Robert Pattinson Explains His Batman's Twisted No-Kill Rule

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Robert Pattinson as Batman, The Batman logo

The Batman is inching closer to its theatrical release, meaning that marketing has been ramping up in the past weeks. The upcoming DCEU movie is directed by Matt Reeves, and it will feature the heroic debut of Robert Pattinson as a new version of the titular Dark Knight. The film has been confirmed to center around Bruce Wayne's second year as Gotham's protector, and it will see him pitted against Paul Dano's Riddler

Joining Pattinson and Dano is a stellar cast that includes the likes of Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle, Colin Farrel as Penguin, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon. The Batman is inspired by Year One comics storyline, with Reeves teasing that it will put the hero's detective skills at the forefront of its narrative.  

One notable aspect that was heavily featured in The Batman's trailer is Pattinson's brutal take on the character. The Caped Crusader can be seen beating up criminals, leaving many to question if this second-year vigilante will eventually kill his enemies at some point. 

Now, Pattinson addressed the killing issue in a new interview.

The Batman's No-Kill Rule (Explained)

Batman, Robert Pattinson

The Batman star Robert Pattinson sat down with Premiere to talk about the DC hero's no-killing rule and how it translates into the movie. 

It's worth noting that Pattinson's quote from the interview was translated from French, meaning that it isn't exact phrasing. 

The DCEU actor first discussed the psychological state of his version of Batman, diving deep into the no-killing rule of the character. Pattinson explained that the rule can be interpreted in two ways: 

"There is this rule with Batman: he must not kill. It can be interpreted in two ways. Either he only wants to inflict the appropriate punishment, or he wants to kill and his self-control prevents him from doing so."

Pattinson then took note of Bruce Wayne's mindset when chasing criminals, pointing out that "it is impossible that he does not take pleasure in it:"

"I imagined it that way from the rehearsal of the first fight, I thought it was funnier: something in him just wanted to slit the guy's throat! I told myself that if he spends his nights chasing criminals, it is impossible that he does not take pleasure in it. He suffers and it is a desire that overwhelms him. And by dint of knocking, his mind clears, he calms down, he reaches a state close to plenitude. I'm sure in this first fight, he manages to convince himself that every guy in front of him is the one who killed his mother (Laughs.) And so that allows him to vent all his rage."

Pattinson also teased what's interesting about his Batman, admitting that "he lives a criminal life, but without committing crimes:"

"The interesting thing is that this Batman practically lives in the gutter. He's nowhere at home except on the street when he's wearing the suit. He lives a criminal life, but without committing crimes! I felt like I could get something out of that. Anyway, I could only play a superhero if he was really dirty!

Batman's Rule Will Be Tested 

Robert Pattinson's latest comments cement his understanding of the Batman character from the comics. Batman's no-killing rule has been the staple of the DC hero ever since his debut, and Pattinson's interpretation of that rule could hint that his Bruce Wayne will explore this concept throughout the movie. 

There have been several versions of Batman who have killed enemies in the past. A notable example is Ben Affleck's version in the main DCEU, as evidenced by his violent depiction in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. On the small screen, Batwoman's Batman from the CW was also revealed to have killed the Joker. 

This time around, Pattinson's take on The Dark Knight seems to be sticking with the no-killing rule, and many would agree that it is the best route to go. Given that this version of Batman is only in his second year, it's possible that this is the phase where he gets to learn how to handle his enemies without killing them. 

Doing so would allow Pattinson to uncover a unique aspect of Bruce's journey as Gotham's protector, especially considering that he is going up against Riddler, whose main goal is to kill the city's elite. 

Pattinson's remark about his Batman living in the gutter could hint that his version is much more focused on the vigilante life than his other life as a billionaire. This makes narrative sense since the character is only in his second year as a crimefighter.

The Batman's official synopsis already teased Pattinson's angry performance in the movie, confirming that the film will explore Batman's internal struggle "to balance rage with righteousness." This is in line with the actor's recent comments, and his rage will likely be tested several times throughout the film's almost-three-hour runtime. 

The Batman is set to premiere in theaters on March 4, 2022.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.