You know Batman is doing his job when he is striking fear in the hearts of criminals. That’s the point. Sometimes he also puts that fear in Gotham City’s citizens he’s trying to protect, whether intentionally or not. It’s all in the name of keeping order, in his mind, and keeping up appearances with the mask on – even if he loses the trust of the public.
This has been explored everywhere to varying degrees. In the Tim Burton Batman movies, he put more effort into punishing criminals than rescuing the innocent, often to the point of killing them. Then in Batman: The Animated Series he found himself on the opposite side of the law and the DA’s office occasionally despite Commissioner Gordon standing by him.
In The Batman, we’re about to see more of this according to Robert Pattinson in a new GQ profile. He and Matt Reeves are coming at the Dark Knight in his second year without the wisdom of experience and, apparently, it doesn’t go well for him or his public image.
“But this thing he’s doing, it’s not even working,” he said. “Like, it’s two years into it, and the crime has gotten worse since Bruce started being Batman. The people of Gotham think that he’s just another symptom of how s*** everything is.”
Pattinson went into more detail and lightly spoiled a scene where he jumps in to save the day but looks bad in the process. “There’s this scene where he’s beating everyone up on this train platform, and I just love that there’s a bit in the script where the guy he’s saving is also just like: Ahh! It’s worse!” he continued.
Pattinson added that in The Batman’s Gotham, “You’re either being mugged by some gang members, or a monster comes and, like, f–king beats everybody up! The guy has no idea that Batman’s come to save him. It just looks like this werewolf.”
That take sounds vaguely similar to Joker when, as Arthur Fleck in full make-up, Joaquin Phoenix monologued on The Murray Franklin Show about society treating people like trash and being surprised their victims “werewolf.” If The Batman may go to a place that grim is uncertain, though it’s been predicted by some the tone will parallel David Fincher’s Se7en.
Additionally, it’s forecast the DC film will rake in record numbers at the box office. Betting men among civilians and at Warner Bros. putting their cart before the horses could be causing these shiny projections, but all gets revealed after March 4th when The Batman swings into theaters.