The internet went into a predictable frenzy after news broke May 16 that Robert Pattinson had emerged as the leading contender to take over the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in a new superhero tentpole from Matt Reeves. While the casting has not been made official by Warner Bros., Variety reports the hiring is all but confirmed as Pattinson “is the top choice and the deal is expected to close shortly.” Reeves’ Batman movie is going into pre-production this summer.
Pattinson’s casting sparked some backlash online from Batman lovers and fans of the DC Extended Universe who don’t think casting the “heartthrob from the ‘Twilight’ movies” is a smart idea for one of the most beloved comic book characters. Pattinson would join actors such as Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck in playing the Caped Crusader on the big screen. While some fans complained about the casting, many film journalists took to social media to defend Pattinson. “Doctor Strange” screenwriter C. Robert Cargill also showed his support.
“It’s fun to watch the Pattinson backlash and think back to the 90s when us cinema fanboys talked the same shit about those two up and coming pretty boys, DiCaprio and Pitt,” Cargill wrote on Twitter. “Boy did we have their numbers wrong.”
As many film journalists pointed out (see below), anyone who views Pattinson as just “the ‘Twilight’ guy” has not been paying attention to the actor over the last several years. Pattinson has become one of the most exciting actors working today thanks to collaborations with such beloved auteurs as David Cronenberg and Claire Denis. He’s also worked with Werner Herzog, the Safdie brothers, and the Zellner brothers.
IndieWire’s managing editor Christian Blauvelt shared this sentiment on Twitter: “Keep in mind that this man has, in the past seven years, worked with Cronenberg, Herzog, the Safdie Bros., James Gray, and Claire Denis. To want to play Batman NOW must mean he has one helluva vision for the character – and it’ll enable him to keep doing those auteurist films.”
Reeves’ “Batman” already has a June 25, 2021 release date. Check out some of the more celebratory reactions to Pattinson’s casting in the posts below.