In an alternate universe, we’d have already seen Ben Affleck’s version of The Batman by now, which would have given the critically-acclaimed filmmaker the chance to prove himself in a solo movie free from the shackles of Zack Snyder’s creative vision. Instead, his Caped Crusader may as well never have even existed, as the iconic superhero finds himself being rebooted once again by Matt Reeves.
Robert Pattinson is certainly an interesting choice as Affleck’s successor, though there was the inevitable backlash surrounding his casting due to his high-profile association with the Twilight franchise a decade earlier. But his work over the last few years in smaller independent films has shown that his decision to purposefully avoid big budget blockbusters has led to him making huge strides as an actor.
Based on the images of the Batsuit and Batmobile that we’ve seen so far, The Batman is shaping up to be an altogether different kind of outing for a character that’s been reinvented on the big screen countless times already, as the star of both some of the greatest comic book movies ever made and one of the worst.
The role of Batman is among the most coveted in cinema, too, one that also has the potential to make or break an actor’s entire career, and in a recent interview, Pattinson admitted that one of the main reasons he was drawn to the project were the challenges that came with putting a fresh spin on something that audiences have already seen plenty of times before.
“I think sometimes the downsides, which I’ve definitely thought about, the downsides kind of seem like upsides. I kind of like the fact that not only are there very, very, very, well-done versions of the character which seem pretty definitive, but I was thinking that there are multiple definitive playings of the character.”
While it isn’t recommended by anyone that’s had to sit through Batman & Robin, Pattinson compared his current mindset to what George Clooney had been through over 20 years previously when he took over from Val Kilmer.
“I was watching the making of Batman & Robin the other day and even then, George Clooney was saying that he was worried about the fact that it’s sort of been done before, that a lot of the ground you should cover with the character has already been covered. And that’s in 96, 97? And then there’s Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck’s one. And then I was thinking, it’s fun when more and more ground has been covered. Like, where is the gap?”
The Batman is still shrouded in secrecy, but Pattinson dropped some hints that his approach to playing Bruce Wayne and his costumed alter-ego will deliberately attempt to avoid any comparisons to any of the other actors that have previously worn the costume.
“You’ve seen this sort of lighter version, you’ve seen a kind of jaded version, a kind of more animalistic version. And the puzzle of it becomes quite satisfying, to think: Where’s my opening?”
Having recently been shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic just when shooting was really starting to heat up, Pattinson better not let himself get too out of shape during his time in lockdown, because The Batman is going to have to hit the ground running whenever production gets the go-ahead to continue.