It’s not an understatement to say that the upcoming standalone DC movie The Batman has been through a few changes over the years. The film was first announced in 2016, and was set to be directed by and starring Ben Affleck, who played the Dark Knight in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. But things changed as time went on–first Affleck was replaced by Matt Reeves as director, then his script was abandoned, and finally he stepped down from the role. Affleck’s replacement is Twilight star Robert Pattinson, who has now spoken up about playing the iconic crimefighter.
In an interview with Variety, Pattinson revealed that the first reports about him taking on the role of Batman broke before he had even auditioned for it. “When that thing leaked, I was f***ing furious,” he said. “Everyone was so upset. Everyone was panicking from my team. I sort of thought that had blown up the whole thing.”
Pattinson ultimately won the part over rival Nicholas Hoult. But while it doesn’t seem surprising that the high-profile Twilight star would be chosen as the young Bruce Wayne, Pattinson revealed that it was actually him who chased Reeves for the role instead of the other way around.
“I’d had Batman in my mind for a while,” he said. “It’s such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I’d been prodding Matt. He didn’t accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him. And then [when I did], I had to kind of try to imagine what he’d written, and I hadn’t even read the script. I’d come with this pad full of notes.”
Pattinson also spoke about trying on the Batsuit for the first time during the audition process for The Batman. “I put it on,” he said. “I remember saying to Matt, ‘It does feel quite transformative!’ He was like, ‘I would hope it does! You’re literally in the Batsuit.'”
“You do feel very powerful immediately,” Pattinson continued. “And it’s pretty astonishing, something that is incredibly difficult to get into, so the ritual of getting into it is pretty humiliating. You’ve got five people trying to shove you into something. Once you’ve got it on, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I feel strong, I feel tough, even though I had to have someone squeezing my butt cheeks into the legs. You’re trying to think of the way to balance, how to bring something new to it and not want to scare people off. And work in the confines of the costume.”
The Batman hits theaters on June 25, 2021. While no further cast has been announced so far, Reeves has previously spoken about what fans can expect. “It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” he said. “It’s 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.”