The hero of Matt Reeves’ The Batman boldly does some thing none of his previous onscreen counterparts have completed: When the cowl is off, he wears a major, smokey eye.
Although Robert Pattinson’s darkly lined eyes surely make for a powerful, unforgettable look, that part of his character structure is not all about the aesthetic. (To be truthful, it is a lot about the aesthetic.) The eye makeup has a practical purpose: Bruce Wayne demands to deal with the place about his eyes in purchase to totally conceal his deal with though wearing his black cowl. Other actors taking part in Batman in are living-action movies normally also wore these raccoon eyes, but The Batman is the very first to accept that the illusion of darkness necessitates some beauty competencies.
As makeup designer Naomi Donne tells Polygon, director Matt Reeves genuinely wanted a make-up appear that centered on how Batman seems immediately soon after using off his costume.
“Matt was seriously keen that there ended up remains of [the eye makeup] when he took his cowl off,” she describes. “So we pushed that. We actually took the cowl off and appeared at what was still left, and we applied that. It’s genuinely challenging to get black eye makeup off, and we used that.”
It was a system of trial and error, Donne states, to get that excellent blend of darkish eye make-up that would seem superior, but also continue to be on. Concerning the film’s rainy location, the sweaty costume, and the rigorous action scenes, they wanted something with a lot of remaining energy. In the conclude, Batman’s perfectly calibrated emo appear was a mixture of pigment, a creamy eyeliner, pencil, and a liquid paint makeup.
“And then,” she suggests, “to brighten it up, we employed this evenly sparkly pigment to give it a little bit of light, so that it reflected lights in the exact way his Batsuit would’ve.”
Whilst the dark eyeliner surely brings to thoughts emo and goth subcultures, Donne states Reeves’ touchpoint for Batman’s appear came from a various certain resource: Kurt Cobain. Reeves beforehand disclosed how the Nirvana singer encouraged his just take on the Caped Crusader, and how he leaned far more on a tortured Bruce Wayne as a substitute of a playboy millionaire. In point, that relationship led Reeves to forged Robert Pattinson. It tends to make normal feeling that the deeper character threads tying Kurt Cobain and this model of Bruce Wayne would also lengthen to their visible aesthetics. Just after all, Cobain rocked the black-eyeliner glimpse in the ‘90s — even if it was not as messy as Bruce Wayne’s getup in the movie.
“I loved that at times it was extremely smudged and jogging down his confront, and at occasions it was just a smokey eye. But at all instances it was never ever clean. It always arrived from the stays of the cowl,” claims Donne. “It was the way of Batman lingering in Bruce Wayne following he’s taken his costume off.”
But as substantially as we can wax on about the metaphors in eye makeup and how the lingering specter of Batman will without end haunt Bruce Wayne, Donne boils it all down to a universal truth: “It also appeared lifeless pretty. Men in black eye makeup seem definitely very good.”