Batman Director Finally Reveals The Inspiration Behind Robert Pattinson's Dramatic Eyeliner

Robert Pattinson was announced as the new Batman in May 2019 to the excitement of some and the chagrin of many, as IndieWire pointed out at the time. In fact, the distress of some fans of the DC Comics character was such that Change.Org petitions started to circulate almost immediately after Warner Bros. announced its decision, with one garnering nearly 7,000 signatures. "Don't make the Batfleck mistake again," the petition's creator wrote, referring to the backlash that ensued after Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in 2013.

When the trailer for Matt Reeves' "The Batman" came out showing Pattinson rocking smudged eye-makeup, fans freaked out even more over Warner Bros.' decision to cast the same guy who played an emo vampire in the "Twilight" franchise to embody the beloved superhero. "Not my Bruce Wayne. We really going to have a scrawny emo guy as multi millionaire Bruce Wayne. Smh," one Twitter user wrote in August 2020.

A final say on whether Warner Bros.' decision to cast the British actor as Batman will pay off will have to wait until March 4, when the film is set to premiere, according to IndieWire. Reeves isn't concerned about the fanbase's reaction to Pattinson, though. "There has been no actor, when his announcement that he was going to be playing Batman in one of the feature films was announced, that has not received a backlash," he told Esquire. And Reeves is particularly fond of Pattinson's eyeliner, which has an interesting music-related reason for being. 

Robert Pattinson's eyeliner was inspired by Kurt Cobain

"The Batman" director Matt Reeves wanted Robert Pattinson to look not only dramatic, but grungy underneath his Batman mask, according to a January 25 Esquire interview. In the early days of writing the film, the director listened to a lot of Nirvana and started to see links between the DC Comics superhero and the tragedy of the iconic 1990s band's frontman, Kurt Cobain. 

Reeves was on a quest to find layers of interpretations of the famous vigilante that were different from the myriad ways he's been portrayed in the past. "When I considered, 'How do you do Bruce Wayne in a way that hasn't been seen before?'" And that's when he began to give Wayne intense recluse characteristics that paralleled the lifestyle of someone afflicted by addiction, like Cobain was. "The truth is that he is a kind of drug addict. His drug is his addiction to this drive for revenge. He's like a Batman Kurt Cobain," Reeves said. 

Pattinson was impressed by the director's unique take on the character. "It's something from the comics which hasn't been really explored yet," Pattinson said on Variety's "Uncovered" in September 2019. He believes Batman allows for that kind of deep exploration. "It's interesting the different directions you can take with it and that, in some ways, quite a specific character actually has a lot of leeway," Pattinson said, adding that Batman is the only superhero he had any "connection with" as a child.