Robert Pattinson Debuts Batman’s New Look
The internet got a sneak peek at this season’s caped crusader couture
I have never really cared about fashion but I would fly to Paris like one of the beautiful people to sit in the front row of a Batman-themed prêt-à-porter show. I’d politely applaud as a diverse parade of Dark Knights strutted down the, um, batwalk. The pointy ears. The knee-high boots. That long midnight-colored cape with the scalloped edges. My, how it drapes off the shoulders, right? Caped crusader couture.
There are, literally, thousands of superhero characters and none of them have a costume as iconic as Batman’s crimefighting look. His look is the only kind of style I like to think and talk about. His outfit is both badass and elegant. Masked vigilante chic. The character’s timeless design is over 80 years old but I never get bored new batsuit interpretations.
This is why I was pretty excited when director Matt Reeves dropped mysterious test footage of Robert Pattinson dressed up as Batman.
Reeves is directing The Batman, which should be out in 2021, and there is nothing about this upcoming movie that I don’t love. First of all, Reeves knows how to direct grounded high-concept action movies, like the rampaging monster classic Cloverfield. He also turned in the last two movies in the recent Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy — Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and War For The Planet of the Apes. Both those movies were gritty, pulse-pounding and, most of all, human sci-fi thrillers about talking primates. He’s a great choice.
The villain roll-call is pretty great too: Zoe Kravitz will play Catwoman which is superb and, dare I say, badass. She’s got a lit fuse quality. Then there’s Colin Farrel as The Penguin. That dude is a bruiser who wears a suit well. Colin Farrell has done an A+ job of morphing from a handsome leading man into an unpredictable and electric character actor. And Paul Dano is supposed to show up as The Riddler. Whenever I type his name, Paul Dano, I immediately have to re-watch There Will Be Blood, because he is a marvelous screeching weasel in that absolute jackpot of a movie.
Oh, yeah, and Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, the billionaire in need of therapy. I’ve mentioned before how pleased I am that both he and Kristen Stewart aren’t two has-been teen vampire movie stars. They have both become fearless actors with just the right amount of quirk. I recently watched Pattinson in the movie Good Times, which is streaming on Netflix. It’s directed by the already legendary Safdie brothers who are also responsible for this year's banger Uncut Gems. Good Times is about one bad night in Queens for one bad man, an oily fast-talking scumbag played by Pattinson. He’s great. Batman needs dead eyes and Pattinson has two.
The reveal of the new Batman suit is just a tease, really, but it’s already clear that this suit, with its stitches, is more of a homemade job unlike the recent trend towards high-tech bulletproof battle armor. Christian Bale’s various Batman suits were part ninja, part SWAT team. I know Ben Affleck was mocked as Batfleck — he looked so sad I called him Bruised Wayne — but I was 100% into the stylized black and grey Batsuit. It really showed off Affleck’s mega-chest. And, of course, there’s Micheal Keaton’s Batman. I love Micheal Keaton’s Batman so much I wrote a whole essay about it. I just want you to understand: I have very real feelings about the 1988 Batman suit. I liked that it looked like it was made out of tight-fitting leather. In my most fucked-up dreams, Batman is my own personal Cenobite.
There are countless variations of Batman’s ensemble in the comics, which are used as inspiration for the movies. Frank Miller’s artwork influenced the Batfleck, for instance. There are literally too many artists to mention but I will shout out Hellboy creator Mike Mignola as a personal fave. He draws a good defender of Gotham.
Anyway, Have you seen Batwoman on the CW? Her suit is awesome — especially the blood-red hair and bat symbol — and its a very welcome addition to my Batman suit mind closet.
I have never really been interested in style. My style is: am I wearing pants? I worked in glossy magazines so it’s not like I have never been exposed to high fashion. But Batman’s get-up? The best. It’s designed to terrify criminals. It’s also designed to be cool AF. The grey bodysuit, the bold black bat across the chest, the gloves with fins. Oh, and the cowl. Nothing makes a pair of lips sexier than a Batman cowl. It should be socially acceptable for people to wear Batman cowls. The utility belt is my favorite accessory because it combines form AND function.
I would care, deeply, about fashion if every season saw a new Batman suit. Just imagine a yearly procession of human beings dressed up like giant bats. Vigilante vogue.