Batman, Robert Pattinson and Culture Fit

People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man I’m flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting.

-Batman (Bruce Wayne) to Alfred Pennyworth

The first Batman issue came in the year 1939 with the first movie adaptation in 1966. The most famous trilogy came in the form of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight in 2008 after which Batman acquired a larger fanbase and also after which the questions of his legitimacy as a superhero were asked much more.

Of all the superheroes out there, Batman, simply, has been the most controversial. To begin with, he isn’t ‘super’ in the sense of Superman or Spiderman or Hulk or Thor or Shaktiman even! He is not a ‘meta’. He can’t fly1, has no X-ray vision2, doesn’t have super strength3, can’t cling to walls4 and nor is he from another planet5! To top that, is he a hero? He is lonely, broods often, has some obvious psychological issues (you so must read those theories), has no love in life (oh that hurts) and some serious trust issues! As a self-confessed fanatic of Batman (best to accept it at the very beginning of this article) I have a retort to every single thing I said up there! But then, every Batman fan will do so! The very thing that makes Batman a hero more super than any other superhero is the fact that he isn’t a meta and has major issues in his personal life, and yet lives to die every single night for his city! If that doesn’t make him a superhero, what does?

The latest one to question the superhero legitimacy of Batman was 33-year-old actor Robert Pattinson, who’s set to play the Caped Crusader in director Matt Reeve’s upcoming film “The Batman,” on the “Today” show’s “Sunday Sitdown” segment. “Batman is not a superhero,” Pattinson told host Willie Geist. “It’s weird, I always balk at it. It doesn’t count. You need to have, like, magical powers or something.”

You might imagine the kind of response Batman fans (the ones who are going to pay to watch the same movie) had! In the end, Pattinson did apologise (jokingly!) and one can only guess how that is going to affect people’s perception of his Batman.

The point of concern here, though, is not Batman, not Pattinson, and not superheroes. The point here is Culture Fit!

Just like people, businesses also have a personality. It’s a culmination of the people, their beliefs, the systems in place, the history and the technology in use. This personality of a business is called its culture. Just like you can’t be friends with people who have a personality in direct dissonance to yours, you can’t work happily and satisfactorily unless your personality and the business’ culture are a fit! The sad truth is that employers and employees both look at competencies and CVs, but fail to look at the third vertex of the triangle. Culture.

What went wrong in choosing Robert Pattinson as the Batman, was exactly this. Those deep mysterious eyes with an acting talent already proved, Pattinson was an ideal choice to be the Batman, if only he was a believer. If only, he had read, what every Batman fan, he would come to represent had read….

A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know ……that the world hadn’t ended…

And BTW, the powers I said Batman didn’t have … :p


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