Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz and director Matt Reeves weigh in on the future of the franchise.
Spoiler alert! Do not read any farther if you haven't yet seen The Batman. Spoilers ahead for major plot points.
Perhaps one of the greatest will they-won't they relationships in modern media, Batman and Catwoman is an adversarial love story that's been told for decades, in the pages of comic books and in numerous onscreen adaptations.
In Matt Reeves' The Batman, the dynamic is brought to new life by Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz, whose characters find themselves, and each other, at the start of their respective journeys to hero and villain. While not a true origin story, The Batman is an installation from the Caped Crusader's early years as a masked vigilante, as Pattinson's Bruce Wayne fights to bring justice and peace to a Gotham that hasn't known either for some time.
It's in investigating crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) that Batman comes across Kravitz's Selina Kyle, a cat burglar with whom he shares more than just an interest in setting things right.
"They are both orphans, so, in one way, they have this bond," Reeves told ET of the pair's dynamic. "They have a common experience that's so profound, but they come from such hugely different backgrounds, and I wanted the relationship Bruce, or Batman, has with Selina to be sort of an awakening for him."
The chemistry between the two crackles from their first scene together. Even if they don't trust each other, their connection is undeniable -- and at times, uncanny. "You must have been raised rich," Selina scoffs at Batman during a pivotal confrontation, not knowing his true identity.
"One thing about being a vigilante is that if you're a billionaire, you have the luxury of being able to do it," Reeves noted. "So on the one hand, it seems altruistic and it seems like he's pushing himself in this way that seems very selfless, but it's also something that only someone who is that rich can do."
"Selina, she is someone who had a similar background, but she didn't have any of the resources," the director continued. "She's had to be a survivor in this place, and so I like this idea of Bruce's awakening in that. Because he meets her in this corrupt world, he assumes that she's corrupt, and over the course of the story he's judging her. But when her story is revealed, it ends up being quite different than what he thought."
As their feelings develop, however, the bond threatens to derail their respective missions. During the film's climactic scene, Batman is wounded while trying to protect Gotham from The Riddler's (Paul Dano) army of online followers, who wreak destruction on the city by causing a catastrophic flood. As Selina comes to his aid, on a catwalk above the chaos, there seems to be a moment where he considers taking off his helmet and showing her his true identity -- but it's gone just as quickly.
"In that moment of them together, you know she's terrified of losing him, and he's terrified too," Reeves observed. "This whole thing -- the reason why he's Batman -- is because he can't bear to go through what he experienced as a kid and lose people that he cares about. And so, as a result, he's tried to keep himself at arms' distance."
"In that moment they're on the catwalk, of course he's resisted the idea the whole movie, but he is desperately drawn to her, and he has really fallen for her," he added. "So, that scene is critical in the evolution of their relationship."
Happy endings are hard to come by in Gotham, however, and the pair say goodbye at the end of the movie -- Selina off to start a new life away from the city that Batman has sworn to help rebuild. They share a goodbye -- and one last motorcycle ride -- before going their separate ways, both literally and metaphorically.
"It's a very romantic scene, it's a very sad scene, and I think the hope is that the audience at that point is invested in our connection," Kravitz noted of the pair's final moments together -- for now. "I think it's going to be a very complicated road ahead. I think we're so similar and yet we're so different, and we meet each other and yet we also want to be, I think, on our own."
Reeves agreed, noting, "The two of them, they're so drawn to each other but at the same time in another way they're both so affected by their pasts that they'll never be able to be together. I love this idea of a love story where you can always feel the pull and you can always feel the push."
The director also spoke of the future dynamic between the two in a possible sequel or another film within The Batman universe, noting, "I think it's going to be hard, because [Selina] is not yet Catwoman in the movie, but she is going to become Catwoman, and that will actually put them more and more on opposite sides."
"And yet, that foundation of what connects them will always be there," he added. "Of course, given the two actors who are incredible together, there will of course be the deliciousness of that, too. That's what I love about them in the comics, you just always know how much they they kind of care for each other, even though they're on opposite sides."
For Pattinson's part, he told ET that he's more than ready to explore the character further in future Batman installments -- also noting that Reeves has plenty of plans for this cinematic universe. "I was talking to Matt about it, and it's funny because he keeps saying he’s got ideas," the actor said of returning as Bruce Wayne. "There's so much I love. I'm just so proud of the movie and it would be so fun to do it again."
Kravitz agreed, adding, "I think it's so wonderful to have a setup like this, where the audience hopefully will be so invested in our emotional connection and we get to see what happens in the future."
The Batman is now in theaters.