Holy strength training, Batman!

New Pattinson photos reveal a surprising way one comic influenced The Batman

Robert Pattinson is taking the Dark Knight into a different direction.

Robert Pattinson is taking the Batman in a direction far different than his predecessor, Ben Affleck.

In paparazzi photos published by several UK outlets, the 33-year-old actor was spotted sporting a lean physique — leaner than most other movie superheroes — suggesting a very grounded and gritty take on Batman reminiscent of the 1987 graphic novel classic Batman: Year One. Pattinson will debut his role in the 2021 movie The Batman, from director Matt Reeves.

Here's what these new Pattinson photos reveal about The Batman.

On Friday, UK outlets Metro and Daily Mail published paparazzi photos of Pattinson on an outdoor jog in public. As the actor practices a modicum of precaution in regards to social distancing (he isn't wearing a mask, however), Pattinson reveals a lean body type that's a little different from previous cinematic Batmen. In comparison to the bulkier physiques of Ben Affleck and Christian Bale, the latter of whom gained a hundred pounds of muscle for the role, Pattinson looks more American Ninja Warrior fit than CrossFit fit.

There's not much to go on with Pattinson alone. But one fan on Instagram drew comparisons to leaner Batmen, including artist Nick Derington and "Batman: Year One vibes." This isn't the first time fans have drawn comparisons to Batman: Year One as more and more of Matt Reeves' 2021 film The Batman comes to light. Originally slated to release in theaters in June 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic forcing movie productions to pause has encouraged Warner Bros. to delay the movie's release. It will now be released in theaters on October 1, 2021.

Batman: Year One, an influential Batman story written by Frank Miller and illustrated by David Mazzucchelli from the 1980s, tells a modernized version of Batman's origin story. Born to wealthy Thomas and Martha Wayne, young Bruce sees his parents gunned down in an alley one night after watching a movie (1940's The Mark of Zorro, in most interpretations). What Year One did differently than the first time that story was told was add grime and grit to the story, painting Gotham City as a seedy den of sin evocative of Times Square in the 1970s.

The comic also emphasized the working partnership between Bruce Wayne/Batman and Commissioner Gordon, as well as the romance between Batman and Catwoman which have become enduring staples in the never-ending Batman mythology. Given that Reeves cast Jeffrey Wright and Zoey Kravitz as Gordon and Selina Kyle respectively, it's almost guaranteed that there will be elements of Year One in The Batman.

Which brings us to Pattinson's physique. While most cinematic and video game versions of Batman have portrayed the Dark Knight has a bulky, brawny figure, comics like Year One showed how lean and limber Batman ought to be for someone doing parkour over rooftops. Pattinson's lean body shown in his jogging photos suggests his workout plan hasn't been to put on (too much?) muscle, but to get Batman in athletic shape. It's a counter to stuff we've seen like in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which had an entire montage of Affleck getting in fighting shape to throw down with the Man of Steel.

Cover of 'Batman: Year One' trade paperback collection.DC Comics

Though The Batman is rumored to take place in the DC Extended Universe where it will share continuity with movies like 2013's Man of Steel and 2017's Justice League, we're not expecting to see this Batman fight Superman again (for now, at least). Fans probably shouldn't expect another bulky Bruce Wayne to don the cowl. In that way, we're getting a Batman we haven't seen since Michael Keaton.

The Batman will be released in theaters on October 1, 2021.

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