The Batman director Matt Reeves reflects on the Robert Pattinson casting backlash and defends his decision based on the star’s post-Twilight work. Pattinson becomes the sixth actor to don the cape and cowl for Warner Bros.’ Batman film franchise that began with the Michael Keaton-led outing in 1989. The 35-year-old English star was most recently preceded by Ben Affleck in the DC Extended Universe, who stepped down from the role and from co-writing, directing and producing The Batman due to multiple factors, though is returning to close out the character in The Flash.
Reeves’ The Batman is taking inspiration from multiple iconic comic storylines, namely Year One and The Long Halloween, as Bruce Wayne enters his second year of fighting crime and uncovers a deep web of corruption in Gotham City while also contending with a cryptic serial killer known as The Riddler. Alongside 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. Though anticipation is currently high for The Batman, this wasn’t always the case in the film’s development.
In anticipation of the film’s release, Esquire caught up with Matt Reeves to discuss The Batman. The co-writer/director reflected on the Robert Pattinson casting backlash, defending his decision and believing those whose didn’t have faith in the star hadn’t seen his work after the Twilight franchise. See what Reeves said below:
“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.”
Pattinson’s casting of Batman carried on the franchise’s tradition of the lead actors receiving backlash for their landing the part of the Dark Knight, which began back with Keaton in 1989. Though Val Kilmer and George Clooney initially saw no backlash upon their announcements, the release of their films would see poor reception go towards both of their performances while Christian Bale would surprise audiences with his performance in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Ben Affleck’s subsequent performance would receive generally mixed-to-positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, though the films encompassing them would prove far more divisive.
Reeves’ defense of casting Pattinson for The Batman is very in line with fans of the star defending the decision for the past couple of years. As the director notes, Pattinson’s independent film work after the Twilight franchise has seen him garner far more critical acclaim than the young adult franchise did, namely his performances in the Safdie brothers’ Good Time, Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse and David Michôd’s The King. Only time will tell if audiences are once again proven wrong for their backlash when The Batman hits theaters on March 4.
More: How The Batman’s Riddler Costume Compares To Comics & Past Movie Versions
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
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