As one of the biggest and most recognizable characters in popular culture, any new Batman movie is always a huge deal. The casting of the title character has always generated lots of discussion, and more than a little controversy, ever since Tim Burton first brought the hero to cinemas in 1989.
After Ben Affleck decided to hang up the cape and cowl, speculation ran wild about who would be the sixth actor to play the Dark Knight on the big screen in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Then, Robert Pattinson was officially cast in the title role last month and as was to be expected, some sections of the fanbase weren’t too happy with the decision.
Michael Uslan, who’s been involved as a producer on every Batman movie ever made, weighed in with his thoughts on Pattinson’s casting in a recent interview, saying:
“My position is this: trust the filmmaker and give the filmmaker, and the filmmaker’s vision, the benefit of the doubt. Then wait until you see the movie. And then once you see the movie, judge the hell out of it. But I think that’s really the formula going forward. I couldn’t be happier, I couldn’t be more enthused, as a Batman fan, that Matt Reeves is the filmmaker in charge and has selected Robert Pattinson to be his next Batman.”
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Having been involved with the franchise for over 30 years, Uslan has seen this kind of reaction before and remembers the huge backlash from fans following the announcement that Michael Keaton had been cast as the Caped Crusader, as well as the massive online fury that followed the controversial casting of Ben Affleck.
“The fans were up in arms: ‘How can you have a comedian play Batman? You guys are gonna revert it back to the 1960’s show, you’re gonna destroy Batman’. Until they saw the movie and saw what Tim Burton’s vision was, and how he executed it. And then the fans never wanted anyone else to be Batman… Ben Affleck, when it was announced he would be Batman, I thought they were really gonna surround the studio with pitchforks and torches. So then Robert Pattinson is announced, and the controversy on both sides breaks out all over again, so it’s a repeated formula.”
Many fans still see Pattinson as the sparkly vampire from Twilight, but that hasn’t been the case for a long time, with the 33 year-old reinventing himself over the last decade as a versatile and critically-acclaimed actor. As such, we should take what Uslan’s saying into consideration and wait before we rush to any judgement.
The Batman is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to be released in June 2021, with Pattinson expected to start shooting the project once he wraps globe-trotting espionage thriller Tenet, coincidentally directed by The Dark Knight Trilogy’s Christopher Nolan.