One of the most anticipated movies of 2022 is “The Batman”, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as the titular character. However, despite its title, some fans and critics have debated whether “The Batman” is truly an origin movie that retells the story of how Bruce Wayne becomes the Dark Knight. In this article, we will explore the evidence for and against this claim.
What Is an Origin Movie?
Before we can determine whether “The Batman” fits the criteria of an origin movie, we need to define what that term means in the context of superhero films. Generally speaking, an origin movie is a type of prequel that focuses on the early life and transformation of a hero or villain, often explaining their powers, motivations, and relationships with other characters. An origin movie can be faithful to or deviate from the comics it adapts, but it should provide enough context and character development to establish a clear arc for its protagonist.
The Evidence for “The Batman” Being an Origin Movie
One reason why some people believe that “The Batman” is an origin movie is that it seems to depict Bruce Wayne in his earlier years as a crimefighter, before he has fully established himself as Gotham’s protector. The trailers for “The Batman” show a younger and more emotional version of Bruce than we have seen in previous movies such as Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy or Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman”. Pattinson’s portrayal suggests that he is still struggling with his anger, grief, and sense of purpose after witnessing his parents’ murder when he was a child.
In addition to Pattinson’s performance, the cast and crew have also hinted at how “The Batman” will delve into Bruce’s psyche and relationships. Colin Farrell plays Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. the Penguin, who seems to be a major antagonist in the film and may have a personal connection to Bruce.
Zoe Kravitz plays Selina Kyle, a. Catwoman, who has been described as both a love interest and a foil for Bruce. Jeffrey Wright plays James Gordon, a detective who forms an alliance with Batman but may not fully trust him yet.
Moreover, Reeves has stated in interviews that he wanted “The Batman” to feel like an independent story that honors the legacy of the character while also exploring new aspects of him. He has compared his approach to making a “noir-driven” detective movie that emphasizes the mystery and suspense of the plot as much as the action and spectacle. Reeves has also mentioned that “The Batman” takes place in its own continuity separate from other DC movies, which allows him and his team to reinvent familiar characters without worrying about how they fit into a larger universe.
The Evidence against “The Batman” Being an Origin Movie
On the other hand, some people argue that “The Batman” is not really an origin movie because it does not show Bruce Wayne becoming Batman for the first time or undergoing significant physical or mental changes beyond what we already know about him from previous adaptations. While Pattinson’s portrayal may be more vulnerable and raw than Christian Bale’s or Ben Affleck’s versions, it does not necessarily mean that he is less experienced or capable as a crimefighter.
In fact, some fans speculate that “The Batman” may take place after Bruce has been active as Batman for some time but is facing new challenges that test his limits and morals. For example, some theories suggest that Cobblepot may have something to do with the death of Bruce’s parents or with his decision to become Batman in the first place.
Other theories propose that Selina may be working for or against Bruce’s goals, depending on her own agenda. These possibilities imply that “The Batman” may be more of a mystery or a thriller than a straightforward origin story.
Furthermore, while Reeves has acknowledged that “The Batman” is not a direct adaptation of any specific comic book storyline, he has also expressed his admiration for several classic Batman comics, including “Year One”, “The Long Halloween”, and “Ego”. These comics do focus on different aspects of Bruce Wayne’s early career as Batman, but they also incorporate other characters and subplots that enrich the overall narrative. Thus, even if “The Batman” borrows elements from these comics, it does not necessarily mean that it is strictly an origin movie.
The Conclusion: Is “The Batman” an Origin Movie?
As with many debates in fandoms, the answer to whether “The Batman” is an origin movie depends on one’s definition and interpretation of that term. While some people may define an origin movie as a mandatory prerequisite for any superhero film that introduces a new iteration of the character, others may view it as a creative choice that depends on the story and themes the filmmakers want to explore. Therefore, instead of insisting on a binary answer (yes or no), we can appreciate both sides of the argument and acknowledge that “The Batman” will offer its own take on Bruce Wayne’s journey to becoming one of the most iconic heroes in popular culture.