Pattinson dons the legacy of the Batman in ‘The Batman’

Photo illustration by Emily McGinn

In 1966 as night fell over the world, a legacy would start as Adam West dawned the mask of Batman, the dark knight. Through the decades, many famous actors have dawned the bat mask, and over time we have seen many different versions of the dark knight. 

As the new Batman movie, “The Batman,” comes out, many fans are excited because it feels very different from other Batman movies. It appears to have a darker tone, and it seems to follow the color schemes from the TV show “Batman Beyond.”

The first-ever Batman movie, released in 1966, was simply called “Batman.” Adam West played Bruce Wayne and Burt Ward played Wayne’s sidekick Dick Grayson. The movie pulled elements from the comic book, the most iconic of which was the Batmobile.

After West retired, Micheal Keaton assumed the role of Bruce Wayne in 1989. Keaton’s movies incorporated villains including the Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman. The film also slowly accumulated a darker tone to mimic the comics. Keaton was in three Batman films before handing the mask to George Clooney.

Clooney’s movies had a less serious tone than his predecessor. The film drew criticism, with many fans joking that Clooney’s suit had “bat nipples.” This suit was so inaccurate compared to the comics that fans still talk about it today. After the Clooney era, fans were not excited about another Batman movie due to potential misinterpretation of the character.

Batman movies were not discussed to a great extent in the cinematic world until 2005 when Christian Bale put on the mask. Fans were excited about Bale becoming Bruce Wayne because his suit looked identical to the comic books. Bale exhibited some of the charming charisma Bruce Wayne has in the comic books. 

The Bale era also produced iconic villains such as Two Faces and the famous Joker. Batman fans were excited that the casting seemed to fit the characters. Bale as Batman and the legendary Heath Ledger as Joker made for an incredible performance.

There were huge shoes to fill after the Bale era from 2005 to 2012. However, Ben Affleck was ready for the challenge. Affleck appeared in “Batman vs. Superman” in 2016 and his portrayal of Bruce Wayne was older and had been through a lot. Early in the movie, you can see that he has been Batman for a long time and many people close to him have died. 

After Affleck finished his role as Batman, Robert Pattinson was chosen to be the next actor. Fans are excited because it looks different from all the other movies. Matt Reeves, “The Batman” director, is pulling from many different influences of Batman from the comic books, video games and even the TV show. Arris Quinones, a comic book Youtuber with over 2.38 million views, helped break down why this movie looks so different on his podcast.

“The Nolan stuff was great, the Arkamverse stuff is great, the Batman animated stuff is great, so let’s just do this hybrid movie of the best Batman ever to make possibly or hopefully one of the best Batman movies,” Quinones said.

Many people are excited and skeptical about whether “The Batman” will be a good movie or just another flop. Rashad Webb, sophomore illustration major, explained why he is not excited about the film.

“For many people, this is their first Batman movie, and using Riddler, a very peculiar villain, is very risky,” Webb said. “With each trailer, you want to build up the villain. There is a definite villain, but they have not shown anything to make him seem very interesting.”

John Soto, a Batman fan and Riverside resident, is excited about the new film.

“It is always fun to see a Batman rendition and also get an idea of how much they are willing to change the character, so this rendition should be interesting,” Soto said.

As the excitement builds for this new chapter of Batman, fans should start lining up. The movie was released in theaters on March 4.

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