Though there were many doubters of actor Robert Pattinson taking up the mantle of the Dark Knight in the forthcoming Matt Reeves-directed The Batman, it turns out Reeves hand-picked Pattinson for the role.
This was revealed in a recent interview with Reeves, Pattinson, Catwoman Zoë Kravitz, and the film’s producer, Dylan Clark. Reeves — who co-wrote the film alongside Peter Craig — explained that when he began writing the movie, he imagined the character of Bruce Wayne / Batman in his head. He then “started watching movies of actors in the age range” when he came across Pattinson, Reeves told MovieMaker.
“[H]e just really kind of captivated me, and I started writing for him at a certain point. I had no idea if he ever would want to be in the movie.”
“I had no idea that Matt had seen Good Time and thought, ‘I want to do a really dirty, dirty, slimy Batman,'” Pattinson added.
The High Life actor went on to explain that he had never auditioned for any comic book movie before, so when he suddenly got “fixated on Batman,” his agents found it “pretty out of character.”
Reeves called the collaboration an “almost fated thing.”
Batman is undoubtedly a much-revered character among superhero enthusiasts, so opinionated fans were quick to launch no less than four different petitions against Pattinson’s casting back when the news first broke in 2019.
Much of the hate probably stemmed from Pattinson’s early big-budget movie roles, such as in the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series, the latter of which was heavily mocked by many for its array of wooden performances, melodrama, and notoriously sparkly vampires. In fact, Pattinson was nominated for a number of Golden Raspberry Awards — a parody award issued to only the very worst movies of the year — for his role as Edward Cullen, the vampire, in those films.
However, since the Twilight movies, Pattinson has made a number of gutsy choices for films, often working in the independent space and in roles that are challenging to general audiences. The actor is undeniably compelling as the deplorable protagonist in Good Time, steals every scene he’s in as a corrupt preacher in The Devil All The Time, opposite Tom Holland, and stands his own opposite movie legend Willem Dafoe, impressively helming the rich and period-accurate 19th-century dialogue in the surreal and gothic The Lighthouse.
Those “insanely bold choices” stood out to Reeves and his producing partner.
“He went from being, very early on, in a giant franchise where he was a poster boy, to really pushing himself as an actor, working with incredibly talented directors and pushing himself all the way. And we just respected that,” Clark said.
With Pattinson’s skill at portraying rather morally dubious characters, and the actor recently revealing his version of Batman won’t be a straight-up hero, we’d say this is shaping up to be quite the match-up.
And besides, the haters have been proved wrong in the past. Even the now-legendary performance of Michael Keaton as Batman in the titular 1989 Tim Burton film garnered controversy back in the day, with more than 50,000 fans sending angry letters to Warner Bros. in protest at the time he was announced for the role.
Guess we’ll just have to decide for ourselves when The Batman hits theaters March 4.