‘The Batman’ Director Matt Reeves Says Emo Eyeliner Was Always a Must for Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Bruce, is that you under all that makeup?

For “The Batman,” writer-director Matt Reeves hoped for a dramatic “emo” character reveal once Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) takes off his superhero costume. The key to such a stark contrast is, of course, eyeliner.

More from IndieWire

“You can’t wear a cowl and not wear that,” Reeves told Esquire of the dark eye makeup Pattinson wears in the trailer. “All of the Batmen wear that.”

The main distinction between Reeves’ take on his Kurt Cobain-inspired Bruce Wayne is that Batman won’t magically become clean-cut once his mask is removed.

“I just loved the idea of taking off [the mask] and under that there’s the sweating and the dripping and the whole theatricality of becoming this character,” Reeves added.

The “Planet of the Apes” director reportedly told Pattinson that he wanted to make a “really dirty, dirty, slimy Batman.” Cue the smudged eye makeup after fight scenes. “[Bruce] doesn’t care about any of the trappings of being a [millionaire] Wayne at this point,” Reeves hinted. “I felt it was the best version of the story that we could possibly do to justify having another ‘Batman.'”

Pattinson spoke about acclimating to the Batsuit in an interview with Moviemaker Magazine, admitting that he thought he was “absolutely terrible” at first.

“There’s a whole different language, body language, you have to learn to make it do what you want it to do,” Pattinson explained. “If you look too much into the light, [the mask] looks completely ridiculous, and you’re wearing a Halloween costume. But if you’re like two millimeters down, it’s like — oh, that’s completely totemic, and like it looks exactly how it’s supposed to look. But to learn how to feel that and learn how to react to how the light hits it, takes forever.”

Pattinson concluded, “In the first meeting, [Reeves] was saying, we want to lean into the ‘world’s greatest detective aspect,’ and be a detective noir movie,” Pattinson added. “And, you know, normally when directors say that, they just do, like, a mood board, and it’s just about the imagery. But I read the script, and it is a detective movie. It happens all the time in the graphic novels, but it’s always kind of on the backburner in the movies.”

The Batman” is scheduled to premiere March 4 in theaters.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.