Holy crime-fighting ethics gone berzerk! A new set photo from the forthcoming film — The Batman — seems to demonstrate that Robert Pattinson’s newest version of the Caped Crusader will have a Bat-gun. If legit, this could seriously mess with what people expect Batman to be: A vigilante who beats-up baddies but doesn’t shoot anybody.
So, what’s actually going on? Well, recently, several Twitter accounts picked-up what appears to be a genuine set-photo from the Matt Reeves-directed movie, The Batman. This grainy photo seems to indicate that Batman has something that looks like a gun holster. If this is the case, Pattinson’s Batman would be the second cinematic Batman in a row who uses firearms. In 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale’s Batman famously said, “No guns, no killing.” But, since then, Ben Affleck’s Batman used guns, and now, it looks like Pattison’s Bats will, too.
But wait a minute, doesn’t Batman hate guns? Isn’t it better for us to have Batman has the crime-fighter who would never kill someone with a firearm? As someone who isn’t crazy about guns, I think the answer is usually yes. That said, I ended up loving The Mandalorian, even though that show was about a dude who totally kills people with (space) guns all the time. I also love James Bond films, so, like most liberal parents, my deal with accepting guns in movies and TV is about the escapism of adventure tropes. Or to paraphrase David Lynch — you can have violence in your art, but just keep it out of your actual life. In other words, I’m not sure it’s wrong for Batman to have a gun, or to do a movie where we see him end-up hating guns. On top of all that, pretending like Batman has never used guns before is just historically false. In Glen Wheldon’s excellent 2016 book The Caped Crusade, right at the beginning, he points out that yes, in Batman’s early comic book history his famous rule of “no killing” of bad guys didn’t exist yet. Basically, early Batman did murder his enemies. And, of course, again, we saw Ben Affleck’s slightly more cynical Batman using guns, too.
Then again, maybe what we’re seeing isn’t a gun at all. Maybe this holster is simply holding Batman’s new grappling hook. Or maybe it’s not really a gun. The 1960s Adam West Batman occasionally busted- out a Bat-laser. Could this be something similar? A Star Trek-style non-lethal phaser?
Either way, as evidence by a firestorm on Twitter, Batman rocking a gun and/or new grappling hook may be the biggest issue of 2021. Something to look forward to, right?
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