With all the constant delays and setbacks, many (including myself) started to doubt if Matt Reeves’ The Batman would ever see the light of day. But now, we have our first concrete news (via Variety) that the project is making serious headway.
Robert Pattinson has been cast to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. He now joins a long list of actors who have worn the cape and cowl in a live-action theatrical feature: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck.
Rumors are that Pattinson — who Nerd It Here First will refer to as “Battinson,” because obviously — will be playing the younger version of Affleck’s Batman. But given how divisive the reception to Affleck’s Batman movies was, not to mention how fluid the DC Extended Universe’s continuity currently is, perhaps it’s best to consider Battinson as an entirely separate take on the Caped Crusader.
And that’s a great thing because frankly, it’s hard to think of better casting than Robert Pattinson. Of course, the knee-jerk reaction is to think of his more famous roles — Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” series — and recoil in horror. But this does a great disservice to the genuinely strong body of work that Pattinson has created over the course of his career.
Since ending his vampire days, Pattinson has carved out a niche for himself in the independent film world. He’s worked with acclaimed directors like David Cronenberg, James Grey, and Werner Herzog. For the latter, he took on the role of T.E. Lawrence in Queen of the Desert, essaying the same iconic character as the late Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. He’s also led several smaller films for less well-known auteurs that won accolades on the festival circuit, including The Rover, High Life, and the upcoming The Lighthouse (which looks amazing).
Not to mention, he’s starring in the next movie by His Holiness The Nolan Named Christopher.
But more specifically to Batman, Pattinson has the ability to portray a deep insular emotionality that’s critical to the character of Bruce Wayne. He can seem detached and aloof when necessary, but there’s a deeper core of anger and seething that lurks beneath the surface. And as an actor who’s been in the public limelight — both for his work on-camera and his personal life, much like other Batman actors — he’s no stranger to many of the same lifestyle quirks that someone like Bruce Wayne would be accustomed to.
There’s no guarantee that Pattinson will be a great Batman, or that Matt Reeves’ movie will even be a good one. Then again, there never is. But the potential is certainly there, and those who laugh Pattinson off as a joke are exposing their own ignorance. He’s a fantastic choice and easily one of the more interesting actors who was rumored for the part.
Now, all we need to know is who Reeves will cast to go against Battinson.