Few Hollywood roles come with the same amount of baggage or pre-loaded expectations as Batman.
This is, after all, the same masked vigilante who has been portrayed by nine different actors on the big screen – The LEGO Batman Movie‘s Will Arnett included – leaving Robert Pattinson with some pretty big (and black) shoes to fill. But to his credit, The Lighthouse actor didn’t shy away from the coveted role; if anything it “really appealed” to him after he discovered that Warner Bros. and director Matt Reeves were plotting The Batman.
And the rest is history. 18 months from now, and Pattinson’s Caped Crusader will be swooping down into the streets of Gotham, tackling the likes of The Riddler (Paul Dano), Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), and The Penguin, the latter of whom will be played by Colin Farrell.
Toss in Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth) and Jeffrey Wright (Commissioner Gordon) and you have an ensemble cast for the ages. But while discussing The Batman alongside Jennifer Lopez as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors segment, Pattinson was candid, admitting that this is a totally different type of challenge.
With Batman, it’s a strange one with me. I was very, very focused on it and I don’t know why. It just kind of kept coming back into my head. I knew they were doing another one. It just really appealed to me. I don’t know what it is which happened inside of me. It’s a different feeling where you want to do something where you know there’s an audience, there’s an anticipation from an audience that’s already there. I like doing something that is something an audience kind of doesn’t know that it wants and kind of try to get it out to them, and that’s a whole different thing. There’s a competitive side as well where you know everyone’s like, ‘Oh yeah? You want to play Batman?’ And it’s kind of fun. The challenge of it is kind of interesting.
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Though he cut his teeth on Harry Potter and the Twilight franchise (and will forever be associated with vampires and teenage angst), Pattinson has since gone on to collect a number of prestigious credits, not least of which is The King, Netflix’s newly-released period drama.
But The Batman is a totally different kettle of fish, as Robert Pattinson went on to reveal the one thing that drew him to the role of Bruce Wayne. Hint: it has something to do with the character’s murky sense of morality.
I have no interest whatsoever in playing who’s heroic. The only time I want to play someone an audience knows they’re supposed to like is when they really shouldn’t like them. That’s the only time. He’s a very, very, very troubled person. There’s very few of a character that’s regarded by everyone as a heroic character that they know that they need to save the day and they know they’re good. And I always find it interesting to know that Batman, he’s always struggling a little bit, in some iterations of the stories anyway. He doesn’t know if he’s that great or not. And that’s kind of interesting. Walking the line all the time.
The Batman takes flight on June 25th, 2021 – and with it, Warner’s hopes of a brand new Bat trilogy with Matt Reeves at the wheel.