Robert Pattinson still doesn’t think Batman is a superhero. The former Twilight-star-turned-Gotham-leading-man made waves in October when he commented on how the character, who he will be playing in 2021’s The Batman, and his moral complexity disqualify Batman from being a full-blown superhero. Since then, Pattinson has stood by that assertion, and more recently took a far more confusing stance on the issue.
It’s no secret that Batman serves as one of DC Comics’ darker protagonists, in sharp contrast to the more clean-cut heroes Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. He wears a dark costume, operates in the shadows and takes a far more brutal approach to fighting his enemies. More often than not, he finds himself as at odds with his fellow Justice League members as he does with his most hated foes. It’s these traits that add credence to Pattinson’s belief that the Dark Knight might not entirely fit the mold of a traditional superhero.
Speaking with Today (via CBR), Pattinson gave a more unusual reason for why he wouldn't classify Batman as a superhero. “It doesn't count," he told interviewer Willie Geist when asked what it’s like to play a comic book superhero. “You need to have like magical powers to be a superhero.” Geist then pointed out that Batman wears a cape, to which Pattinson replied, “The cape. I will give you that one.”
While a argument can be made over whether or not Batman is a true hero in the traditional sense, not having “magical powers” is a bizarre line of reasoning for Pattinson to take. Several more conventional heroes, such as Iron Man and Green Arrow, lack superhuman abilities of any kind, relying on technology and cunning similar to the Dark Knight himself. Still, they're considered superheroes alongside the likes of those with enhanced abilities, like Captain America or Superman. The "super" in superhero doesn't necessarily denote superpowers, and really, it's all just semantics.
For what it’s worth, though, Pattinson’s remarks about not having powers seem to have been made in jest. Whether he’s joking or not, his belief that his version of the often-adapted Batman doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional superhero lends itself to an intriguing take. The most well-regarded Batman stories, such as the much-beloved film The Dark Knight or the classic graphic novel The Killing Joke, tend to focus at least somewhat on the Caped Crusader’s moral code, and the consequences of either adhering to it or breaking it. From Pattinson’s view on the matter, we might be looking at a darker, more morally grey defender of Gotham when The Batman hits the silver screen.
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021