Head-to-Head: Robert Pattinson was a good Batman, but was the best Bruce Wayne.

Robert Pattinson is the newest addition to the long list of actors who have portrayed the character of Batman. Since the movie’s release on March 4, critics and audiences have praised Pattinson for his new take on the character.  

While I did enjoy his portrayal of the Batman persona in the movie, I was drawn more towards his take on Bruce Wayne. Even though I really enjoyed his version of Batman and was very invested in him, the portrayal of Bruce Wayne was the persona that I was the most interested in.  

Previous versions of the Bruce Wayne persona portray him as a playboy who tries to keep up the appearance of a billionaire philanthropist. Pattinson’s version of Bruce Wayne goes for the exact opposite of this, being a reclusive shut-in who doesn’t care about his image and is barely seen by anyone else in the city.  

At the start of the film, Bruce returns to the Batcave after the subway fight scene. Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce’s mentor and only confidant, argues with Bruce on his responsibility to Gotham as a Wayne and not jeopardizing his future. Bruce responds by saying, “I don’t care what happens to me.” 

This scene highlights the fact that this Bruce doesn’t care about his role as a public figure and only about his crusade as Batman. Early on in the scene, we get to see Bruce’s journal, compiling all of his inner thoughts while on patrol. This gives us extra context for how obsessed Bruce is with his mission as Batman. 

In an interview for the movie, the film director Matt Reeves described his inspiration for this version of Bruce Wayne as Kurt Cobain.  

“How do you do Bruce Wayne in a way that hasn’t been seen before? I started thinking, ‘What if some tragedy happens and this guy becomes so reclusive, we don’t know what he’s doing? Is this guy some kind of wayward, reckless, drug addict?’ And the truth is that he is a kind of drug addict. His drug is his addiction to this drive for revenge. He’s like a Batman Kurt Cobain,” Reeves said. 

This is the background that got me most interested in this version of Bruce Wayne. I was curious about Bruce Wayne being treated as a reclusive rockstar rather than a playboy.  

Bruce’s journey in the film deals with his transition from using Batman as a symbol of pure vengeance to a symbol of hope for Gotham City. This more tortured version of Bruce fits with his character arc and was a welcomed addition.