Robert Pattinson had to bide his time following the backlash to the announcement of his casting in The Batman as the titular superhero. While many were quick to ridicule the choice of actor to be next in line as the Caped Crusader, the movie’s director Matt Reeves had no doubts at all about the casting choice, and he also knew exactly what kind of people were upset about the choice. As the sixth actor to take on the part of Batman on the big screen, Pattinson joins the likes of Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck in putting his stamp on the role, and once footage started to emerge, many more people seemed to believe that he was more than capable of bringing something new to the franchise.
Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson will be bringing a violent and disturbing vision of Batman to screens in March, taking inspiration from the Year One comics and The Long Halloween, with a new-to-the-role Bruce Wayne facing down some of the worst villains Gotham City has to offer. Appearing with Pattinson, the cast for the film includes Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Gotham Police Lieutenant Jim Gordon, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.
In an interview with Esquire magazine, Reeves explained why he believes there was a great divide in opinion about Pattinson’s casting, and he believes it simply comes down to whether people have been paying attention to the actor’s post-Twilight career or not. He said:
“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.”
Backlash to Casting in Batman Movies Goes All The Way Back to Michael Keaton in 1989
Even though the internet and social media have made it very easy for movie fans to express their opinions on any piece of casting that doesn’t meet their expectations, even when it wasn’t as easy back in the 80s, the casting of Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s Batman didn’t go down well with some comic book fans. While both Val Kilmer and George Clooney seemed to get away without much criticism at the casting stage, their movies certainly made up for it. Christian Bale managed to pleasantly surprise many in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but Ben Affleck was another divisive casting choice that also brought mixed reviews in his appearances in the role.
Pattinson comes into The Batman on the back of some solid acting roles, such as Good Time, The King and The Lighthouse with Willem Dafoe. For those that didn’t give the actor any further attention after his role in the Twilight Saga, The Batman is going to come as a shock to the system. For everyone else, the bar of expectation has already been set very high and there is no one betting against Pattinson failing to make the grade.