The Batman director Matt Reeves has opened up about the backlash Robert Pattinson received when he was cast as The Caped Crusader.
Almost every casting announcement for the role of Batman has received some backlash. Audiences scratched their heads when comedy star Michael Keaton was tapped to play The Dark Knight for Tim Burton’s films in the late 80s. Viewers couldn’t wrap their heads around American Psycho star Christain Bale playing Gotham’s good-natured crime-fighter and they certainly couldn’t accept when butt-of-the-joke Ben Affleck was announced as The Caped Crusader for DC’s Extended Universe. Unsurprisingly, Twilight star Robert Pattinson received the exact same treatment when he was brought on board for Matt Reeves’ reboot of the character.
Naysayers quietly changed their tune when the first look at the film showed Robert Pattinson saying the now-iconic “I’m vengeance,” line but it was a long road to get there. In a recent interview with Esquire, director Matt Reeves highlighted how he was attracted to the idea of Pattinson stepping into the role. Of course, the British star brought with him the baggage of starring in the Twilight series, which were the critical equivalent of dirty dish towels. Since his appearances as a melancholic sparkling vampire, Pattinson has reinvented himself as a leading man in the indie realm, which is particularly why Reeves was attached to him as the next Batman.
“Of course, the idea [to fit with the Year One story] was to make him a younger actor, in the process of writing the movie, I watched [the fantastic 2017 Safdie brothers film] Good Time, and I thought, ‘Okay, he’s got an inner kind of rage that connects with this character and a dangerousness, and I can feel this desperation.’ And I became dead-set on it being Rob. And I had no idea if Rob had any interest! Because, of course, he had done all of these indie movies after he established himself in Twilight.”
Matt Reeves continued by discussing how backlash is inherent to being cast as Batman and how audiences piled onto Robert Pattinson’s casting simply because they were unaware of his post-Twilight roles.
“There has been no actor, when his announcement that he was going to be playing Batman in one of the feature films was announced, that has not received a backlash.
“The people who were excited, I knew it was because they knew Rob’s work post-Twilight. The people who weren’t excited, I knew it was because they didn’t know Rob’s work post-Twilight.”
Here is the synopsis for The Batman:
Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies — Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) — amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as the titular hero, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson, Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, with Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin.
The Batman will hit theaters on March 4, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the upcoming film, and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.