Those are the terrifying words delivered by The Batman star Robert Pattinson after beating a very brave gang leader’s face into mush during one of the movie’s most buzzed about scenes. Since its debut in the film’s very first trailer, the “I’m vengeance” scene has become the subject of countless social posts, memes, and gifs. For some fans, it’s also the moment that finally sold them on the idea that Pattinson could embody a character as dark as Batman.
But in our The Batman cover story for the new issue of Den of Geek magazine, Pattinson reveals that the pivotal scene wasn’t always meant to go down that way. In fact, it was originally scripted a bit differently until the actor made a suggestion that completely changed the tone of the scene to absolutely horrifying.
“How it was initially staged was the guy says, ‘Who are you?’ And Batman says, ‘I’m vengeance,’ and then beats everybody up,” Pattinson tells Den of Geek. This version of the scene certainly sounds like it would have fit right in with the rest of the combat sequences previewed in the film’s marketing. In other clips, we watch as the Dark Knight disarms henchmen and beats them with their own weapons, or straight up electrocutes the hell out of them. In other words, Pattinson’s Batman is a brawler and has no problem handing out brutal punishments.
Still, the actor felt that a small change could turn the set piece into something much more disturbing.
“I said to Rob [Alonzo, second unit director and supervising stunt coordinator], ‘I really want to say it into the guy’s face when he’s basically dead,’” says Pattinson, who can’t hold back his laughter while recounting the story.
Although Pattinson’s Batman doesn’t actually kill, it seems very likely the guy on the wrong end of those fists won’t be getting up any time soon.
The actor also revealed in our cover story just what kind of preparation was necessary to pull off such a physical performance. We’re not just talking exercise, but learning the actual martial arts featured in the film.
“We based everything around [an] Indonesian style of fighting where you have these two sticks, and it all was based around movements with weapons, and then you take away the weapons afterward,” Pattinson says.
The actor trained with Alonzo to learn “combinations of full body movements,” which made the sequences feel as close to real as they could possibly be: “It just felt as close to fighting as you could possibly be. It’s actually quite difficult not to hit someone.”