen and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Rob Pattinson; how interesting, he’s a chameleon.' And then I just started watching a bunch of his movies and every time he was totally different. One of the movies that somebody suggested I take a look at was ‘Good Time’, and in that movie, I saw something that, to me, really connected to Batman. In it you can feel his desperation and you can feel his drive, as well as a level of vulnerability. I wanted this version of Batman to be driven to be scary, but I also wanted to see his vulnerability; when I saw all the different aspects that Rob brought to his roles, I really felt this could be Rob, and I started writing with him in mind."

On the way the visuals and story work together in the film:
"There's no real order. I feel like the creative process, for me at least, is the blank page is like being in a dark room and you're on hands and knees and you're reaching for something that feels familiar. I knew that I wanted to take this iteration of a younger Batman, who was early in his arc that there was room for growth and an awakening, and put him at the centre of this mystery that would pull us into the path of all of these characters. The opening shot of the movie is something that I just saw when I started trying to think about, like The Riddler and point of view and the idea of getting inside of his perspective for me, what I love when I go to the movies is that idea of putting the audience in this empathic relationship with characters that the audience isn't so that they can experience this immersion into somebody else's perspective. I wanted to start the movie with a giant title that said 'The Batman' and then start, hear this breathing and feel like you're seeing something from someone's point of view and you think 'Well, does that mean we're seeing from The Batman's point of view? 'And then you're not you're seeing from The Riddler's but then elsewhere, you see from the drifter from Batman from Bruce. And you're like, 'Is this the Riddler?' and so that you've got this sort of undercurrent where you're wondering, well, wait a minute, there's some dialogue that these characters are in. So I guess in that sense, it was more of the idea that the vision."

ROBERT PATTINSON

On representing Batman in his earlier years: 
"You'd normally have Batman, he goes away trains and he comes back confident-- he's heroic when he comes back normally. And in this, I loved all of the frailties. [Reeves] has him in the scene when he's jumping off when using the cape for the first time and this kind of Batman's always been kind of fallible, he's just a man and armoured suit. But this really, really embraces that so much."

On what the suit means to Bruce Wayne:
"I think it’s about alter ego and identity. If he puts on the suit, and he believes in it so much, it elevates him as a creature; he isn’t Bruce, he is The Batman. I wanted him to be less human when he has the suit on; I wanted to get that into his movements. Bruce is still trying to figure out who exactly Batman is, and that makes for a very reactive version of Batman, and that’s new. That is why the fights he has seem very personal, too. The reason why he outmatches these people is because every time he’s fighting a stranger it’s as if they have personally harmed him. In a way, he’s imagining that his adversary is the person who killed his parents. Ultimately, that's not a winning strategy, because if you are fighting too emotionally, you will make mistakes and you’ll lose. But, I don’t think he cares about surviving at all, he just wants to inflict pain, inflict his form of questionable justice... There's a level of rage in him, which makes him difficult to beat."

On filling the shoes of the iconic character of Batman: 
"You put on that suit for the first time, and you can feel the unbelievable level of power in it. There’s so much history invested in the iconography, and so many people connect to it on such a deep level for so many different reasons. You can feel that when you put it on, you can feel that weight and responsibility, and it bleeds into how Bruce feels about being Batman himself. You have some level of responsibility to the people who’ve invested so much in the character. It’s the same way that Bruce feels a responsibility to Gotham in a lot of ways. It’s a great feeling though... You immediately feel incredibly powerful. Then you realise that if you even slightly exert yourself, you’re pouring sweat, all the while trying to figure out how to project a performance through a mask. You realise pretty quickly that this is way harder than a normal role, and it comes with its own specific set of complications. You’re very reliant on the lighting and the director, because basically, you have a new face, and anything you could rely on before in terms of performance is out the window. You have to almost learn an entirely different language. Eventually, you realise you can do tiny movements and that, in a lot of ways, the iconography of the cowl can be so much more impactful than anything you can do with your face... I immediately wanted to do rolls! You could jump around and actually crash into stuff. And it had loads of scuffs and tears, so it didn’t feel too superhero-y. There was a bullet indentation in the cowl, which is there throughout the movie. Every little scar shows. For me, it’s a reminder of Batman’s fallibility."

ZOË KRAVITZ

On her chemistry with Rob: 
"It was very easy. Me and Rob have been friends for a long time. I think a lot of it was on the page and I think a lot of it's really what Matt wrote. The emotional states of both of these characters was so clear, and the connection that they find in each other and why they connect was so clear, so I feel like it was kind of built in. These people both felt alone their entire lives, and to meet somebody who has a similar way of thinking, that grabs you the way that that they kind of grab each other. I think it really is the heart of the story and it's a really big deal for both these characters to feel this way. If you're attached to your character emotionally, it's really easy to play to play that part of it."

On her portrayal of Selina Kyle: 
"What was most important to me was that Selina didn’t come off as a victim because of her troubled past. That can often be a trap with female characters like her, and I don't think she's like that. I think she is incredibly tough, has survived this far, and has the drive to fight for other people she sees in similar positions. Her backstory was very clear in the script, so, for me it was more about figuring out what happened between then and now—how she’s been able to survive, how she’s ended up where she is now, and why she finds it so important to fight for what she believes in... The other thing that I brought to Matt was this idea of stray cats. I think that she is a stray herself, and I think she sees Batman as a stray and that’s where their connection lies. She really wants to fight for those who don’t have someone else to fight for them and that is where Batman and Selina really connect."

PAUL DANO

On The Riddler's backstory:
"Matt and I talked a lot about the two sides of trauma, and that really spoke to me. Bruce Wayne has lost his parents and responds to his trauma by trying to do something good with that pain. And you have the trauma of Edward Nashton, who has suffered in his own way and takes that pain and thinks he’s doing something good, but it is misguided. That felt like a really good way into this villain. How do you bring a fresh point of view to the idea of the villain? I think having the emotional backstory be the driving force for that character in the way that Matt had written it, felt good to me."

COLIN FARRELL 

On being unrecognisable as The Penguin:
"The silhouette of the character now is very dramatic and very different. I look like a penguin, like a bowling pin, and it’s nothing short of creative genius thanks to [prosthetics designer] Mike Marino. When I saw the face of The Penguin for the first time, I was blown away. I was so moved and excited and provoked, and my imagination just kicked up a notch. That was a great gift that Mike Marino’s talent has given me on this film. When I saw Mike’s work—what he had done, what he had sculpted—I finally got in my own mind what my and Matt’s version of Oz, a.k.a. The Penguin, was going to be. This was the first time that I ever had full face makeup and I’m utterly grateful to Mike and his team and to Matt for having the moxie to push this as far as we did."

JEFFREY WRIGHT

On the importance of Gotham City:
"One of the things that distinguishes Batman among comic book superheroes is that he lives in a city that’s very recognisable, a city very much like New York City or Chicago. That makes him grounded in a way that’s relatable. He is also human, not an extraterrestrial, and inhabits the kind of space that many of us inhabit. Matt Reeves really built on that in a compelling way in the script and did a lot of due diligence—a deep archeological dig into Batman—so that the world around him was justified for the audience. As I was reading the script, I was trying to justify myself in the role of Gordon and I just found that the world he created was so palatable that it was relevant to our times. It was grounded in a social and political reality that made sense and that aesthetically it felt richly Gothamesque. There was something about the character of the city that really resonated for me in the writing."

Watch 'The Batman' in theatres March 3rd. 

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