More than a year of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies— Alfred (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright)—amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
Matt Reeves’ The Batman has become the biggest-grossing film of the year bringing in $365.5 million domestic and $752 million worldwide with the domestic gross putting it as one of the biggest “part one” comic book superhero films ever. Much of that success has come at the reworking the angle to which we are introduced to this fifth adaptation of the caped vigilante. We are not forced to relive the death of his parents as a child nor is the film touted with big catch phrases or marquee names.
This version of Gotham City is a much darker one than we’re used to and being avenged by a somewhat of a tortures soul who is still finding his role in society while turning his back to the billionaire playboy hew often portrayed as. The inner fanboy in us wanted an inside peek at Matt Reeve’s new world and what it was like being part of this new adventure within the DC cinematic universe
We had the opportunity to speak with Max And Charlie Carver over Zoom where we got a little insight into what it was like being part of Matt Reeves’ The Batman and working with Robert Pattinson.
Max and Charlie Carver (or the Twins as they are called in the film) first auditioned for The Batman without knowing it was for The Batman. Reading lines from the 1971 film The French Connection, an American crime action thriller about two detectives chasing down a heroin smuggler not too far off to what fans would see in Matt Reeve’s new chapter in the Batman industry, the duo describe what it was like getting the news that, not only had they been cast but that it was for the next blockbuster film in the DC universe featuring the cape crusader. Max expressed feeling a sense of intimidation “because I know how meaningful and important this world is to so many people and then it’s just ‘get to work,’ that’s my job.” “We were excited,” interjects Charlie, “we were super excited! I was terrified,” he finishes in a more subdued tone. It was in fact terrifyingly exciting news because “we want to rise to the occasion,” adds Charlie.
This version of the Batman is a little less frills and action sequences and a leans more towards the sleuthing side of the vigilante, more so since we are introduced to the Riddler as well an organized crime organization led by Carmine Falcone and henchmen like the Penguin. Considering The Twins are the right (and left) hand men to the Penguin within this organization, we were interested in finding out how Max and Charlie went about preparing for their roles. “I think all you can really do is prepare with your imagination, relationships to people and different subjects into your surroundings to Gotham or what have you,” replies Charlie. “When you show up, what’s so fun about working in a production of this scale is, you show up and everybody is there to make you look good and to make you look prepared. Through doing weeks upon weeks of martial arts training you feel like you’re confident in your body and in the fighting. Then [with] the hair and makeup and wardrobe we had neck tattoos and chains and they shaved off my eyebrow,” he then jokingly complains about it not yet growing back even though it’s hardly noticeable. Charlie continues,”We felt transformed through that process.”
The Twins first hit the screen as viewers are introduced to the Iceberg Lounge (aptly named as it is the stomping grounds of The Penguin) were they refuse to give entrance to the Batman, ensuing in a hand to hand fight with the dark knight. Every good fight sequence depends on preparation, timing and execution so we asked Max and Charlie what the process was like for their first encounter with Batman. “There’s so much that goes into preparing and making sure you’re ready to play,” explains Max. “Then, there’s all this activity on set,. Everyone’s getting ready, lighting etcetera, there’s so much that goes into making a film from every department and then right when they call action, everything goes quiet and you’re just there, staring at Batman who’s six foot three, in a suit, and looks like he’s ready to beat your face in and your heart is just going ‘boom, boom, boom,'” he mimics the sound of pounding on his chest. “It’ a trip, it’s rollercoaster ride, even if it’s just for a couple of seconds. I can’t tell you how many times we got punched in the face that night,” Max quips, “it was a long night but it felt” interjects Chris, “as close to real as it gets.”
Being as this was an all new Batman, a distant cry from the Christian Bale version we’d grown accustomed to, we were curious to know what it was like coming face to face with not only the “new” version of Batman portrayed by Robert Pattinson but also the more tormented Bruce Wayne who still has not gotten over the death of his parents. Max and Charlie Carver had the opportunity to see both sides of the dark night, the billionaire Bruce Wayne and the vigilante Batman and detailed the different energies that Robert Pattinson brought to his roles. “We’d seen Robert in the bat-suit from another scene that we shot prior but had never seen him as Bruce Wayne,” explains Max. “So when we opened the door, because of how the production was set, up and saw him as Bruce Wayne the first time, the energy coming off of him was just so unique and special and so different than maybe even we were expecting. And I think that’s what’s part of what makes this movie so great is the audacity of the choice for Bruce Wayne to not quite be that famous super sociable playboy. This is somebody who’s lived through a lot of trauma and who is well known because of the family he comes from but [when] we opened that door for Rob it couldn’t have been more different than opening the door and seeing Batman. And it just perfumes off the screen in that movie, the contrast between the two,” he details.
The chapter on the Penguin was not completely closed in The Batman so we hope to see Max and Charlie Carver return to Gotham City in the next chapter which has already been confirmed to be helmed by Matt Reeves. Currently Max Carver is in development on G- Money (for which he wrote the script), based on the true story of Garrett Holeve, who, despite having down syndrome, sued the State of Florida for the right to have an officially sanctioned MMA fight. He is also writing his directorial debut So Help Me, a semi-biographical story that he will star in with his twin brother. Charlie Carver can be seen in the Netflix series Ratched based on the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. He also stars in the Netflix film The Boys in The Band alongside the cast that he appeared on-stage with for the Broadway production of The Boys in The Band by the late great playwright Mart Crowley.
In the words of the Twins; “Hopefully you get The Batman coming out in 4k, HD, Blu-Ray.” “You get to see it all again on May 24th,” adds Charlie. “It’ll blow your hair back,” concludes Max as the final sales pitch.
See all the details on The Batman special features here.