Fashion

The Batman Is Already a New Type of Bruce Wayne

You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a Big Coat icon.
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Reboots are the norm. They're extremely popular, too. So for every roll of the eyes at Captain America: The High School Years, there are ten wide eyes genuinely excited at the prospect of seeing Steve Rogers chat absolute fire to his romantic interest on MSN only to awkwardly avoid her the next day. Batman is no exception. What's more, this is no rinse and repeat. Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has promised his caped crusader to be in max "detective mode", with Robert Pattinson's casting as Bruce Wayne given the big stamp of approval by his predecessor in Christian Bale. That's probably because his tortured billionaire has much better coats.

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For while Christopher Nolan's pitch-black trilogy is pretty special, Bruce Wayne leaned on the forgettable textbook wardrobe of every other well-heeled one-percenter: quiet knitwear, some jeans, maybe some smart trousers, and a couple of golf-club friendly polo shirtsThe Batman (this one, the Pattinson one) does no such thing.

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Mottled wool! Leather! Shoulderpads! Colin Farrell with prosthetics!

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Recently released shots from the set are taken not from the exit of a dramatic Armani show in Milan. They were, in fact, taken in Liverpool, depicting the ensemble cast (which includes Zoë Kravitz, Colin Farrell, and John Turturro) in the stuff that sits on the more current, cooler end of menswear. So no Steve Jobs roll-necks. Instead, we've huge overcoats that are more Balenciaga, less city banker; Nineties lids that point more to an angst-ridden Japanese anime hero than they do crew cutted Action Men; the width and shoulder pads of hotshot lawyers in a courtroom drama, but just with the forlorn expression of hotshot lawyers that've lost their first case.

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In a franchise that has increasingly moved from the spectacle to the emotional (Batman & Robin, despite the pomp of a gorilla-costumed Uma Thurman doing burlesque, is not to be repeated), showy costumes are often sidelined as a distraction from the DRAMA and CONFLICT of poor Mr. Wayne. But Pattinson has proven time and again that he has the acting chops to pull said inner turmoil off. Claire Denis's grisly sci-fi High Life was full of spectacle and drama, as was shanty psychodrama The Lighthouse. Pattinson really can do both.

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So get excited. Bombastic clothes aren't always there to paper over a bad plot. They also make a familiar reboot very nice to watch indeed.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Murray Clark
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