A little over a month ago, rumours surfaced that Warner Bros. and Matt Reeves were going to cast Robert Pattinson as the legendary Caped Crusader for Reeve’s take on Batman, succeeding Ben Affleck after the actor dropped out of starring and directing said movie. Robert Pattinson, the guy from Twilight. Pattinson, the dorky guy who was ‘cool’ in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Robert Pattinson, sparkly emo vampire.
As expected, this caused an uproar on social media, with fans going as far as to submit petitions to get him off the role. On June 2, Pattinson was officially cast as Bruce Wayne. To the casual layman who’s heard of Twilight and all its infinite flaws, this was a disaster. But for someone who’s actually watched Pattinson after his Twilight role, this is perfect.
Pattinson hasn’t played the infamous emo vampire that has infatuated teenage girls everywhere and has disgusted literally everyone else for 9 years now. Ever since 2012, he has been incredibly active and has acted in 10 feature films, most of them independent projects.
In an interview with Howard Stern, Pattinson had this to say: “I’ve never actually auditioned for them because, for one thing, you have to sign up to do eight movies — and I just got out of five.”
And when Stern brought up the RDJ success card, Pattinson said, “It all depends on the character.”
Back in the Twilight era, there were creative differences between the studios and Pattinson. They wanted him and co-star Kristen Stewart to portray their characters as “fun and happy”. Pattinson wanted to commit to his character. He didn’t see a “fun and happy” arc for his character and chose to portray it that way. But despite his talent, the entire idea of Twilight already being a joke, combined with an equally ridiculous script saw fans turn on Pattinson.
Pattinson has done his best to distance himself from the franchise and has moved on to better projects. Not bigger, better. He’s starred in two David Cronenberg films, Cosmopolis and Maps to the Stars, co-starred with Charlie Hunnam in the excellent The Lost City of Z, starred in the Palme d’Or-nominated Good Time, and Robert Eggers’ follow up to The Witch, The Lighthouse. Not a bad resume for a disgraced teen heartthrob.
Oh, and he’s also been cast in Christopher Nolan‘s upcoming movie, Tenet. You have to be seriously good to even be within breathing distance of being cast in a Nolan film.
Not just Pattinson, even Kristen Stewart’s gone down the indie road, working with reputed directors like Olivier Assayas, Kelly Reichardt, Woody Allen, Ang Lee. Who knew that the couple from Twilight were actually talented?
On top of that, ridiculous as Twilight was, it was a showcase of Pattinson’s penchant for playing dark, brooding characters, a trait which he took up with future projects down the road. How will he ever play the ray of sunshine that is Batman, pray tell?
And this isn’t the first time fans have made a huge fuss over a big name casting. Or have you forgotten Heath Ledger’s announcement as The Joker all those years ago in your constant and unwavering worship of The Dark Knight?
Wonder how that one turned out. Oh, the same thing came with Christian Bale when he was cast as Batman by Christopher Nolan. Hell, the guy from Beetlejuice and the guy who played the worst Daredevil portrayal ever played Batman, and they were pretty damn good if you ask me.
We won’t be seeing the same Batman audiences have been so used to courtesy Christian Bale and Ben Affleck. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Reeves had this to say:
“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It is told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”
For my part, I’m absolutely stoked to see Pattinson take up the mantle of The Dark Knight, and I’m confident he’ll do the role justice. Hopefully he’ll have a bang-on script to back that up.
Finally, before I wind up my arguments for Robert Pattinson’s casting as Batman, I would seriously recommend Good Time for anyone who appreciates cinema. It is one of the most underrated action thrillers in recent memory.
Seriously, check it out. It’ll change your mind if you’re not already sold on this.
I'm an engineering graduate trying to make the most out of what life throws at me. Currently working as a Brand Strategist at Mitsogo Inc, Chennai. Outside work, you can find me on a football pitch, a basketball court, or in front of a tea stall - still trying to make the most out of what I get.